Design for Impact

Design for Impact

The process of designing an effective online learning solution begins with analysis.

The learning needs analysis process seeks to answer two critical questions: (1) what do you want your learners to gain from the instruction, and (2) what business objectives do you want to impact and how? In order to ensure that learners gain the desired learning outcomes, it is important that you define the process and tasks that the learning solution will support. A common mistake that many people make is to develop training courses which deliver information only.

Changing Behavior & Impacting Learning
Training by definition should provide demonstration, practice and feedback on the task that the learner needs to perform back on the job. For example, presenting the information regarding a policy is not sufficient to change behaviors and improve performance unless the person has an opportunity to apply the information in a relevant and challenging activity.

Impacting Business Performance
It is also important that you define the goals for the business. For example, are you trying to improve compliance, quality, or efficiency? Do you want to reduce cycle time? The learning solution should provide opportunities to practice and receive feedback on the desired behavioral outcomes. Let’s say that you want learners to use the information in a training course to reduce errors in decision making, to reduce the impact on project life cycles. When projects are delayed, companies lose money. If these were your business goals, the training needs to provide opportunities to solve problems and feedback that their decision making, over time, is positively impacting the business. Very few learning programs do this so you many not be familiar with the concept in training, but you are very familiar with the feedback loop in real life.

Problem Solving Feedback Loop

In business we are constantly presented with problems. The process of analyzing the problem can take a moment for an individual or it could take days, weeks or months. The process could involve a series of emails and meetings until a decision is made. The ability to quickly make decisions and move forward is a skill that everyone needs.

So how does this impact the design of online learning?

If you want your employees to solve problems more effectively, your training needs to provide relevant and sufficiently challenging problems, and the right feedback that closely mimics real world outcomes. Asking staff to read online page turning courses that define policies, procedures or concepts will not be sufficient to change performance in the business. Learning Mind can help you design learning solutions that will more effectively impact your business goals.

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