If you’re like me, you may have found yourself walking away from meetings with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with tons of content, lots of rules for how to use it, and absolutely NO ideas for turning it into an effective, trainee-friendly course.
When you are overwhelmed or intimidated by your source material (or your SMEs), it’s easy to enter into a state of design paralysis. And when design paralysis sets in, your focus can easily shift from creating great online training to merely delivering information (i.e. content-focused or click & read training)—an approach that may alienate your audience and jeopardize the efficacy of your training. To maximize results, you need to take all of that SME content and work some designer mojo to make it trainee-friendly.
Of course, that begs the question: What is trainee-friendly training? Let’s look at an example…
Your organization has had several employee safety incidents – all involving improper application of footwear. Experts have conducted an analysis and determined that most employees are lacking in basic shoe-tying skills. Your SME (an expert shoe-tier) has given you the company’s 400-page Shoe Tying Policy & Procedures manual for reference. Naturally, you have no budget and senior management wants the training released yesterday.
Looking for more ideas for taking your training from content-focused to trainee-friendly? Check out the books Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-Learning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth and The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam.
Looking for some more pointers on how to work with SMEs to create better training? Check out this nice blog post from Cathy Moore.
Do you have great tips for taking online training from content-focused to trainee-friendly? Please share them with us by clicking on the comments link.Trina Rimmer is a learning and communications consultant with twelve years experience designing, developing, and delivering smart, engaging training solutions. When her training skills aren't being tested by her children, you'll find her helping others to develop their own design muscles. Contact Trina at firstname.lastname@example.org.