As an eLearning company, we can definitely respect enthusiasm when it comes to overhauling your current training programs. We’re pretty passionate about it, too. But we often see a major misstep in the road to new eLearning, and that’s rushing to creation.
Imagine you’re going fishing: You load up your tackle box, grab your bait, and head to the perfect spot to catch fish. Unfortunately, you open your tackle box only to find that you’ve packed mousetraps–no fishing rod in sight.
We see this all the time in eLearning. Because organizations are so quick to overhaul the content, they forget to stop and think about their learners, their learners’ knowledge gap, and the outcome they want. In essence, they’re fishing with mousetraps; an effective trap, but only for one type of prey.
That’s why we implement a comprehensive pre-planning process: we want to make sure we’re using the right kind of bait and instrument to “catch” your learners. Here are just some of the pre-planning steps we take before content is ever put to paper.
1. Define learning intentions.
What’s your end game? What does a perfect outcome look like to you? Before you can begin to create anything, you should have a clear idea of what your learners stand to gain and what you hope to achieve through your training.
2. Complete a learner analysis.
What do your learners already know and how will they best learn what you have to teach them? Without a comprehensive learner analysis, you could end up creating content that is redundant or even completely over your learners’ heads. Know your learner and you can create content that is specific and relevant, and ultimately, more likely to stick.
3. Identify current learning gaps.
What’s standing between your learners and the material? All learners have gaps that can only be bridged via good content, but you’ll need to identify those gaps first. This is also the perfect time to identify potential roadblocks, such as time or location, that will need to be addressed through content and delivery.
4. Create measurable objectives.
You know what your endgame should be, but there are milestones and objectives that need to be met along the way. Take the time to define measurable goals for learners to meet to help keep them focused and working toward success.
5. Curate, create and aggregate.
Once you’ve completed your pre-planning process, it’s finally time to create content. But don’t forget that you probably already have great, useable content on hand. It’s not just about creating something new, but using what you have and creating content that fills gaps, hones ideas, and makes learning more engaging. Having users generate your content is a great strategy as well.
The desire for better training isn’t enough to see eLearning through. We know that you’re excited to overhaul training and do better by your learners, but if you slow down and look at the process more objectively, you’ll have better success in the long run. Don’t go fishing with mousetraps: bring the right tools to the table and you’ll be able to catch your learners more efficiently.