Case Study:Implementing an Instructional Solution


Although the client had previously identified a need to improve customer satisfaction (H1) to Dr. Kwinn, during this meeting the client identified additional productivity needs as well. For instance, within the context of customer satisfaction, the client initially indicated she wanted to reduce the time required to resolve customer issues (H1). This particular need is not exclusive of productivity, as the more quickly customer issues are resolved, the more customers can be helped, creating a direct relationship between productivity and customer satisfaction, both of which improve the company’s profit margin. However, in this conference, the client also expresses other performance/productivity issues and/or needs. First, related to the customer service factor, the client indicates she wants the supervisors to reduce the amount of time they spend solving customer service representatives’ (CSRs) problems (U1, W4). The client is actually expressing two different needs: (1) for the CSRs to be competent at resolving customer service issues in a timely fashion, and (2) for the supervisors to resume attendance to their assigned responsibilities. Second, the client mentions a concern regarding the work flow process and the possibility that it is not functioning productively (W1). Third, the client indicates the CSRs have a product knowledge deficiency, as well as an inability to appropriate determine client service package combinations (A2, W2). Lastly, the client indicates the CSRs need training utilizing the company software (C3).


Although not specifically itemized, it is possible to determine several methods of information gathering were utilized, including surveys of customer satisfaction, listening to customer service calls, and interviews with supervisors (T1, L2). Dr. Kwinn reviewed normative and comparative data analyses regarding customer satisfaction with the client (J1, L1, N1, and R1). This data was presented to the client via a one-on-one conference with a data chart for a visual aid.


The training suggested and ultimately designed by Dr. Kwinn is adequate to address some of the client’s needs; however, not all of them. The design consists of problem-based learning through an e-learning program “where the user will be presented with various customer scenarios” (X2). In addition, the training would include practical application utilizing the company software. The training is staggered so that not all staff are training at one time.


Primary implementation considerations for the client were deployment factors and supervisor buy-in (K4, O4). Specifically, the client wanted made Dr. Kwinn aware that it was not possible to have everyone trained at one time; the training needed to be staggered. Additionally, the client had concerns that the Supervisors would not want to participate in the training. Further, in the second scenario, the client additionally mentions accountability issues regarding scheduling, registering, and attending the training (Y1). The client also indicated a desire for a skill practice workbook with requisite knowledge checks (A2).


Dr. Kwinn addressed the client’s considerations very well. She indicated it would be possible to have one-third of the staff in training, with two-thirds on duty (L4). She also indicated that the supervisors felt product knowledge training would be appreciated (J2).
Fortunately, despite the fact the client did not mention her desires for learner accountability and a printed skill practice workbook until after the pilot testing had occurred, Dr. Kwinn was well prepared for this eventuality (Z1, B2).


Many aspects of the instructional design seemed well done. For instance, Dr. Kwinn has an excellent rapport with the client and had obviously worked with the client previously, demonstrating a successful relationship. Further, Dr. Kwinn outlines the process for the client, including suggestions for design, acknowledgement of the client’s implementation concerns, and suggestions for evaluating the training through the use of smile sheets (P4), reassessment of customer satisfaction after the training, and performance assessment during the training.

Further, during a follow up meeting with the client, Dr. Kwinn indicates that the program is ready, the prototype has been completed, and a beta test performed. In addition, there were two pilot trainings: technical and for the instructor lab (D1).

Dr. Kwinn did indicate to the client that the supervisors would be trained before the CSRs so they could become a type of “super user” (N1) and positive role models (R1) for acceptance of the training.


As the instructional designer, I would have done a few things differently:
First, the needs analysis would be more comprehensive, including interviews with more stakeholders and analysis of more data. It appears that Dr. Kwinn utilized a truncated needs analysis addressed solely on the client’s primary expressed needs, rather than an in-depth analysis to determine if the client’s expressed needs matched the actual performance gaps that were occurring. As an example, the client mentioned her desire for Dr. Kwinn to meet with the process manager to determine how training has fit in and/or fallen short previously within the work flow process (W1). Further, the client expressed concerns regarding whether the work flow process was functional (W1). However, either Dr. Kwinn did not follow up with this meeting and/or the information was irrelevant to the final design.

Second, there does not appear to be a SME assigned to the project from the company. Dr. Kwinn seemed to take the client at their word that their operating procedures were well-defined and clear (F2/G2). This should be evaluated by the instructional designer and SME in collaboration. Similarly, the client indicated staff difficulty maintaining product knowledge due to continuous additions to the product line each quarter (G4). Again, although Dr. Kwinn asked about the current status of training regarding the product line, she did not undertake an analysis of the training, its effectiveness, nor consult with any SME from the company to determine if the training did in fact cover the product information well.

Third, although Dr. Kwinn had conducted interviews with the Northeast regional supervisors (considered to be the low performance group) and was given possible explanations as to why their performance was low, Dr. Kwinn did not follow up these interviews with any detailed data analysis. The supervisors alleged that the product was too slow, access time was low, and they believed they needed additional products to sell to their customers (R2). At least two of these issues should be discoverable through data analysis. After properly researching these issues, Dr. Kwinn could have presented a more complete picture to the client. As the information was explained without any factual data for or against, it was relatively easy for the client to dismiss the reasons as excuses for poor performance.

Fourth, Dr. Kwinn did not discuss with the client the various people the training would impact until after the design, beta test and pilots had already been completed (D1). This information should have been collected many months prior. In fact, the information regarding all of the stakeholders should have been determined up front so that their perspectives could have been included in the needs analysis, design, and implementation considerations. For instance, the tech support groups, help desk, and IT department are all departments composed of important stakeholders who perspective could be integral to the success of the training.

Lynn Munoz


Instructional design in practice, scenario 1. (2011). Education, Walden University, Minnesota, MN. Retrieved from

Instructional design in practice, scenario 2. (2011). Education, Walden University, Minnesota, MN. Retrieved from

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2011). Designing effective instruction (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ormrod, J. (2008). Human Learning (5th ed.). New Jersey, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.


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