Essay on Relation of the HPT Model to Adult Learning Environments

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Harvey Mudd College
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The Human Performance Technology Model (HPT) is an integral component of instruction for the adult learning. Fundamentally, the HPT refers to a systematic approach aimed at improving the productivity and competence and solving the problems related to the people performance (Pershing, 2009). More specifically, it involves the process of selecting, analysing, developing, designing, implementing and evaluating the programs that influence the human behavior and accomplishment. It is important to recognize that adult learning benefits individuals, companies, and societies. In this sense, the adults that continue to learn to earn more and consequently enjoy better health and life. It also improves corporate innovation and performance, productivity, profitability and workforce motivation.

The performance of a given instructional unit may decline due to various factors. To improve the performance of these units, HPT usually plays important roles (Pershing, 2009). About the adult learning environment, the HPT occurs as a systematic combination of three fundamental processes that integrate the analysis, cause analysis and the intervention selection, which is applied to individuals and adults learners. In this way, the HPT expands the scope of adult instructional design by employing the systems approach so as to address the performance beyond and the above the skills associated with the design. The HPT focuses on the entire performance environment to include the performance and processes in the adult learning (Pershing, 2009). In this sense, therefore, the integration and application of HPT have a profound potential to increase the quality of adult education and instructional design. Ultimately, it exposes the students to new solutions for intervention to performance problems. As such, the model has the potential to compel the instructional designers and stakeholders who play substantial roles in learning to look beyond various factors such as the instructional theory, instructional technology, and instructional design processes.

Evaluation of the HPT model in designing instruction for adults

In reality, the HTP process starts with the comparison of the current and desired levels of individual and organizational performance with the aim of identifying the performance gap. When designing instructions for the adults, the HTP helps to know the degree of performance that an organization can achieve and then sets its intervention for the appropriate solution. Based on the decline observed in the case of our organization, a cause analysis is then conducted to as to determine what impacts the adult learning environment that (information, resources, and incentives) and learners have on the performance.

The determination of the performance gap and the analysis of causes facilitate the design and development of the appropriate intervention (Van et al. 2012). These may include the new learning resources, materials, and equipment, measurement and feedback systems, new tools, knowledge and instructional strategies. The interventions are then implemented, as well as the management of the change process. The evaluation is then done after each stage of the change process in the adult learning environment. However, it is important to conduct the formative evaluation to assess the performance analysis, cause analysis, intervention, and design. Later, this process is done to focus on the immediate response of the adult learners and their abilities and willingness to given behaviors. According to Van et al. (2012), the final evaluations are focused on the improvements of the learning organization, and this may integrate the quality, productivity, and the profitability of the institution, in addition to the determination of return investments for the intervention.

Explanation of the Importance of Conducting a Gap Analysis

The gap analysis refers to the process that helps instructional designers understand and prioritize the needs of the learning institution or the organization (Franklin, 2006). In the adult learning environment, Gap analysis provides an instructional designer to uncover the performance difference, which broadly includes current situation, and the desired goal or change. Gap analysis is significant in various ways. Firstly, it provides decision makers with the comprehensive overview regarding the whole organization or the adult learning environment (Franklin, 2006). On a wider note, the company executives are subjected into a position of having a better understanding of the manner in which different departments and units of an institution works. As the director of adult education and training in a mid-size company, the gap analysis will enable me to determine whether the unit that experienced the decline in performance has the resources to meet their mission, goals as well as the objectives.

The gap analysis further helps the institution or organization focus its efforts and consequently make the informed decisions. In this way, the company can make its limited stimulate the resource allocation and design of the budgets through considering its main concerns about the existing performance gap and challenges. Finally, the adult learning and core competencies include the processes that integrate writing, spoken language, the numeracy and development of digital skills (Franklin, 2006). The conduct of the gap analysis enhances a better understanding of the gap and the performance that exist regarding these skills. The improvement of these skills can improve individuals personal development, employment opportunities in addition to the competitiveness of the nation. The gaps between the expectations and experiences lead to the dissatisfaction in the adult learning environment. It means that the measurement of the performance differences associated with adult education is the initial steps to stakeholders satisfaction. It means that possession of a practical ability to reach the already identified strategic goals and targets thrusts an organization and management to their competitive advantages (Franklin, 2006). As a result, an organization will inevitably experience better projects, improved reputations and increased productivity.

Description of a training intervention solution for adults based on a gap analysis

The HPT uses a broad range of training interventions that are derived from various disciplines such as the behavioral psychology, instructional systems design, organizational development and the human resource development (Van et al. 2012). In this way, it focuses on the thorough analysis of the current and desired performance level, thus facilitating the identification of the causes of the performance gaps. To speed up in an adult learning environment, the instructors need to understand the manner in which adults learn and apply the particular and appropriate learning strategy or technique that accommodate adults as learners.

The adult learners demonstrate a broad range of skills, knowledge, and expectations to the classroom (Van et al. 2012). These differences can be taken into account by the instructors with the aim of making the learning environment more meaningful and productive for the learners. Instructors must, therefore, be subjected to a training program that focuses on the mastery of the content, which will consequently enhance the development of the facilitators competence, skills, and knowledge in adult training (Van et al. 2012). As a training intervention solution, it will expose the instructors and facilitators to various adult teaching and learning principles. They will also be able to participate in the learner-centred methods and after that use them more practical.


Franklin, M. (2006). Performance gap analysis: Human performance improvement. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press

Pershing, J. A. (2009). Human Performance Technology Fundamentals. In James A. Pershing (Ed.). Handbook of human performance technology: Principles, practices, and potential. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Van, T. D. M., Moseley, J. L., Dessinger, J. C., Van, T. D. M., & Van, T. D. M. (2012). Fundamentals of performance improvement: Optimizing results through people, process, and organizations : interventions, performance support tools, case studies. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, a Wiley imprint.

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