You are in your CEO's office and she says to you, "I am happy to increase your training budget next year. But here's the catch. The training better be shorter, faster, and more targeted at our top three company goals than training you have delivered in the past. If you can do that, I hardly care how much it costs. Can you do that?"
Recently, I took on an e-learning design project that had me wanting to refresh my perspective. For this particular project, I did not want to fall into the trap of producing the same old style of e-learning with which I am comfortable. I wanted to enter this project with some fresh ideas. We all get comfortable with what we do and how we do it, and those phases last far too long. For me, the best way to break the spell, is to read a new book, or even an old book as if I were reading it for the first time.
In a recent post, I talked about a new feature in Mindflash that allows you to create training modules that work beautifully on the iPad. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for reaching learners with effective and relevant learning opportunities. Based on the numbers and predictions, mobile is going to be bigger that we can even imagine, and learning experience (LX) designers need to be ready. So now that you know designing mobile learning is possible with Mindflash, the next question is, "How do I get started?"
When one gets started in e-learning, it is easy to think, "This is great, now we don't have to do classroom training anymore." This is certainly one benefit of e-learning. However, you do not have to think of this as an either/or proposition. In fact, an effective and popular way to use e-learning is in a blended approach that combines live training and self-paced e-learning.
One of the most important things a learning experience (LX) designer can do is apply a sound, repeatable process to one's designs. The problem I have with design processes is that they are often too vague and do not actually tell you what to do in the moment. For example, take a look at the A in ADDIE. Analyze. The books on ADDIE will generally tell you that before you begin creating a learning experience, you will want to figure out what is needed. Of course this makes sense, but what I really want to know is how to actually determine those needs.
I am at the beginning of a long-term project to create an internal certification program for a specific job type in my organization. The method for the learning content will be primarily asynchronous, so that people can go through the program at their own pace. Moreover, a self-paced e-learning program has the added benefit of being a resource that can be referred to over and over again.
ADDIE is good, SAM is good. DMADDI is good. AGILE is good. Rapid instructional design is good. But sometimes a course design project can be overwhelming, and these design models are not specific enough to answer the question, "OK, so what do I write on the page right now?"
Starting out in any new job is a challenge, but new instructional designers and learning experience (LX) designers have a particular challenge in that they must learn their own role and the tools associated with their job, and they must learn about the business they serve and the learners for which they will design training and learning experiences. It is quite a challenge. In thinking about what advice could be valuable for new LX designers, I decided to turn to my personal learning network. I posed a few questions on Twitter and in Linkedin groups. I wanted to find perspectives from a variety of professionals who do this job every day. Surely they would have great advice for new designers.