Amid all the talk of the “Successive Approximation Model” and its replacement of ADDIE (prematurely announced, in my opinion and for what it’s worth), I stumbled on a similar acronym, SAMR. And it is only tangentially related to SAM. This model is a taxonomy for identifying the relationship between technology and teaching. The acronym works thusly:

Substitution: The technology (computer, tablet, mobile device,etc.) does the same task as the previous technology it replaced with no functional  change in teaching and learning. The best example for us former Drewsters is the push from paper-based SOPs to computer-based SOPs. The “vision” that conceived this plan saw computers performing the exact same function as those shelves of monstrous 3-ring binders.

Augmentation: The technology offers an effective tool to perform common tasks. Think of the LMS as not just a substitute of paper rosters, but also a means of implementing curricula. It becomes something more powerful than what it replaced.

Modification: Common tasks are performed where the technology is integral to performance. The use of hypertext is the easiest example to come up with. For instance Wikipedia would be unremarkable if it weren’t for the hyperlinking and constant updating available to it. Document development is so closely tied to word processing capabilities that it’s hard to imagine getting the level of collaboration and input on documents compared to the “old days” before computers.

Redefinition: Technology allows for tasks that were previously inconceivable. This is where things like the Flipped Classroom and Khan Academy are possible.

For those of you who want to do a little deeper digging, I have a couple links:


As I was looking at this slide from  the presentation, I was struck once again with the realization that we are not “Learning Management Professionals” but we are “Competency Management Professionals.” We are not merely managing the knowledge component of the workplace, but we are overseeing the broad spectrum of workplace performance.

This is aimed at pedagogy, but it applies to adult ed as well.




The whole slide presentation is interesting and I would have liked to have been able to hear the whole lecture. However, my mind went in a different direction from the presenter and I came up with this revision to the diagram:




Once again, this is a “for what it’s worth” piece, but I have found that in things like compliance training and other open-ended tasks like customer service, problem management, quality assurance, etc. that if we focus solely on the cognitive domain, we miss some very important aspects of what makes for a competent workforce. Hypothetically, a thoroughly “trained” expert in Compliance (cGMP, legal, regulatory, etc.) could score exceptionally well on assessments that measured cognitive competency but still fail miserably at actually implementing any of the behaviors and interactions that make it possible for them to actually BE compliant.

So where does that leave us as IDs and instructors? Good question.

I’ll have to look at that for next week. Or whenever I get around to writing another Friday Missive.