Through TAPPA (Target, Accomplishment, Past, Prototype, Artifact) Moore (2013) offers a path for instructional designers to follow which he asserts will allow them to create prototypes at a faster rate than possible though other design models. Theses other design models include ADDIE (Molenda, 2003) and the Dick and Carey Model (Dick, 1996), and are in fact the models in which key principles of TAPPA are grounded. Where TAPPA diverges from it origins, is in the 4th phase, the Prototype phase. It is here where Moore argues that the elements common to the aforementioned models; evaluation, development, and design, can be combined into a single step, the Prototype phase. He describes how condensing and combing these elements is what will allow for the ‘rapid prototyping’ unique to TAPPA (Moore, 2016).
Moore lauds the advantages of rapid prototyping; that instructors will be able to create and test prototype efficacy with actual learner feedback throughout the course of instruction in a given class, and can then select which elements to repeat, or which elements require tweaking, before testing the solution again in a subsequent class. As an Instructor reading about this condensed prototype phase, I was waiting to read about what sort of structures existed within this phase that would make this cyclical type of prototype development feasible at an instructional level. I was unable to identify any such structures, or parameters which might make this process manageable. Instead, what I did read about was how an unreasonable amount of expectation would be placed on the instructor during this particular phase of TAPPA model to evaluate and revise various instructional solutions. I couldn’t help but reflect on how distracting this could potentially be from the many other aspects of instruction. Furthermore, during a process like this, it seems as though specific learning solutions might be available to some learners in a course but then not others in the same course (unless the solutions were successful in the first run). Moore argues that this type of iterative design process is beneficial, and allows for multiple designs to be created and tested simultaneously. However, exactly how this iterative process can be managed at the instructional level, and whether the costs to learners during this type of instructional experimentation are worth it, requires further delineation.
In theory, Moore makes a compelling case for the benefits of rapid prototyping. In practice however, instructors may require more direction or clarity on how to manage these processes in the midst of their other instructional responsibilities. Students should be apprised as to the model of design that they are embedded in and integral to, and may or may not wish to participate in this type of experimentation.
Molenda, M. (2003). In search of the elusive ADDIE model. Performance Improvement, 42(5), 34–37.
Moore, R. L. (2016). Developing distance education content using the TAPPA process. TechTrends, 60(5), 425–432.
Dick, W. (1996). The Dick and Carey Model: Will it survive the decade? Educational Technology Research and Development, 44(3), 55–63.