February 17, 2011

Thiagi's 4D Approach to eLearning with Russ Powell

Presenter: Russ Powell

In 2009, while working with a large Silicon Valley organization, Russ Powell had an extraordinary opportunity to lead a project team in the application of Thiagi’s Four-Door model, a unique eLearning system, on a handful of sales training projects.

The results were exceptional, praised by the internal client and honored by Brandon Hall Research with a gold Excellence in Learning award.

In this his presentation, Russ explains the model in layman’s terms, shares simple and complex examples of its components and offers recommendations for use in everyday online instructional projects, small and large.

What is the Thiagi Four-Door Model?
A few years ago, Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan, an internationally-recognized expert in instructional design and gaming, developed a unique and effective model for eLearning he calls the four-door (4D) approach.

It consists of four key components:

  1. a library
  2. a playground
  3. a café
  4. an evaluation center

Why is it Important?
This simple model provides adult learners a great deal of control over how they learn, and serves as a handy tool for instructional designers and web developers that is both flexible and fast.

The 4D model combines the effective organization of online documents, with the motivational impact of frame-games, the power of collaborative learning and authentic performance tests.

When done well, it gives learners a unique way to learn content that’s more engaging, and in many cases more effective, than traditional eLearning.


Russ Powell is an award-winning Workforce Performance Improvement Consultant who has been designing, developing and facilitating training programs and other performance improvement interventions for almost 20 years.

He has worked with hundreds of managers and dozens of training departments to build performance improvement programs marked by ample amounts of both style and substance (programs that don’t just look and feel good but also deliver impact to the bottom line).

Russ specializes in the building of eLearning courses, job aids and performance support tools.

Over the course of his career, Russ has worked with organizations such as Sun Microsystems, Google, Wells Fargo, the U.S. Coast Guard, Pixar, AT&T, and NASA Space Flight Center, and served on the faculty of Georgia State University and the American Management Association.

Russ holds degrees in the behavioral sciences from Georgia State University and Loyola University. He is also a member of the International Jugglers’ Association (IJA) and continues to perform regularly.

For more information, visit russpowell.com or become a “fan” at facebook.com/russpowellconsulting.

North Bay Internet Society

Meetings: Third Thursday of Every Month
2012 Schedule:
No Meetings in Aug. & Dec.

We usually meet in the Tarsier room at O'Reilly's buildings at the north end of Sebastopol

Doors open for socializing at 6:30 PM, "formal" meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Pot-luck refreshments.