Delivery Mechanisms and The Best Learning Solution

Janine Anderson
Posted: September 3, 2014

Many moons ago a training mentor shared the following quote with me:

Whatever you do, do it for them.

It landed on a sticky note that I still keep in my workspace (it now has Scotch tape holding it up as it lost its stickiness some years back). With the integration of technology-driven learning solutions, it’s as important as ever to take the time to consider that statement’s place as the best solution delivery mechanism.

Over the past twenty years or so, instructional technology offerings have continued to grow both in popularity and capability. Many organizations have made broad and sweeping decisions to reduce face-to-face classroom training sessions and replace them with some form of virtual or eLearning solution (add mLearning as an option as well).

While this evolution has been an exciting journey, as practitioners let us not forget (hey, this reminder is for me too) that selecting the appropriate delivery mechanism is an essential decision that should be reached via some form of instructional analysis.

Consider: are we opting to use the technology because it’s the absolute best method for the learner or are we using it because it’s the trendy choice?

In both cases, it’s good to consider, first, the learning (and performance) needs.

So, for good measure and because it’s a good reminder for all us, let’s refresh ourselves on the variety of learning solutions that we often have at our disposal and remember to ask “Are we doing it for them?

Learner Needs

  • Where are the target audience members located?Are they working remotely or in an office location?
  • Will learners benefit from being in the same location at the same time? What are the pros or cons?
  • Will learning transference occur?
  • Is the audience new to the job, role or content?
  • Is self-paced or independently led learning an option? What are the pros and cons?
  • How tech savvy is your audience?
  • Will the learner benefit from interaction with others and/or an instructor?

Content and Context Needs

  • Does the content include hands-on skills and practice?
  • Can adequate performance-based practice opportunities be developed in either an instructor-led training or eLearning solution?
  • Are facilitator-led demonstrations required?
  • Will the learner need to access tools or systems?
  • Is a scored assessment needed? If so, what action will be required of learners who do not pass a test? Is direct feedback needed?
  • Is observation a required or necessary component for assessment of learning?
  • Will the learner require a simulated work environment to learn and practice the desired performance?
  • Are there enough resources (facilitators and classrooms) available to deliver the learning solution?
  • Do the instructional goals include a shift in attitude or perception?

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