Without a Model of Performance Your Objectives and Content May Be Incomplete and Inaccurate

In an Enterprise Learning context…

Where do your Learning Objectives come from?

Do you sit with your client and/or some SME to figure them out?

As the research shows that Subject Matter Experts can miss up to 70% of what a novice actually needs to perform – that might be risky, inaccurate, incomplete and inappropriate. Or you could get lucky.

It depends on whether you’d like to be/ count on being “lucky versus good.”

If you are not deriving those Learning Objectives from some valid model of performance – a Process Map or a Performance Model – then chances are you are taking chances – on being lucky.

I have been using a Performance Model – sometimes called a Job Model – for capturing the consensus view of Master Performers – since 1979. It defines the ideal and the gaps from ideal for the current state.

It is from this source that Learning Objectives can be systematically derived. It is also from this source that the enabling knowledge/skills (K/Ss) can be systematically derived. It is – central – to my PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management methodologies. Objectives created in any other manner are subject to being inaccurate, incomplete and inappropriate.

If you don’t have this “data set” as your foundation for instruction and information requirements of the learner/Performer then you have increased the risk of converting cash to content will not have as much Return on the Investment that it otherwise could have had.

With a Performance Model it easier for the client to review/approve/fix the terminal goal: Performance Competence. It’s easier to establish the terminal objectives, the authentic tests (performance capability displayed/demonstrated) – and the enabling objectives, after deriving the enabling K/Ss.

Level 2 evaluation can be easily imagined and created – and will be much more authentic. Level 3 evaluations can be more easily imagined and created.

The ISD design efforts that are performance based don’t begin with articulating Learning Objectives – they begin with an analysis process to first get concurrence on the Performance Competence requirements – and then go from there.

If you are looking a small, uncomplicated, noncontroversial task-set this might be accomplished in the first meeting with your client IF they really understand the performance (you can validate with others soon thereafter). If it is complex, say for Brand Management with multi-year new product development cycles you might want to convene a group fo Master Performers and other SMEs to pin that complexity down.

In any event – the goal is to start with and end with authentic performance, in the objectives and in the resulting performance competence capabilities.

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