…and the Implications for Content Creation for Information & Instruction to Improve Workplace Performance and for the Meaningful Measurement of Impact at L1-2-3-4/5. Or at least for: 3-4-5.
Those in the business of Content Creation for Information & Instruction to improve workplace performance should measure themselves at L3 and L4 only – because if you don’t move those needles in the right direction in your real world – L1 and L2 successes won’t suffice for long. Nor should they*. Not for those concerned with returns on shareholder equity investments. Nor for those concerned with good stewardship of that shareholder equity.
*Besides, Level 1 and 2 data are not really trustworthy: http://tiny.cc/p1KSf – per research into the correlations between L1 and L3/4/5.
Topic-based Information & Instruction
Ever been given a topic to address with your learning solutions-set by your Client? How do you proceed?
You probably next outlined the flow of content and would perhaps show templates as you storyboard or rapidly prototype right in front of the Client’s eyes.
Then when it’s time to develop you probably start with the content versus the tests – which is counter to best practices in ISD. You should first start with your testing of the learning objectives – enabling and terminal. Most don’t. Testing is most often an afterthought, let alone being designed into place for the Learners’ benefits – to help them with meaningful Progress Checks.
But developing meaningful testing is hard to do when you aren’t anchored to actual task performance – and only have an outline of content flow. You now have to develop all of the content first – and then you can develop testing on that content! Oh boy!
Task-based Information & Instruction
When given a Task by your Client for you to train to- and for learners to learn XYZ – it’s so much easier to proceed.
You can probably take that “TASK statement” from the Client: “train ‘em to or on XYZ” and then break that down and also build up to the higher levels to see how this fits within the big picture of overall process performance – so as to set the Context-Stage, so-to-speak.
I break it down and expand my view during analysis efforts. Tasks are what people do with the resources available to produce worthy outputs – that are measured by Stakeholders at both the Product level and at the Process level.
I also ask about the big picture, of how this process-outputs flows into other value chains to determine if “what’s important” has any variances, and what those are, one context to another. The down-steam and higher-level contexts – that is.
The Typical Difficulty Being Authentic with Topic-based Approaches
If you have a topic and details about that topic, but not the performance contexts in which it is relevant, you cannot create anything other than Mickey-Mouse Content and Quizzes – those that are simplified, boiled down to the common denominator to the point that it’ll be necessary to keep reminding those learner/Performers about how to personally think about WIIFM – because the developer couldn’t.
Unless of course, you just got lucky that day.
What are your Instructional/learning Products:
What have been your recent experiences with what your Clients give you?
Being Authentic with Task-based Approaches
When I have a Performance Model (or equivalent) in front of me, I can start with the test development, and with the design of applications exercises (knows as APPOs in PACT), as well as the DEMOs chunks, and the INFOs chunks. Whether or not I use the formality of a PACT “Lesson Map” in front of the Client or not. I still ask questions and pose ideas with this framework in mind.
And you have to work hard to escape the authenticity of the data in front of you – on a Performance Model chart that is.
How to Immediately Convert a Client’s Topic-Based Request into a Task-Based Request – and Survive the Moment
When I have a Client request for a topic be covered, I say yes immediately (as I was taught to, by Joe Harless) and then move into initial analysis to convert a topic to a task.
I usually try to start with a focus on the Performers/Learners – and ask about the Learners and try to pin them down somehow: What can I safely generalize about their both their terminal performance contexts, and their incoming awareness, knowledge and/or skills.
Clients really do like that. A Focus on applications.
Then I ask about other enabling Knowledge/Skills required to truly enable the Target Audience(s) in Task performance.
Then I ask about existing content and other communications/training that might support this – and what from the past may be in contrast or competition with the new content to be developed/acquired (build/buy).
PACT is covered in lean-ISD, available as a hardbound book and a Kindle at Amazon, plus as a free 404-page PDF at http://www.eppic.biz/
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