Burn your training request form

If your organization is typical, you have a training request form. Look at it now. It probably commits 10,000 sins.

Training request form on fireFor example, it might ask the client to:

  • Identify the format and length of “the training”
  • List the content that should be included
  • Specify the date and location for “the training”
  • Identify the number of people to be “trained”

With this form, you’re saying, “My job is to produce whatever training you want, whether or not it will actually work.” It turns you into a worker in a course factory.

If you want to have a real impact and win the respect of your organization, you need to set your clients’ expectations from the start.

1. Not “training” but “development”

If you must have a form, call it something like “development request.” Make clear your job is to improve performance, not create training on demand.

2. Don’t use the forbidden words

Throughout the form, avoid terms that refer to a specific solution. There is no solution yet. You won’t decide whether training is part of the solution until you’ve analyzed the problem.

For example, don’t use these terms in the form:

  • course
  • training
  • workshop
  • content
  • blended
  • assessment

3. Ask about the problem instead

Ask about the issue that the client is seeing. You might use questions like these:

  • What change would you like to achieve with this project?
  • How will you know that the change has been achieved?
  • Who will change what they’re doing as a result of this project?
  • How will the organization benefit?
  • What has been tried in the past to bring about this change?

Your goal is to get an idea of the possible business goal and how the client currently views the problem. Both could change during your discussions with the client.

Template available soon

A development request form that you can adapt will soon be available as part of a toolkit.

Jedi mind tricks for training designers has been a popular presentation, and now it’s grown up into the first toolkit of several that I’m developing.

The toolkit is a menu-driven series of challenges, guidance, downloads, and real-world tasks that will help you start projects right and avoid creating information dumps. Learn more and sign up to be notified when it’s available.

How eLearning Providers Can Help Students Who Struggle Online

Studies show that eLearning works well for high-achievers, but falls short with students who already struggle in traditional learning environments. Here are some of the best ways to remedy that. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Learning Thursday #7: How Do You Encourage Innovation in Your L&D Team?

Learning Thursday is a blog series that features a new L&D article every other week along with discussion points.  Read and then share your own ideas by commenting below!  Check out the last Learning Thursday here.

How does your learning and development team approach new projects and courses?  Does your process encourage new ideas and teamwork?

This week’s video is an oldie but goodie.  ABC Nightline documented IDEO’s process of developing a new product.  The product team formulates new ideas, refines them, prototypes, and then continues to form their original ideas into a creative but practical final solution.  I’ve always enjoyed this video because it demonstrates the power of what the narrator refers to as constructive chaos.

  1. What specific practices in the video encourage new thinking and ideas?
  2. What specific practices ensure that creative ideas are eventually formed into practical solutions?
  3. How does your L&D team work together to develop innovative products?


The post Learning Thursday #7: How Do You Encourage Innovation in Your L&D Team? appeared first on eLearning.

2019 Instructional Design Trends And Learning Trends: The Ecosystem Evolves

This in-depth article focuses the conversation on the challenges that Learning and Development professionals face and the solutions that will help them overcome these sticking points. Join us for a discussion on the top 2019 Instructional Design trends and learning trends impacting the industry. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 Instructional Design Principles You Can’t Do Without

A sound knowledge of Instructional Design principles will impact and inform your strategies in your eLearning project. In this article, you will find 5 Instructional Design principles that I consider greatly important for meeting any learning needs, with examples. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How to Improve Your E-Learning Course Design Skills

build e-learning skills

I’m a big fan of the e-learning challenges posted each week in the e-learning community. Here’s one on game show style templates and another on various drag-and-drop interactions. They offer good examples and creative ideas for building e-learning courses.

Compliance training drives a lot of the demand for e-learning content. Unfortunately, most of it is linear, click-and-read content. Which means you don’t get to try new things or develop your skills in new ways.

The initial goal of the e-learning challenges was to get e-learning course designers to play around with the software and try new things. They aren’t expected to be big (or complete courses) and they’re designed to learn new production techniques.

Here’s what’s real for many of you. You may build a hundred courses, but you’re not building a hundred different courses. You’re just building the same course one hundred times. That means your skills may not grow and you’re probably a bit bored doing the same thing over and over again.

The weekly challenges are a great way to move out of the same-course rut.

  • Commit to do at least one challenge per month. That’s my goal. I don’t always make it, but it’s still my goal. At a minimum, review the entries every week (posted on Thursday). There are some really good examples and creative ideas you can glean from others. Here’s a list of all previous challenges.
  • Use the challenges to pad your e-learning portfolio. It’s important to have a portfolio where you document your skills and show your growth. Most people can’t share their current work for various reasons, but the challenge demos are yours and work perfect for portfolios.  The challenges provide a way to show diverse course development skills and experience.
  • Build your professional brand. Start a blog or portfolio site. Show off your examples, share the sources files, and offer tips on how you created what you created. Many in the e-learning community can attest to the power of sharing your expertise. And you don’t need to be the best expert, just enough of an expert to share what you know. There’s always someone who can learn from you. And they don’t need to be revolutionary tips. Often the challenge entries remind me of things I already knew but just bring them back to the forefront.

As I stated, my goal is to participate at least once per month and from there I’ll share what I learned or some production tips that may help others.

Hope to see you in the e-learning challenges.

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Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

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