Amy Potthast | Instructional Coach & Designer | Learning Design Studios

Posts tagged ‘process’

Follow the design process – Get where you want to go

To get where you want to go, process is helpful.

by Katy Terwolbeck, Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Katy Terwolbeck, Flickr Creative Commons

But process requires patience!

Resist the urge to make decisions about content for your upcoming training event — or the activities to include — or the information to list on your slide deck — till you’ve gone through an instructional design process.

Start with roles & outcomes (what learners will do out in the real world after your learning event) …

Based on outcomes, make decisions about:

  • Learning objectives (assessments that allow you to judge the learners’ ability to achieve the outcomes). Robert Mager has written books on writing strong objectives; Blooms’ Taxonomy is also a useful tool here.
  • New knowledge — concepts, skills (the ones that will help learners achieve the outcomes).
  • Activities (opportunities to master the concepts and to practice the skills that support the outcomes) — consider activities that will support learning, not simply fun or “engaging.”  Ruth Colvin Clark has written a half dozen books on learning strategies grounded in cognitive science.

When you are an expert in what you do, it’s really hard to remember what it’s like not to know what you know.  If you don’t first consider learner outcomes, you’ll have a much harder time narrowing down content to include — and you may attempt to over-stuff (but under-serve) your audience.

Over-stuffing your audience with information will make it harder for them to learn, and your attempts to assess them will be clouded — should they be responsible for all the content you’ve delivered?  Will you resent them if they can’t grasp it all based on your many power point slides and your fun activities?

Outcomes focus your assessment strategies to ensure your learners are on the hook for completing course objectives and not memorizing and repeating all the information you’ve imparted (or tried to!).

Good luck and let me know how it goes!!