Metro DC Chapter ATD Instructional Design CoP - Building Better Instructional Design Adoption Using Design Thinking Techniques

  • 24 Sep 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • George Mason University Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA. (Room 207)
  • 6


Registration is closed

We design instruction that is not adopted by our target audience. What happened? Sometimes the objectives of the learning are unfocused or the learning itself does not address the root causes of the problems it seeks to address. It may also be that those who have to participate in the training resist having learning designs imposed upon them by outside designers. One of our previous CoP presenters, Dr. Ali Carr-Chellman, described the unequal power dynamics of the imposition of the designer’s expertise on end users and, as an antidote, recommended shifting power away from the designer to the user through a process known as User Design. With User Design, users design innovations for themselves.

Another past CoP presenter, Indiana University professor Elizabeth Boling, discussed the problem with traditional approaches to ID work, focusing on the inadequacies of the ADDIE model and other prescriptive ID models. Professor Boling believes that instructional designers should think more like designers in other fields and less like “trained” by-the-book instructional designers.

At our September ID CoP meeting, we will discuss how Design Thinking principles might serve as a way to connect the user-driven learning designs by thinking more like a designer which is the root of Design Thinking techniques. Design Thinking is a human-centered collaborative design process developed by IDEO that incorporates user empathy, ideation, rapid prototyping and public testing of prototypes. Could Design Thinking provide a way to integrate users into a design process that promotes adoption of learning innovations? In addition to a discussion of Design Thinking, we will practice some of concepts in realistic design projects that participants bring to the meeting.

Presenters:  Dr. Robert Jordan & Judith Bartels-Brezac

Dr. Robert Jordan is a co-director of the ATD Metro DC Chapter Instructional Design Community of Practice and has worked in the learning and development field in the federal government for 25 years. He is also a certified as an Action Learning coach by the World Institute of Action Learning. Robert holds a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development from UMBC and a Ph.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Penn State. Robert’s professional interests include instructional design, learning environments and spaces, non-formal learning, Communities of Practice, systems theory and learning evaluation, among other topics.

Judith Bartels-Brezac is an active member of ATD Metro DC and currently serving on the board of directors in the position of Director of Communities of Practice. She is a Certified Human-Centered Design Practitioner of the LUMA Institute. Judith received a master’s degree in Training and Development from the University of Wisconsin – Stout almost fifteen years ago and has worked in a variety of learning and development positions since then including e-commerce, finance, and government contracting. She is currently employed as a corporate learning consultant managing organizational-wide performance initiatives.

Please note: Programs begin at 6:00 with informal networking and refreshments until around 6:20 when the evening's formal program begins. Programs end at 8:00. We provide light snacks and bottled water. Attendees are encouraged to bring light meals with them, such as sandwiches, wraps or salads. There are several limited service eating establishments within a few blocks of Van Metre Hall that offer such fare.

If you register and are no longer able to attend, please send an email to

Venue: George Mason University Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall (formerly Founders Hall), 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA. (Room 207)

George Mason University Executive and Professional Education is focused on meeting the education and training needs of the business community with Certificate programs and professional certification preparation. Our broad range of professional development programs, including programs in Leadership, Project Management, Government Contracting, HR, and many others, serve the private sector, as well as local, state, and federal organizations. Quality, timely, and cost-effective programs can be accessed in open-enrollment public seminars, classroom based and online formats, and in-house contracted training. ATD Members enjoy 10 % discount on Mason EPE Open Enrollment Offerings* *(Exceptions to course discounts: Paralegal, Certified Financial Planner, ed2go online training, and others as indicated by GMU Executive and Professional Education.) To obtain the member only ATD Discount Code, contact the Metro DC ATD Office at before you register for Mason Executive and Professional Education courses. 

Directions to Van Metre Hall (formerly Founders Hall):

From Washington, DC:

Cross over the Roosevelt Bridge; follow signs to the George Washington Parkway. Once on the parkway, exit at Spout Run (left exit). Cross over Route 29 (Lee Highway). Spout Run is now Kirkwood Road. Cross over Washington Boulevard. Founders Hall is on the right, at North Fairfax Drive.

From I-66 heading east:

Exit I-66 at Glebe Road/Fairfax Drive (exit 71). The exit ramp turns into Fairfax Drive. After traveling one mile on North Fairfax Drive, you will see the FDIC building on the left. Founders Hall is past the FDIC building.

*Note: All eastbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 6:30 am to 9:00 am and all westbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

From I-66 heading west:

Exit I-66 at Glebe Road (exit 71). Turn left onto Washington Boulevard. Stay on Washington Boulevard until you pass the Giant Supermarket; then turn right onto Kirkwood Road. Founders Hall is on the right, at North Fairfax Drive.

*Note: All eastbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 6:30 am to 9:00 am and all westbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

From I-395:

Exit I-395 at Glebe Road North. Continue on Glebe Road, passing Ballston Common Mall on the right. Cross over Wilson Boulevard, then turn right onto Fairfax Drive. After one mile you will see the FDIC building on the left. Founders Hall is past the FDIC building.

From Fairfax and Points West, via Route 50:

Go east on Route 50 (Arlington Blvd.). Exit at Glebe Road, and turn left on Glebe. Turn right on Fairfax Drive. The Arlington Campus is one mile down on North Fairfax Drive, past the FDIC building, on the left.

Please note: Paid visitor garage parking is available onsite at Founders Hall as is limited street parking outside the building. We do not provide validation for attendees who park in the visitor garage.

By Metro:

Take the Orange Line to the Virginia Square/GMU station. The Arlington Campus is approximately 2 blocks Take the escalator to the street level, and turn to face Fairfax Drive. Across the street and to the right, you will see the FDIC building. Cross the street and continue past the FDIC building. Van Metre Hall is on the left.