Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What do you want them to DO?

I've just been having lunch with a colleague and the conversation, which was about the point of learning events (courses, elearning resources, etc.) was threatening to turn into a blogpost. However, before putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, I quickly read the remaining few posts in my aggregator and came across this from Tom Kuhlman. He has completely stolen my thunder! It makes me think of Cathy Moore's offering on action-based learning.... again.

I get so tired of being handed voluminous PowerPoint presentations (which should never have seen the light of day in the first instance) and being expected to miraculously repurpose them into engaging elearning resources. My other 'favourite' is when you are handed a 60 page training manual and you're asked to perform the same conjuring trick.

I like to start scoping out an elearning project for a work-based user audience with "What do you want the learner/user to be able to do?" Work-based learning is about improved performance. Changed behaviour. Increased efficiency. When the response is an indication of what the person needs to learn, I immediately want to know why. Why do they need to know this?

That's where we start.


Wendy said...

Very timely post, Karen.
Especially since I am currently procrastinating on a project that starts with repurposing said powerpoint of multiple slides and adds on about 15 separate documents of various sizes, shapes and colors. Requests for feedback are met with more piles of paper.

And being the "good trainer bee" (note dripping sarcasm here), I TOLD THEM what the end user needed to be able to do.

Oh yeah - I'm soooo there.

Anonymous said...

@wendy I've kust finished a project exactly like that, Wendy! And no amount of explanation that you are a content-neutral learning professional gets the message across. I call it 'vomiting' content... and that's the polite version!

Anonymous said...

It's getting busier for me. Karyn I had to make terminal and enabling objectives and being a lateral thinker this took the life out of me. I can think of what activities to put and what is the best way to convey but I was lost at the designing stage. The breaking up of the whole session into logical headings and then sub topics was a herculian task. I mean I know what will go in but I do not know how to put it in design step-by-step. Am following this thing of thinking of the learner's profile and what they need to learn while doing this from a scratch. Thanks for such a relevan post. Hugs