Design to Inspire Learning

Designing to Inspire Learning

by Janet Geib

Creating courses that inspire participants to shift their perspectives and drive improved results sounds great, but how the heck do you do that? What’s the secret sauce to that inspiration?

First, you need to engage an instructional designer who conceptually and intuitively understands how people learn, and who strikes the right balance between your corporate cultural norms and downright, laugh-out-loud fun. No one wants to sit in a classroom for eight hours passively participating, checking Twitter feeds and replying to emails because it’s more enjoyable than the content. When you engage an instructional designer with this understanding of learners, you have one ingredient of that secret sauce.

Next, give the instructional designer the course architecture to follow as a roadmap but remove the traditional guardrails your organization typically puts in place – such as insisting the course be technology-free, or that it fits into a set block of time.  Let the instructional designer mind meld with your Subject Matter Experts then trust him/her to springboard off the roadmap, and design a transformative learning experience that encourages critical thinking, creativity, and deep understanding. Your learners will walk away with fresh perspectives, growing professionally and personally as they put the knowledge to work. Our sauce is getting richer!

And remember, Rome was not built in a day. An inspirational design requires sufficient time for revisions and edits – creativity does not follow a linear pattern.  Days of developing, editing and re-writing of content are invested in creating effective training so construct a realistic timeline for deliverables that accounts for collaboration. Speaking of deliverables, don’t lose sight of the learning ecosystem, which might include instructor-led training (ILT), virtual instructor-led training (vILT), mobile learning, and social learning. Allow sufficient time to design the learning experience so that it can be tailored to the variety of devices and pathways learners use today. Viola! Sauce complete.

If inspiration is causing you perspiration, check out the ways we’ve designed great learning that has inspired people to be the best they can be.

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