Avoid NAI – Non-Authentic Interactivity

What Do I Mean?

First – let me answer my own question with a question. Two questions. No, three.


Does most Formal Learning most always feel to the Learners as if it were really meant for someone else’s job?

Does it NOT resonate with them because it is too generic and not specific enough – in the application exercises, and the demonstrations and the information? 

And a 3rd – most important question…

Does much of it still then transfer anyway and have a positive benefit – somehow making it a wise investment?

If no, it is then just an expense – and not necessarily a wise investment.

Unless you got lucky that time.

The REAL QUESTION here is: Does what you Learn Formally most often FAIL to transfer?

Is it because it feels as if it were somebody else’s job – because it isn’t authentic enough? You can be engaged and give it high marks on the Smiles Tests – what some call Level 1. You can Ace the Test at the end and prove your Knowledge – what some call Level 2. But none of it may feel adequately ready to Adopt as is, and you might not feel adequately prepared to Adapt it back at the ranch so to speak, back to your Performance Context.

Is perfect Authenticity required in Instruction to make the leap from Levels 1 and 2 to Levels 3 and 4?

No. It’s just got to be close enough. For it to have a prayer of transferring.

The R for the I is another issue for another day – here my focus is on the waste of L&D Resources due to the lack of authenticity of the learning content.

The awareness  building, knowledge creating, and skills building content that I frame – level-set – in my designs as Instructional Activities of 3 types:

  • INFOs
  • DEMOs
  • APPOs

Example Lesson Map


But it’s what feeds the design that is critical in getting to enough Authenticity.


More on that later. Soon.

Non-Authentic Interactivity in ILT

  • Information
  • Graphics
  • Definitions
  • Analogies
  • Concepts
  • Models
  • Stories
  • Demonstrations
  • Case Studies
  • Roles Plays
  • Simulations
  • Written Tests
  • Performance Tests
  • Etc. Etc.

These are examples of some of the Sub-Types of Content in my own ISD models – that I feel need to be authentic enough – or they are a waste to develop/buy – and then even more is wasted, much more to deploy or enable access.

Non-Authentic Interactivity in Elearning

  • Clicking and Dragging and Dropping ANYTHING!

Avoid Non-Authentic Content By Modeling Performance and Deriving the Enablers

Can you imagine some of the authentic content for the items listed above – as amended by your own lists of such, of course…

ABC Sales PM Chart Example

That’s just one part of the job.

Can you imagine the items for the entire job?

AoPs Sales Rep

Focus on Performance Requirements – and Enable Them

That’s my motto.

Along with:

Avoid NAI in Learning

That’s Non-Authentic Interactivity that NAI.


Success in Level 1 & 2 won’t guarantee any success at Levels 3 & 4/5. It’s got to be authentic – enough?

How to tell?

Pilot Test

Pilot Test – Beta Test – Field Test … or whatever you want or need to call it… do that.

To insure that your expense is a wise investment however you measure your R for the I.

Which means measuring at transfer and over time.

Not forever.

Smart measurement.


Book info – here.

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