Related Fields Defined


Assumption: HPT is only suitable for a business setting or when addressing performance problems that exist within organizations other than school districts, schools, and classrooms.

To begin exploring this assumption, let’s take a closer look at how these fields are defined. Let’s remember that technology, in this context, is defined as the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area.

  • Educational Technology: is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources
  • Instructional Technology: the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning
  • Human Performance Technology: a systematic approach to improving productivity and competence that uses a set of methods and procedures — and a strategy for solving problems — for realizing opportunities related to the performance of people. More specific, it is a process of selection, analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs to most cost-effectively influence human behavior and accomplishment.

I would argue that HPT brings something to education that Educational Technology and Instructional Technology do not, and that is a larger realization of the factors that affect performance. As educators we must understand that every performer (student) exists in a complex system of variables that influence performance (learning) (Rummler, 2010).

Our approach to educating students must be multidimensional and holistic, taking into consideration all of the factors that prevent or promote learning and personal growth.


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