L&D: Truth in Titling

Why Make It Harder for the Learners and Managers?

Why make it harder for them to select the right level – the right depth of coverage?

Rather than cutesy or eye-grabbing Titles – I prefer a “Truth in Titling” approach.

Note: the following graphics use a “Book” as a metaphor for all packaged Learning Content.


3 Levels of Depth of Coverage

  • Awareness Building Content
  • Knowledge Building Content
  • Skills Building Content

Skills Building Content also includes the first two; and Knowledge Building Content also includes the first.

Perhaps the VP needs an Overview of XYZ.


And the Manager needs deeper Knowledge on XYZ.

And the Individual Contributor needs the Skills of XYZ.

One could then build the deepest level of coverage, and then extract the other two versions. Saving time and money in First Costs and Life Cycle Maintenance Costs.

Saved money goes straight to the bottom line – so to speak.

How To (No Kidding)

When I teach others my approaches to ISD – the PACT Processes – I always add the tag “No Kidding” when discussing the “How To” level of Content.

So that everyone is clear that when we say/label content using “How To” – we mean it.


I don’t know about you but I have assessed thousands of Instructional Packages (Courses, Modules, etc.) whose title suggested something that the content just couldn’t/didn’t deliver.

A “Bait and Switch” kind of labeling – very misleading.

Awareness – Knowledge – Skill

I know many in the profession state the S before the K. THAT never made sense to me as I always saw the K as leading to the S. And A – for Awareness rather than Abilities – leading to the K. I found too many confused over the S for Skills and the A for Abilities as well. Just so you know. Adapt as you need to.

And back to the A for Awareness – when my client’s Master Performers at Illinois Bell back in 1992 didn’t wish to tag a set of enabling K/Ss with either the S or the K – I had to probe their inhibition to declare how far the content should go “if” it was to be built/bought – a Business Decision – left to the Project Steering Team. The same Project Steering Team that had volunteered them for that assignment.


They were hesitant (resistant) because they reasoned that even if they gave it a K (less than an S) they were afraid that their Training organization would create a 2 Hour Module on it – when it only needed about 5 minutes worth of coverage.

So I amended my ISD methods right then and there and created the “A” level for Awareness – with it intending to be a signal to all that what was meant/desired was something short – very short – even shallow – and less than a K – because that’s all that was needed – given the Target Audiences background (Education and/or Experience) – something most Training folks don’t understand well enough – leading them to often produce Content that is, quite frankly…


They – learners and their management – hate when that happens BTW.

The T&D/L&D Path

Or as I prefer, the Performance Competence Development Path.

It’s a suggested sequence of Learning/Training Content that needs to be “down-selected and re-sequenced” most-of-the-time, on an IDP – Individual Development Plan – and then implemented “as planned” – unless things change of course.


The Path itself represents a down-select from all of the Enterprise Content – selected or built or bought for this Target Audience. A path of Events of Lessons of Instructional Activities.

Better Titling Provides Better Guidance

To help make that downselect – when there are many things – L&D Packages that I call Events – modular Events – it helps if the title gives one a clue about the intended depth.


If you’ve got to use some “cutesy” or “gimmicky” or “eye-grabbing” title – put it in the Sub-title. IMO.

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2 comments on “L&D: Truth in Titling

  1. Pingback: Truth in Titling | The Pursuing Performance Annex

  2. Pingback: Are Your Stories in Enterprise L&D Engaging or Disengaging or Even Needed In the 1st Place? | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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