Castone B - EDUC 588


Learning Design Philosophy

We don't know what we don't know. That's a fact. However, Albert Einstein said it best when he said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them," or was it that he said, "A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels" (Einstein, 1946). When we change our thinking, we excel in our learning, and throughout our lives, the way we think consistently evolves. Therefore, education plays an essential role in our lifespan development.

As our thinking evolves, so does our way of learning. I know this is true for those of us with learning disabilities. Likewise, instructors must grow with learners. As I get older, I have become more confident in the classroom instead of allowing my anxiety to build due to undiagnosed dyslexia. For example, when I was young, I often envisioned a way to interact with machines that assist me in my studies. 

Maybe Gene Roddenberry inspired me with visions of starship computers that could help me learn effectively from home. Perhaps it was the math gauntlet we had to endure in the third grade at 32nd Street USC Magnet School. Our teacher would ridicule any student who could not answer her equations in five seconds. I remember her moving a few of us to the front of the line to ensure we were the first to be knocked out of her math game. It was quite the defeating experience and my first impression of what learning  and instruction are not.

"A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels" (Einstein, 1946).
— Albert Einstein

Human-Centered Learning

My third-grade teacher chose to focus her efforts using the Learner-Centered Model, which we now know is antiquated. Learning models need to be Human-Centered to focus on people as the center of learning rather than the lesson. Instructors must be aware of the challenges and support the learner's sense of well-being to foster or improve self-efficacy (Oblinger, 2006). 

I have personally worked with other veterans to provide resources and information since 2015. As with civilian adult learners, I have noticed a few barriers in our learning habits. For instance, instructors and designers must understand that separated veterans may lack prior knowledge in the field, resulting in withdrawal or depression due to a loss of military identity (Stephenson, 2020).

Instructional Design Process

Instead of doing the same thing over and expecting different results, we can shape learning experiences to meet the needs of the learners. Learners must be involved in the implementation and planning of instruction through immediate and delayed evaluation. Combining constructivist theories for use with Gagnes, the ADDIE and The New World Kirkpatrick Models has proven effective for the age demographic of veteran learners. At the Department of California Disabled American Veterans (DAV), learners' ages range from 45 to 75, and their technological knowledge must be considered when developing training.  

The DAV Veteran Service Officer (VSO) Record of Military Service (DD214) training course starts with an onboarding module to ensure that all learners have an equitable understanding of the media tools needed to take and complete the course. Additionally, since VSOs must be certified before taking the DD214 course, they will have prior knowledge of some of the tasks involved. To design and develop the DD214 training, we used the VSO Annual Certification Training to analyze training and  the learning results. 

Gagne's Nine Events

We will utilize Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction or Nine Levels of Learning to help us guide learners through the process. Veterans have various skills from military and life learning. Therefore, we consistently get our learners' attention to keep them informed and stimulate transfer from prior their learning. 

Veterans are accustomed to reacting to training repetition and competition. In Modules two through five, we encourage practice to elicit and increase performance. Some veterans may be distracted by test anxiety or difficulty recalling information. Feedback from recent VSO certification observations shows that 

Gagne's method minimizes these distractions. It also allows learners to receive supportive instruction that enhances retention and transfer.

Capstone B Reflection

In hindsight, the most valuable lesson I learned, which is also the most critical step to create effective instructional design, is the Four Levels of Training and Evaluation by Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick. The model is invaluable for the evaluation and future implementation of the DD214 training program, specifically for assessing changes in behavior and overall performance results.
In addition, it allows our learners to collaborate with the instructional designers through survey feedback. We also use exit tickets in each module to evaluate if we provide space for learners to apply what they have learned and whether there is an adequate amount for learner autonomy.   

New World Kirkpatrick

In each training module, we immediately evaluate learning and reaction. Then, as the training progresses, we observe for changes in behavior, and through our summative evaluation, immediate, and delayed surveys, we assess whether the learning outcomes are being achieved. The evaluation process is integral to our 52-week pilot training program. Listed below is a brief overview of how we plan to use the model to evaluate training further. 

Four Levels of Training and Evaluation

Level 1 Kirkpatrick - Reaction
Level 1 Reaction, is defined by Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatirck (2016) as the degree to which learners find the training enjoyable and useful (p. 39). To ensure that Level 1 is quickly and easily measured, the LMS and Mock Tool automatically collect learner use and heat map metrics about user engagement. 
Level 2 Kirkpatrick - Learning
Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick (2016) describe Level 2 as the degree to which learners acquire the intended attitudes, knowledge, skills, and confidence based on their participation in the learning experience (p. 42). To determine whether participating learners are able to meet the outcomes at the conclusion of the learning experience, they will be observed assessing and using selected example Veterans Profiles (VPs) to complete tasks during the learning experience. 
Level 3 Kirkpatrick - Behavior
Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick (2016) define Level 3 as the degree to which learners utilize what they have learned in training when they are back on the job (p. 49). To determine participants’ behavior and the transfer of new learning, the instructor will examine the participants’ completion of the Mock Site application. Each learner's Mock Tool and LMS website usage data is monitored. In-person learners are also visually observed by VSO trainers. Every week new participants will be added to the study, and after the training, the instructor will assess the data collected from the Mock Tool, VP usage, the user login, and heat map data to understand the degree to which their learners have been participating in 70 minutes of training.
Level 4 Kirkpatrick - Results
Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick (2016) define Level 4 as measuring the success of desired curriculum outcomes based on the degree to which those outcomes are met based on leading indicators such as measurements that show that critical behaviors are on track, and short-term observations. To determine the result and overall impact of the learning experience, data from the participants using the Mock Tool, quizzes, exams, on the LMS website will be compared with observational data from DAV VSO Instructors, over a period of 52 weeks.


Einstein, A. (1946, May 25). ATOMIC EDUCATION URGED BY EINSTEIN; Scientist in plea for $200,000 to promote                    new type of essential thinking. The New York Times.
Kirkpatrick, J. D. (2016). Kirkpatrick’s four levels of training evaluation. ATD Press.
Kirchner, M. J., Minnis, S. E., & Hunter-Johnson, Y. (2020). Promoting a Veteran‐Friendly 
            Learning Environment. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2020(166), 111–123.          
Oblinger, D. (2006). Learning spaces . EDUCAUSE.
Principles. (n.d.). Humancentereddesign.Org. 
Stevenson, B. J. (2020). Psychotherapy for veterans navigating the military‐to‐civilian transition: 
            A case study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 76(5), 896–904.