Post #1: HPT Goals & Expectations

The hand of a white person points at a cluster of floating concepts: data, diagrams, connections, buttons, all representing the field of Human Performance Technology.

Written by Brian Milburn

July 3, 2022

What do you think Human Performance Technology entails?

Human Performance Technology (HPT) involves fixing issues and gaps in performance and compliance in the workplace with research-based technical solutions. HPT aims to serve the mission and values of organizations by identifying those gaps, proposing solutions, carrying out the implementation of chosen solutions, and evaluating them. It revolves around adopting a systemic view of organizations, along with the three fundamental concepts of behavior, accomplishments, and performance (Stolovitch & Keeps, 2004).

Performance, in particular, is the paramount concept due to the role it plays in making value judgments at each part of the process (ID’ing gaps, proposing solutions, etc.). Hence, the name of Human Performance Technology.

What skills and knowledge do you already have that you feel relate to the content of this course? 

In my decade of work in the university and non-profit contexts, I gained experience related to a few issues that pertain to Human Performance Technology. They include issues of insufficient staff training (e.g., not being trained on necessary managerial skills after being hired to be a manager); lack of interdepartmental coordination (e.g., curriculum materials not held against a specific standard); and cultural conflict ensconced in hostile work environments (e.g., faculty/staff members of a growing cultural/linguistic minority group being purposefully targeted with harassment, intimidation, and job retaliation from non-minority administrators). From these issues, I gained important insight and understandings of organizational functions as both a manager and educator. 

Regarding the last issue (cultural conflict), I have experience in collecting qualitative data and conducting a gap analysis to support faculty governance efforts. Those efforts were instrumental in bringing about changes which included a significant update to the organizational code of conduct recognizing this minority group in terms of harassment. For these reasons, HPT has been a significant area of interest for me as an instructional designer. 

What do you hope to gain from this course?

First of all, I’d like to gain a deep understanding of how to become an effective HPT consultant and/or architect. Beyond that, I’d like to gain a deeper understanding of HPT and how it serves different organizations (e.g., universities, non-profits); how to diagnose HPT-related problems; how to identify and recommend appropriate solutions; how to implement a decent array of solutions; and how to best support overall, ongoing HPT efforts in various workplaces.

What do you expect to contribute to this course?

Over the past decade, the number of Deaf/Hard-of-hearing (D/HH) professionals in work contexts across the nation has expanded in tandem with a rise in the number of D/HH people acquiring terminal degrees (Masters and doctoral). I have experience in workplaces where D/HH people serve as leaders and staff and/or faculty, thus playing an increasingly larger role in shaping institutional and work culture. As such, I expect to contribute my knowledge to this course through my own lens as a member of a unique disability minority group involved in those work contexts.

How do you believe you will use what you learn in this course in your future career?

Since starting my studies at Purdue, I’ve wondered whether my career trajectory would take me into the HPT context. That may happen. Regardless, as an instructional designer, I hope to use my learning from my HPT course to shape my work path in a way that allows me to support employees — D/HH or not — with an engaging and fulfilling learning culture.


Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2004). Training ain’t performance. American Society for Training and Development.

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