What steps should you take when bringing your designs to life with Learning Technology?
In the first article of this series, CrossKnowledge Learning Technology Consultant Lieve Van den Bosch explained the essentials that need to be considered when designing an effective learning experience. You start by identifying your learner personas and the skills they need to learn, then the teaching methods to use, and of course the content you will create or source.
Now it’s time to address the topic of technology.
The first thing you have to do is identify what your existing technology can and cannot do. It’s imperative that you understand the limitations of your platform and network when implementing new learning programs. The easiest way to approach this, according to Lieve, is to break it down into steps:
Step #1: Build the design elements
Create a plan to build the selected elements and resources based on the designer’s vision and objectives. Be sure to pay attention to issues of integration with current technology, especially when using third-party content.
Step #2: Call in the reinforcements
Add in your learning reinforcement activities. These activities may include polls, quizzes, social sharing, practical application exercises, and peer-to-peer exchanges. These activities should be placed in logical progression throughout the program, to keep learners active and engaged.
Step #3: Add markers & measurements
Add program markers and measurement parameters. In order to track and monitor learner progress, you’ll need tools. These should include systems for user feedback and insight, progress tracking and coaching, benchmarks and measurements, and a method for configuring and utilizing the data you collect. You should also build a tool to deliver training selections to individuals and groups.
Step #4: Brand the program
Brand the program. Be creative! Design logos, slogans, and color palettes to give your program an identity that’s recognizable and welcoming to your learners. Once learners get familiar with your “learning brand,” they’ll be more comfortable engaging with it. Let the company brand be your guide, and come up with something distinctive but complimentary.
Expert Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask your marketing team for advice!
Step #5: Spread the word
Buy-in is vital to the success of your program. Create a learner marketing plan to generate excitement and build loyalty. It doesn’t matter how effective your program is if no one is using it, so get the news out there! You’ll need a plan that includes various types of communications: emails, SMS notifications, social networks, newsletters, and even a special section on the platform’s home page. Add your brand touches discussed in the previous step, to tie it all together.
Expert Tip: The marketing plan should be designed to complement the establishedcommunication habits of your particular organization.
Putting It All Together:
Learning Design and Learning Technology are two sides of the same coin and must be harmonious to deliver the most impact for both learners and organizations. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of time and energy on a program design, only to find out that it can’t be implemented due to restraints or incompatibility with existing technology. As this series suggests, L&D should feel encouraged to reach out to other teams within the organization (HR, Marketing, IT) to verify that they have all bases covered. This also ensures that they can deliver the best possible learning experiences to their employees based on known parameters.
Lieve Van den Bosch is a learning technology consultant at Crossknowledge. Her role is to help organizations implement the CKLS software and start building learning experiences. Lieve is passionate about creating impactful learning experiences that help learners acquire new skills to grow both professionally and as a person.