January 16th, 2017 Instructional Design

Not every learning program is created equal. Simply putting together some courses and telling user to go through the content isn’t going to yield very good results.

The most successful programs today have a plan in place. You can use a plan to start a program the ‘correct’ way, or use a plan to revive an existing program. The following phases below will apply to you in either situation.

Here is a general road map that you can use for your learning program. Remember that implementations are rarely “color by numbers”. Feel free to modify these phases so that they are optimal for your learning environment.

PHASE 1: Create a Learner Profile

It is critical to know “who” will be taking your courses prior to building any content. If you know the profile of your audience then you know how to structure the content in a way that will be ideal for them.

You should define aspects like their skill set, their general working knowledge, demographics, and experience in the areas covered by your courses. You may have multiple learner profiles for different audiences (i.e. upper management and middle management).

PHASE 2: Ethics & Compliance

Depending on the nature of your courses you may need to make sure that your are meeting the right requirements. Sometimes these requirements have protocol in place where you need to submit certain applications. Do this ahead of time so that you’re not playing catch-up unnecessarily.

PHASE 3: Analyze and Refine Materials

If you already have some training materials in place then you will want to source them and make sure that everything is still relevant.

This also means replacing and removing courses altogether if they no longer fit your audience profile from phase one.

As you gather this material, define the key ‘learning outcome’ you expect from each course and cross-check from your reporting that this outcome is both needed and being met if it is still required.

PHASE 4: Metrics Gathering

You should be thinking about your metrics from day one. If you aren’t at least capturing feedback after a course then you can start there and build-up a more robust reporting platform.

Use the data captured in these reports to refine the material as needed and to build out new courses based on needs.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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