The Power of Instructional Design

When I sat down to work on this blog entry, I decided it was going to be on breaking down our favorite buzzwords, here at Insegna; the ones you may have seen quite a bit around our website.


I quickly began to break down highly conceptual content into clearly explained descriptions.


After a few hours, I was satisfied with what I had written. About to click the post button, I suddenly became acutely aware of the complexity of the content, and decided it really needed some carefully-timed accompanying graphics.


So, I decided to turn the post into a microlearning video lesson. And, THIS is the essence of instructional design.


When you read the blog post as text, and then watch the microlearning video, you can clearly see why instructional design is so powerful and so important.


To get the full effect of this post, you must read the text version first!

 

"Breaking down our favorite buzzwords" -- Text Version

When we talk about creating measurable results for an organization, we use several buzzwords that we want to break down for you today.


First of all, what do we mean by measurable results? Measurable results come in two forms. Quantifiable, that’s return on investment, or ROI, and qualifiable, that’s return on expectations, or ROE.


When talking about quantifiable results, the results need to demonstrate a previously identified quantifiable target outcome. For example, this training will decrease the number of technical service requests by 20%. With this number set prior to the development of your learning solution, you have a benchmark for determining its level of success.


When discussing qualifiable results, you measure against previously identified qualifiable target outcomes. These are behavior changes that you want your learners to achieve as a result of your learning solution. For example, after training, the learner will be able to process technical service requests. This must also be done prior to the development phase. These behavior changes are then measured after the learning experience.


But, how can we ENSURE that the target outcomes will be met? This is where the concept of Learning Transfer comes in. Learning Transfer occurs when the learner transfers their newly learned behaviors on-the-job, or into another real-life context. Ultimately, that is what we are aiming for when we develop a learning solution, and this is how we measure its success.


Ok, so back to our previous question. How can we ENSURE that the target outcomes will be met? This is where the complete learning experience comes in. Far too many L&D professionals focus on a single learning event. But, studies show that focusing more on pre and post-training activities increase the likelihood of sustained new behaviors by 70%*. So, when we talk about a complete learning experience, we mean the combination of: activities that come before the learning event, the learning event itself, and the activities that follow the learning event.


So, to recap, in order to achieve MEASURABLE RESULTS, we set quantifiable and qualifiable measures PRIOR to the development of the learning solutions, we then create a COMPLETE learning experience to ensure behavior changes occur and are SUSTAINED in a real-life context. Finally, we measure actual results against target results to determine how successful our learning solutions were.


So, there you have it, the breakdown of our favorite buzzwords and the secret to developing successful learning solutions with demonstrated measurable results.


*SOURCE: Telling Training’s Story by Robert O. Brinkerhoff

 

Now, watch our microlearning video lesson on the same content.


"Breaking down our favorite buzzwords" -- Video Version


 

*If you have feedback on this blog post, please comment below and let us know!


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