Finally...the content

pe 21. syyskuuta 2018 12.24.00

In this final blog, we will tackle creating the content of your learning solution based on the preparation we have already done in the first 3 blogs. Also, we’ll look at the channels and methodology you might want to use.

Mike Aaja's blog has been previously published in LinkedIn 21.9.2018.

Bringing it all together

Let’s summarize what we’ve covered so far in this series so that it’s easier to see how this all fits together in practice.

In the first post (link below), I suggested getting an LX Designer in as early as possible, meaning as soon as you have answers to the following questions:

  1. What change in behaviour would you and your company want to see?
  2. Who are the people who you’d like to see the change in behaviour from?
  3. What barriers currently exist that are preventing the people from making the change by themselves?

Quick and agile learning projects really are possible. Here’s how to get started well. »

Then, in the second post we saw how to really get to know your target group(s). Find the barriers they are encountering and remove them. Then find their intrinsic motivators and use these to get them to want to develop.

Finding out what your learners are really like »

Finally, in the third post, we spoke about impact, which we defined as the positive difference that the learning solution will make to your business. From that, we get a broad set of results that could apply to any learner, and from there we start to look for the target skills and knowledge that our target group(s) need in order to achieve those results. This is now where we pick up our story, because this is the content.

How to make sure you get impact from learning projects »

Defining the target skills and knowledge

Our example for a Code of Conduct in the third blog went like this:

Impact: No learner will accept bribes, offer bribes or allow others to accept or offer bribes in real life

Results (based on impact):

  1. Learners will be able to avoid getting into situations where bribery may occur
  2. Learners will be able to handle any bribery related situations
  3. Learners will report bribery

To get to the content, we need to go back to our target group and their experiences, motivators and existing barriers. The results are what we expect any given learner to achieve; however, what about our target group? In this case we want to ask:

1. What exact situations will our group potentially find themselves in that they don’t already know how to avoid?

There will be different locations, cultures, common practices, customers etc. for different groups.

2. What are the best ways for this group to handle those specific situations that we chose?

There will be different skill and knowledge gaps for different groups

3. What is the correct way for this group to report these and what might stop them from doing this correctly?

There will be different barriers for different groups

Choices, choices, choices

Now we have the content, it’s time to decide how to get the content across. Firstly, we really need, at this point, to be very careful to dispel a couple of pervading myths in learning:

  • Myth #1: Technology is a solution (It isn’t, it’s a tool)
  • Myth #2: There are magic “learning frameworks” that guarantee effective learning (There aren’t, unfortunately)

There’s no room in this blog to go into these myths in more detail – these are the next 2 topics on the list – but suffice it to say that part of an LX Designer’s job is to “softly challenge” them when they come up.

The rule of thumb for learning is that it should be easy to access, available where needed and tailored to specific learners in terms of content and channel. If learners can learn in the flow of work and even without being aware that they are learning, all the better.

So, here we are back with our learners again. Their learning needs to be both motivating and convenient.

Think about and ask them:

  1. How they would like to learn
  2. Where they would like to learn
  3. When they would like to learn

Then, use the right combination of methodologies and technologies to fulfill these wishes. If you’re not sure, this is part of an LX Designer’s job too.

Content-first vs content last

Hopefully, this blog series has convinced you of the merits of the “content-last” approach. I’m sure you also realize that this approach takes time. However, I can assure you that the time spent on this more than pays itself back over the lifetime of a project. This is because:

  1. Any solution you create together with an LX Designer will be right first time with no interpretation needed and far fewer review rounds needed
  2. Because there will be more focused content, the production time for any materials, videos or e-learning modules will be significantly reduced
  3. The overall time from start to finish will be reduced because time is used as efficiently as possible

Are you ready to start creating your next learning solution and to get some real impact from it? If so, my colleagues and I are ready for your call.

Kirjoittaja: Mike Aaja  Mike Aaja