Old Made New – Tried and Tested Practices for Learning Pros

I was asked to lead a discussion today around five practices for learning designers, project managers, and experience designers to use with…

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The 5 Old Practices

1- The Job Aid Job Aid

Performance Support was once known as Job Aids back in the 70s and 80s, and before that in the 60 and 70s it was known as Guidance.

The question for L&D people is: Does the learners’/Performers’ Performance Context demand a Memorized Performance Response – or do they allow for a Referenced Performance Response?

My default – if I don’t leave it to Informal means due to the Stakes – the Risks and Rewards at stake, my Formal means default to Standalone Job Aids, Job Aids covered in Training, or Training for memorization and/or to hone critical skills.

A Few Resources:






2- The Key to Effective Training is Analysis

I conduct 4 standards types of Analysis
– 1: Target Audience
– 2: Performance – Ideal and Gaps
– 3: Enabling K/Ss (17 Categories)
– 4: Existing Content for ReUse Potential

A Few Resources:





3- Performance Gap & Cause Analysis

– Gaps from Ideal Outputs and Tasks
– Outputs Measures are established by the Stakeholders
– Tasks – Behavioral & Cognitive Tasks Measures are established by the Stakeholders

A Few Resources:






4- SMEs Miss Up to 70% of What Novices Need

– Research by Richard E. Clark, EdD, and others, about the non-conscious nature of knowledge – shows that approximately 70% of decision-making knowledge is automated, and actions that anyone can observe themselves doing are about 35% non-conscious. They are simply inaccessible to any of us regardless of our awareness of that, and regardless of how hard anyone tries to overcome that to tell us, or share with us “how to do” the performance or to provide advice.

The good news, according to Dick, is that we each know a different 30% and 65%, and so to get more accurate, complete, and appropriate content/advice, we need to avoid reliance on just one person, one expert, and we need to work with 4-5 experts per Dick’s advice.

We shouldn’t avoid top performers/experts and focus on average or novice performers – for reasons that I think are obvious.

Dick has contributed a boatload of articles and papers at HPT Treasures, under the heading of: “Cognitive Task Analysis and Automated Knowledge” – available for free download here:


A Few Resources:





5- Formal Client & Stakeholder Engagement

– Governance & Advisory System so that allocations of resources – people’s time and money – are targeted to address the Enterprise’s Critical Business Issues
– Gate Review Meetings – with the designated PST key miles stones
– Analysis & Design & Development & Pilot Test Teams with people handpicked by the PST: master Performers, OSMEs, Supervisors, Novice Performers

A Few Resources







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