A client came to us recently with a requirement for some training; an eLearning requirement, as it turned out, due to their widespread workforce who have a variety of shift patterns and availability. eLearning, you say – great – let’s talk about time to competency, performance support, validation of knowledge and a whole host of other terms and phrases which us industry types often throw around. But what our client really needed wasn’t a list of jargon and ‘new trends’ – they simply wanted a product which educated their staff and ultimately improved performance.
Being so immersed in the world of eLearning means we are often privileged to be at the forefront of new developments in technology and education, such as interactive videos and other innovation like attention-tracking, game science and the so on. Back in the world of the customer, however, the fundamentals of what’s important for them can be a lot more traditional; so next time you’re chatting through a requirement, try stepping away from the jargon, and into the mind of your customer. What would you want to hear?
How can I cater for all my workforce?
Instead of launching into a detailed ‘learning styles’ spiel (contrasting the reflector with the social learner), try explaining that people tend to learn in different ways, and that there are ways of making eLearning right for everyone.
How will I know who’s really learned anything?
The Learning Management System can be a tricky beast to explain to someone who isn’t familiar with it; but it’s essentially a tool which can track who has completed what learning. They’re commonly used for ‘online assessments’ to test learners’ knowledge, but there are a lot of ‘bells and whistles’ such as forums, communities and messaging functions available too.
How do I know I’m not being ripped off?
eLearning can seem to some like a black art due to the intricacies of publishing and updating content. Development of good quality materials can take time, but once content is developed there should be ways of making sure it’s easily updateable so that a flexible, sustainable product is being provided.
Most important of all is to listen closely to your customer, and consider all of their requirements before coming up with a rounded, considered solution. It might not contain the most cutting edge buzz words, but their main priority is likely be that it’s going to do a fabulous job for their people.