For me, the process of planning and building a working model of an e-learning solution is always fun and exciting. After Analysis, my solutions mainly lead to transforming activities into a scenario and have the learner work through it with some questions on decisions, with some other forms of cool interactivity components.
The reason I choose scenario based learning approaches is because that it works very well with many complex products to teach the learner a task they need to perform on their job. The scenario works well with generating relevance as the learner can immediately relate to something that they do on a day to day basis. Based on time constraints and business requirements, one could choose one of the following ways to deal with a complex concept or procedure to be taught:
If you use a scenario and create a series of quizzes with simple drag and drop, click the relevant area and multiple-choice interactivities, it is all focused at making the learner use his knowledge and take decisions. I find that this causes the learner to think through a situation and make connections.
I am also fond of using a scenario and come up with a game to help the learner achieve the objectives. This approach definitely takes more time and requires some technical programming skills, but is worth it all in the end.
I would also like to stress that strategies like this should not be used for the sake of having one. It is extremely essential for an Instructional Designer like me to measure what is absolutely essential and what is excess or redundant.
I have been asked a few times, what is my approach on how I pitch to the stakeholders what I intend on doing etc. Well, I normally develop a learning strategy document to help me create a better learning experience and aid the learning process and then in turn communicate this with the stakeholders. In this learning strategy document, I normally formulate and evaluate questions like:
- Will this solution actually make it easier for the learner to grasp the concept?
- Given the audience level, the learner is an advanced learner. So would it be better to list the basic concepts and focus on using strategies for the really complex ones?
- Is this content too redundant in the course? Then I should probably change solution and try something new.
- Is the procedure simple enough that one can just learn it by seeing a demo, or, is it so complex that it is better to design some hands-on after the demo?
These and many more things go through my head, and have created a template for my Training Needs Analysis and Evaluation, for those interested in this, let me know and I may offer it to share.