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Published on August 5th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise


The Death of the Training Department (Part Three) : The Role of the ID

A series of blog posts encouraging discussion about the future of enterprise training and L&D.

The role of the Instructional Designer (ID) seems pretty straightforward these days. After a training need is identified, the ID is charged with creating a learning deliverable that allows a learner to “acquire” knowledge which leads to a behavior change. There will be learning objectives involved and the deliverable will move through an agreed upon process to determine to see if it is effective. Then, there needs to be a way to measure the performance of the learner to see if the behavior change has taken hold.

In traditional training methods, it’s a constant challenge for today’s Instructional Designer to develop a course or job aid or a participant guide that presents information in the way that target audiences are accustomed to. Even though the ID has strived to create something “engaging” – an often sought after training goal – the deliverable is often a knowledge dump. It says “Here’s everything you need to know, absorb it and retain it.” I realize I am simplifying here and that there are approaches such as microlearning and reinforcement that are being used to support learners but the core approach is still the standard.

But is that the way that employees, people in general, are consuming information? If I want to teach myself how to repair my road bike, I’ll watch a video about how to make the specific repair on my make and model of road bike. I don’t learn about the history of road bikes and I am not told the steps for repair in an engaging “story.” It’s the facts stripped down to my immediate needs and my assessment comes when I take my bike out and it works or it doesn’t.

Much of training should be paired down to this approach that prioritizes accurate, specific and personalized information that helps me with my task at hand. It may be video, it might be a search engine check, it could be an AR-fueled experience that presents the steps in my field of vision as I complete the task. None of these are a 30-screen learning module with an assessment at the end that is housed in an LMS.

What’s important to note is all of the alternate approaches stated above require some level of instructional design! The ID and everything that he or she provides is not going away – it is changing – like the rest of business. Today’s ID needs to reimagine how they deliver training content to target users and restock the training tool belt.  There is never one single answer to meet training challenges but it is increasingly evident that the elearning module knowledge dump is not the answer.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Scott McCormick is the CEO of Emergent Enterprise and Editor of emergent-enterprise.com, a tech news website covering AR/VR, AI and IoT. He has a 30+ year history in corporate communications and training as part of three startups and speaks across the country about emergent technologies and their user experience. Find out more here: https://emergent-enterprise.com/about-us/

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The Emergent Enterprise (EE) website brings together current and important news in enterprise mobility and the latest in innovative technologies in the business world. The articles are hand selected by Emergent Enterprise and not the result of automated electronic aggregating. The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for anyone who has an ongoing interest in how technology is changing how the world does business and how it affects the workforce from the shop floor to the top floor. EE encourages visitor contributions and participation through comments, social media activity and ratings.

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