Learning professionals take their design skills to the next levelIf you want to survive as a learning professional, you must take your design skills to the next level. This means that you’ll need to create measurable learning programs. You will need to show how those programs deliver business results. When we look at the core competency of our profession, we can define the trainer’s job. That job includes knowing how to work with subject matter experts, identify learning gaps, and create learning programs to fill those gaps.

Essential Design Skills for Learning Professionals

To be a professional learning program designer, you need to know specific design skills:
  • Use a variety of instructional methods to address multiple learning styles
  • Break down complicated concepts to a simpler form to enable understanding
  • Group simple ideas together to create understanding of complex methods/concepts
  • Architect learning with clearly aligned goals, objectives, and outcomes
  • Adopt instructional methods that reach intended learning objectives and outcomes
  • Determine the appropriate content and level of content to achieve the learning goal
Put simply, you must understand how people learn. An instructional designer must know how to create a plan with objectives, instructional methods, and evaluations. This plan enables your students to learn and increase their capability on the job.

Outcomes From Learning Programs

What is the expected outcome from a learning program? At a very high level, it is for learners to know the material presented and then apply that knowledge on the job. When a learning program is designed correctly, the application of the learning should improve organizational performance. An instructional designer must create the link between learning and behavior change that then changes/ improves business results. To do this, instructional designers must first target the right behavior to change. The new behavior acquired in the program should create improvement in outcomes for the organization. Second, they need to measure the behaviors before and after to show how the program created the intended result. To create learning that changes behavior, and show how the changed behavior then changes outcomes, instructional designers need to be able to:
  • Incorporate intended outcomes in learning analysis/design
  • Connect learning outcomes to job changes and organizational improvements
  • Design learning targeted to job behavior and corresponding organizational metrics
  • Identify effective instructional methods
  • Identify barriers to application of learning
  • Diagnose and repair design strategies/methods
  • Diagnose and repair learning “points of failure” as it progresses through the organization
  • Measure learning outcomes in terms of behavior changes and metric changes
  • Evaluate the changes to the learner, their job, and the organization due to the learning program

The Natural Result of Learning These Expert-Level Design Skills

When a trainer incorporates these things into their design, they make professional progress. The business now sees the group as a partner. They understand how learning can transform performance. They provide concrete proof that learning programs are instruments of change. They align the learning process and business needs. They show their ability to identify, quantify, and improve performance. The business sees them as consultants on what influences performance. Once behaviors are addressed in learning, the next competency needed is measurement. Adding measurement capability gives instructional designers a way to show how their programs solve business problems and improve business results. Are you skilled in learning design and measurement? As a learning professional, have you been able to connect your programs to business outcomes? Our Business Impact 2.0 Measurement software gives you the ability and training to do so. If you’re interested in following this path to measurable learning design, then contact us at eParamus. We’d love to work with you. Please follow eParamus on LinkedIn and feel free to connect with me, Laura Paramoure, PhD. I’d love to know more about your training challenges.  

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