Mission and Philosophy

Focused on Satisfying
Real-World Needs
Using state-of-the-art instructional design models and protocols, ESDI assists clients with the design and development of training or educational materials that satisfy client needs in real-world settings. That is, we understand that success is measured by what happens outside of the classroom or training session.
A Cross-media Approach

Our approach is best-described as "cross-media" in that we select media that support appropriate instructional strategies that, in turn, are selected to support specific goals and objectives. Media can include (but is not limited to) printed materials, CD-ROM or online modules, online conferencing, and video.

It might be important to note: we select media based on needs associated with strategies we have selected. We do not incorporate sophisticated technologies, simulations, or graphics simply to create "catchy" materials. Our motto is closer to, "simple and sophisticated," than it is to, "glitzy and glamourous."

Promoting Inference
Analysis and Generation:
Critical Thinking

What separates us from others is the manner in which we operationalize "learning objectives" or "outcomes." A key success of the cross-disciplinary approach of cognitive science has been it's ability to help researchers synthesize a diverse body of literature and, subsequently, reframe the concept of, "critical thinking" within the boundaries of logic and reasoning (traditionally, topics restricted to the arena of philosophy). We argue that the skills of inference analysis and generation serve as the foundation for all real-world problem solving and encompass any conception of critical thinking. We believe these skills are so important that we incorporate related modules into all of our training or educational packages. In addition, we make similar modules available from this web site and available free to the public.

The student as reflective,
autonomous, and intentional.
In addition to fostering the essential skills of inference analysis and generation, we view the student as capable of highly reflective activity. In nearly all of our training or educational modules, the individual is asked to step outside of him or herself and examine the big picture on a regular basis. This reflective activity helps in many ways. One, it helps foster student motivation in that students are able to see the relevance of specific training or educational modules to their day-to-day job tasks or educational goals. Two, such reflection assists the student in deciding how what might appear at first to be separate and disjointed skills or bodies of knowledge are really part of a larger and coherent whole. This provides the conceptual glue that is often lacking with instruction focused on discrete and unique goals and objectives. Third, we approach the student as a partner in the learning experience, not as some "rat in a maze," being manipulated through a series of hoops and bell ringing activities. Often, the reflective activites take place within a group context. This helps students maintain a sense of control within the learning environment. These are only a few of the benefits of promoting active reflection within the context of learning.