In my last post How a New Training Process Scales Up Your Talent, I set the stage for a new training development process. You can click the link and read it for yourself, but I will also sum it up here...
Designing & Developing Courses IS Expensive
Since the beginning of my interest in instructional design, I have been taught (and I have taught others) that designing and developing instructional courses required an extensive process that ultimately ENDED with the delivery of the course to an audience of learners. However, since my graduation, during my 20+ years of work in the real world of corporate training and development I have discovered that business moves to fast for classical instructional design to be useful any more. The work that needs to get done is still valid, but it's the order in which the work gets done that I now call into question. But I will also be the first to admit that this new approach is not the right solution for every project either.
Rely On Your Subject Matter Experts
The idea is simple, really. Stop obsessing over making sure everything is right and perfect before delivering the training event. Remember, Training is an event. Learning is a process. Lean on your subject matter experts (SMEs) to get the ball rolling. Start by delivering a classic instructor led course, and let the SME teach it however they want too. Record that classroom session and chat up the attendees while you have their undivided attention. That's step one. Yes, instead of your course being the final product it is now the foundation from which all your analysis, design, and development work will be built.
Does it makes sense? Or do you think I'm still crazy?
Live Training Courses - The Building Blocks of Your Courses
The output of that live training course are your building blocks. You now have a video, notes that you took during the event, feedback from the attendees, and feedback from the instructor. Hopefully during the session you also identified the players in the room that will most likely to help you down the road as well, but that's a pro tip I will expand upon later. For now let's stick to the basics.
The Foundation Is Set, What Next?
With all of the building blocks collected, your next step is to create a test. Watch the course video again, or multiple times if necessary. Write 10-20 multiple choice questions based on what you think the main points are from the training event. You could even run it by the SME and some of the attendees, but don't worry too much about it. If you get some feedback then great. If not, then keep moving on. Create the test in your LMS as your last module, and upload the entire recorded training event as a module. You now have a course that covers covers the content online in the format most comfortably delivered by the SME. This video of a classroom training event plus a quiz will only buy you some time. The key is that you have now successfully scaled up your SME. Congratulations!
Breaking Up Is Not That Hard To Do
Now comes the work you love. This is where you make your instructional design magic happen. But this is also where I can only offer you ideas. However, my first suggestion is to immediately review the video and find natural breaks in the course delivery. Edit your video into sections about 10 mins long. Use your test questions and create several smaller quizzes to put at the end of each 10 min segment. Now re-publish your online course in your LMS.
If you were able to take a 1 hr training event and break it up into at least 5 individual segments, then you now have 5 little projects. This is where your instructional design prowess comes in. You need to find out if that content is even necessary. You may discover that everyone in the class thought it was a waste of time and unnecessary when you reviewed their feedback. Oh, and speaking of feedback, since your course is LIVE in the LMS you should be getting more feedback on regular basis as people watch the video, take the quiz, and complete the feedback survey. Don't forget to review all the continuing feedback. So, if after reviewing ALL of the feedback you discover that the information in that 10min segment is worthless then just delete it.
One of the remaining 4 segments will most likely pop to the top as the gold nugget. The gold nugget is that main bit of content that made everyone nod their heads in agreement, have an "aha" moment, or otherwise generally feel like the entire hour was made worth while. That's the bit you're looking for. And that is the bit that now requires your most detailed instructional attention.
Keep It or Dump It?
Be sure to review all the segments and figure out if you keep them or delete them. Another option is that they are worth keeping but the content was not strong. Or maybe the content was exactly what they wanted but your SME didn't explain it very well, or didn't show much interest. Stripping down these segments that need editing will require that you to create a completely new module for that modified segment of content. And when that is completed you can also delete the video and put your new module in it's place. You may also need to update the quiz at the end of that module as well.
While you are going through this process you should also be thinking about what content is most appropriate for slow drip learning delivery. This is the part of your training strategy that current, and most likely, does not exist. It's the small, short bursts of content delivered after the training that reinforces the learning over time. This is actually the part of your training that is the most important. However, I will not cover it in this post.
Get it, Got it, Good!
So, do you get the idea? There are many ways to implement this approach, and of course, as always, it depends on many different variables. How do you make training delivery part of your training development process? I'd love to hear your feedback. Comment below.
*Image courtesy of simpleprogrammer.com