Most corporate training is for employees who have performance gaps.
How do you best describe a performance gap? The difference between an expected output and actual output. A detailed analysis will reveal several factors for the same.
Often, the most common and most overlooked factor is the employee’s inability to perform on the job and deliver a measurable output.
Training courses to reduce performance gaps also address skill areas, which influence his performance on the job.
How would we design the best elearning to address performance gaps?
At one extreme, we create simulations, where the user enters a virtual environment and simulate the entire job environment to understand how to optimize his performance. Or we can create simple branched scenarios with decision points, which will help user identify actions and consequences in a job environment. Both these treatment options are usually flash-based and require a high graphical output.
Now, with HTML 5 platforms, or mobile delivery platforms, both these approaches become critically inapplicable. Thus, as instructional designers, we need to innovate to suggest an instructional approach to address similar content for mobile and new technology platforms.
If your target learner is in the field and is most likely from sales, or takes the course as a certification, then he or she is more comfortable using a PDA, tablet, mobile or any portable computing platform. Most of these do not support high-end flash runtime environments. So, how do we create exciting content for these platforms?
The idea is to engage the user while he or she is on the move. The user is accessing learning in a possibly highly distracting environment.
We have to deliver content nuggets which he or she can view and interact with in a space of 15-20 minutes or less.
We not only have to engage the user, but also deliver retention value content.
Let’s explore options with entertainment value and higher retention?
Comics with minimal graphics is another exciting approach. They are short. They have conversation, context, teach value of scenarios and are continued on a daily basis. Dexter and Calvin and Hobbes are examples of the same.
Can we provide a simulation without high flash option and yet make it engaging?
The art of theatre has been low since the popularity of other media. The drama form is the best simulation that we have witnessed over the aeons. Can I create a small drama to address my audience? The instructional designer will create a script, with actors and storyline to record as an audio podcast or narration short video based film.
More and more, instructional designs need to adapt and innovate with their approaches to learning, and deliver it with new tools and new technologies.