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Prescription: Instructional Design

1997 Competition Case Teaching Notes

Recommendations for using "Prescription: Instructional Design" during the 1997 Instructional Design Case Team Event:

In the case study "Prescription: Instructional Design," an instructional designer is told to design training for hospital staff, but decides to conduct a needs assessment first.

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The Instructional Design Response

Participating teams are expected to propose an instructional design based on the team's own analysis of the case materials.

Responses should also include a rationale for design choices that indicate an understanding of:

  1. The key issues present in the case

  2. The perspectives of the key players in the case, along with a other relevant stakeholders

  3. Theory, Research, and Practice related to Instructional Design

  4. Possible courses of action, with the recommended course of action well supported

  5. Potential outcomes of the design recommended.

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Working with the Case Materials On-line

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Suggestions for Discussing the Case

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Discussion Questions

Special Note to Instructors: Prescription: Instructional Design is a large, complex, and somewhat diffuse case. Advanced or experienced I.D. students will probably be more successful in analyzing the problems presented in the case than students in introductory classes. We recommend providing significant support to beginning students attempting to work with this case.

Issues, Facts, Dilemmas, Opportunities


  • Within each department, describe what seems to be the most important issue to each person interviewed.
  • Specifically, how does each person feel about the RBA, about technology implementation, about the new management policies, about other departments and employees?
  • Rate the morale of each person interviewed.
  • How might the community and the university regard the events of this case?
  • What are the various aspects public relations play in this case?
  • What information may Will want in addition to that provided in the case materials? Describe the nature of this information if you think it is needed, how Will might get it, and how he might use it in his report.
  • Which issues might best be addressed by training?
  • Are there issues that could better be taken care of in other ways that don't involve training?
  • Can you suggest ways to clear up the poor communication among staff and departments
  • Could you address the morale problems among the staff with attitudinal goals? How might you plan to accomplish such goals within the existing structures of the hospital?
  • Where might some form of job aid, EPSS and/ or CBT prove to be of possible use as training solutions?
  • What issues might be better addressed by instructor-led training? How, where, and when could such training be scheduled?
  • How would you deal with new employees? With computer malfunctions? With the need for mastery and accountability?
  • How might the problems arising from the "tweaking" of the RBAs by Robomedics be dealt with?
  • How might the administration react to a report from Will that is not completely in line with the directive that was given him?
  • What is the responsibility for an instructional designer to present information to a client which may not be flattering to that client or his /her organization.
  • How could Will present such a report so that his recommendations will at least be considered? Within the organization, who might Will turn be able to for help?
  • What are the costs to your recommended solutions? Are there cheaper ways to achieve the same goal?

Should you develop Discussion Questions which you find are particularly useful in stimulating student thinking, please share your questions. Send the questions to us (kinzie@virginia.edu) and we will make them available to others.

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