What Can Measurement Professionals Learn by Paying Attention to Learning Design Data?Think of all the decisions made during the instructional design process and consider how those decisions lead to the expected outcomes. Certainly, our jobs involve a lot of project management and coordination with others, but the most important part of our jobs is the design decisions we make when we create a program. Learning design dictates learning results, so learning designers must make decisions on key elements during the design process. Important decisions include:
- Which organizational metric is addressed by the program?
- What behaviors are addressed by the program?
- What instructional methods do we use ensure that students learn?
- Which evaluation methods can we use verify learning?
Learning Design Provides the Road Map for Performance Change and the Benchmark for SuccessDuring learning design, the learning professional clarifies the expected outcomes, yet most current measurement methods ignore the design process. Instead of holding ourselves accountable and measuring the achievement of the program targets, we ask others (in a survey) to tell us if we did a good job, we crunch data on employee opinions of impact. Let’s be clear, in learning measurement, the goal is not to inform leaders on activities we do, or subjects we covered in our courses. Those things do not translate into employee capability or changes in performance. The goal is to report on how learning programs increased employee knowledge, critical thinking skills or behavior skills. The goal is to show and how those capability changes drove changes in organizational metrics/results. Simply put, reporting on activities and employee opinion does not give us (or our Leaders) the information/evidence we need. Worse, reporting on these things reinforces our lack of creditable data on how learning enables organizational success.
Harnessing the Power of Instructional Design DataWhen learning professionals create programs using a standard design model, they can measure outcomes and gather analytics that allow them to do some important things. With a standard design model that includes learning objectives, corresponding evaluations, and documented instructional methods they can:
- Identify design decisions that were successful and those that were not so they can diagnose and repair their courses using hard facts on the effectiveness of design decisions
- Identify both the behaviors and the metrics that learning impacted
- Verify the need for the requested program
- Verify if the learning was lost or applied to the job
- Name the organizational metrics driven by learning programs
PowerPoints Won’t Cut ItThe days of learning programs comprised of PowerPoint slides delivered by a subject matter expert are gone. That model does not allow for capturing the intellectual capital we need to supply to employees. Therefore, it is not a scalable model for organizational growth or an efficient means to enable employees to learn. The point is, companies can hand out titles to learning professionals to address learning impact, but until these professionals capture learning design data, they will never get the answers they seek. Consequently, learning professionals will not be offered a seat at the table until they can reliably inform others on the methods that work to create employee capability. Do you understand how learning design creates our learning product? Do you have formal training in instructional design skills? If you need a better foundation in learning and instructional design, please contact us here at eParamus. We train L&D professionals to create standardized design programs that lead to measurable learning. Please follow eParamus on LinkedIn and feel free to connect with me, Laura Paramoure, PhD to discuss your specific learning challenges.
Photo copyright: Wavebreak Media Ltd / 123RF Stock Photo
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