Over the past months, we’ve seen and heard the value from our clients in creating great learning outcomes for their employees, customers, contractors, partners and vendors. They came to us with a challenge: How should we create learning content that demonstrably improves learner behavior for onboarding, learning a product or service, SOPs to leadership and management training?
Keeping this in mind, here are the four most important steps we’ve seen to create great learning outcomes:
1. Remove barriers so those that know can share.
It doesn’t matter whether long form learning content or short form micro learning is being considered. It does need to be on demand however. Classroom training while still useful doesn’t move the needle in the long haul like a good on demand learning approach. We believe its best to utilize authoring and learning systems that instantly let any subject matter expert (SME) or learning audience member the ability to create content using video, text, pdf, image or quizzes so they may experiment with content that their team will find useful. Also, its valuable to be able to easily integrate with any existing LMS/ LRS to export/ import learning results.
2. Remove barriers to those that need to know. Less wow more pow!
We found that those clients who came to us from using more robust authoring tools had spent a great deal of time on producing courses with custom prepared graphics, animations, paths as well as long quizzes and assessments. Also, the sweet spot is to focus on using a straightforward mobile/ desktop device agnostic approach using video, images and text interspersed with occasional pdfs and even more occasional quizzes. The goal here is to change learning audience behaviors not wow them with engaging content. Learning content production that is overly time-consuming for an audience to view and not readily available on any mobile or desktop device is a current industry problem also.
3. Make sure everyone who has a stake in the content can EASILY update it and keep it fresh!
This is critical. Learning content development should be simple to develop and more importantly simple to update and keep relevant. As above, learning content with high production value doesn’t hold a candle to content which is very simple but EXACTLY answers a common question or triggers behaviors important to the learning audience and team goals. There is nothing worse than being pointed to stale content that doesn’t fully answer the question of a learning audience member. The result is wasted time viewing the non-helpful content and possibly causing more confusion and then being forced to ask the subject matter expert directly. This also destroys the time savings gained for subject matter experts and audience alike for creating and viewing learning content in the first place!
4. Don’t plan or strategize…too much. Place coals and light the fire on the learning systems your subject matter experts and team actually enjoy using!
Let one or more subject matter experts start creating useful content quickly. This approach WILL inform you and your organization on the way to go for your learning strategy. We think strategizing is important but only after its clear which solution will actually work for your team or ecosystem.
We’ve found that clients who let their teams try out different learning/ authoring systems starting with just one person and then as a small group is key. From there It’s easy to see which system will actually get used to establish the most successful learning outcome and then move it out to the rest of the organization.