Learning Design Guiding Principles: Part 5

Design learning experiences with the clear intention to showcase how individual contributions result in delivering exceptional client experiences.

As it relates to business, using the terminology “learning design” may result in more confusion than clarity around what we are ultimately attempting to do. The knowledge sharing we are facilitating across organizations is really only significant if it produces desired performance objectives. Personally, I am extremely analytical in nature and I love to learn for the sake of learning. However, when it comes to prioritizing my time and energy at work, my learning objectives are much more driven by the following questions:

  • How can I apply the knowledge shared in a course, quick reference guide, short video, podcast to be more effective and efficient at doing the tasks that make up my responsibilities?
  • How will this knowledge help me be more influential at communicating the value I bring to project teams and internal and external clients?
  • How effective is this learning at modeling how I can apply a best practice in my day-to-day work?
  • When I’m about to enter a meeting, is there a resource I can easily access to quickly remind me of a best practice that was shared related to my current situation?

To minimize confusion about what we are attempting to do for our target audience maybe we should call what we are attempting to do: Performance Support Design. At first thought, it may seem unnecessary to clarify what we are attempting to do with the tools and resources we are creating. However, the distinction is particularly important and challenging as it relates to helping individuals in our target audiences see how they are expected to contribute to providing better internal and external client experiences.

If you are not very careful, you will find the performance support assets you are creating are heavily focused on benefits and features of your products and services with only a small emphasis on what delivering a good client experience looks and feels like.

It’s tricky to find a good balance of designing experiences that enable individuals to recognize and articulate what clients need to know, while at the same time laser focusing on calling out and modeling specific actions and behaviors required to deliver an exceptional client experience. Performance support resources should help individuals and teams clearly see how different internal roles must work together to deliver that experience. It doesn’t really matter if we are talking about a weekly internal project team meeting or a conversation with an external client team, the objective is the same: Facilitate a memorable experience that each person present has a role in delivering.