One mistake that is often made by organisations who design their eLearning is with WIIFM. WIIFM stands for “what’s in it for me?” (said from the perspective of the learner). This attempts to address the motivation for the learner to proceed and ultimately complete their training. The mistake comes when the WIIFM is written from the perspective of the organisation and not truly what motivates employees.
Here is an example that I experienced when I was working at the Toronto international airport. Consulting with my stakeholder and subject matter experts the motivation for a course on safety was for the thousands of passengers that visit Toronto’s international airport and with an emphasis on the reputation of the airport as a safe place.
Upon further reflection I started to think about the employees who were going to be required to complete this course and realized that while we all want to be safe, an employees concern is not toward the reputation of the airport or to the thousands of strangers who pass through the airport daily, but instead for themselves, their families and friends (their loved ones).
It took some convincing, but my stakeholder agreed that reminding employees that their loved ones at some point will be passengers at the airport and their safety is what is ultimately important to employees. Also, concern for their own safety can be used in this instance as well. Everyone, including the families of employees, wants them to come home safe at the end of their shift. I managed to extend that even further to include their co-workers as well. Many co-workers become friends outside of work. We share in each other’s lives and their families become our families.
Try to avoid towing the corporate line when writing your course motivation section of your eLearning. It becomes far more effective when it has real meaning to the employees and not some check mark on a corporate checklist.
A training request has come in, and it’s time for you, the new Instructional Designer, to design and develop the training. So now what? What are you going to do? What approach are you going to take? It’s so easy for you to get caught up in educational theories and industry trends, that you may just sit and stare at the screen – unsure what to do next. So, I ask again – now what?
While lots of professional IDs will give you lots of great advice, my advice is this: if you want people to know something – teach them; if you want people to learn something – give them something to do. That’s it.
It’s not fancy; there’s no catchy hook. It’s just simple, and that is why it’s the sole principle that drives my design of any instructional material from “tip sheets” to Instructor Led Training, and most certainly eLearning.
What do you think? Does it make sense? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.
Learning is the conscious effort of rote memorization of facts in English. Training is a subconscious activity of the learner in which he/she develops the skill of thinking in English and speaking in it effortlessly.
This post was first published on eLearning Industry.