Monday, February 17, 2014

The top learning miss-steps that start-ups make. Part 5

Living and working as a Learning Pro out in Northern California I see and hear about a lot of training that is not serving an organization in the way it should.

So I've put together a list of the most common miss steps and mistakes I've seen and some thoughts on how these can be course corrected.

The first posting on this was about how Founders think that their systems are more obvious and intuitive than they may be.

The second was about cramming too much content into a course.

The third was about moving content online without understanding the difference of the delivery channel.

The fourth posting was about how failing to cross train makes silos worse.

This is the fifth and final posting in the series.

All learning is created equal(y).

Although too many startups have had their training materials created by people with no background in Instructional Design, many of them have hired trainers or instructional designers with experience.  Most people working in the Learning & Development field follow some version of the Instructional Systems Design ADDIE model when designing learning.  This approach is very much aligned with the old waterfall model of systems development, with each phase following on from the last. It's a really strong model for creating what I call learning products. These would be pieces of learning that can be expected to be delivered time and time again, either as elearning or in a regularly repeated class. It was created 70 years ago by the US Military as a tool to create training. Over the last 70 years it has been refined and reshaped to meet the needs of learning designers in an ever changing world.

Not surprisingly though some people look at this 70 year old technology and feel that there must be a better way.

As regular readers of this blog will know I'm a Thiagi fan. One of my most transformative learning experiences was a full day workshop he ran on Rapid Instructional Design at an AIN conference in Chicago in 2008. It was at that point that I realized that if your objective is to create learning rather than learning content then the ADDIE model is not the best model. For internal learning now I always default to a Rapid ID approach, that starts with the premise of making the learners create the learning content as they learn and having Subject Matter Experts on hand to ensure that the content is factually correct as well as a learning facilitator on hand to guide the learning experiences.

But just as I'd never consider using ADDIE for a single run internal class, I'd never use RID to create a training product.

My customers are the learners themselves AND the organization that is paying for the learning to happen. Understanding this balance and using the right tool is the only way to satisfy the needs of both sets of stakeholders.

Happy Learning

1 comment:

  1. Always looking for new resources to add to the training-teaching-learning toolkit. Thanks for posting the thoughts, Alan.