5 Real Reasons I've Been Asked to Create Training
One of the things I love about being eternally outsourced L&D -- both as a freelancer and as L&D agency employee -- is the wide variety of clients and industries I get to work with.
I built my ID career with a solid foundation in consulting (although it was writing center work) that helped me to uncover people's problems and guide them towards practical solutions.
BUT to be honest, when I was teaching writing to undergrads, many of the needs businesses have for training employees never even crossed my mind.
After helping 35+ companies ranging from global enterprises to solopreneurs develop numerous training programs and/or learning content over 7 years, I feel like I've seen it all (though I certainly hope not-- I love a good challenge!).
So today, I'm sharing with you 5 real reasons I've been asked to develop training and the outcomes of those requests.
1. We want to turn 2 weeks of 8-hour classroom sessions into 40 hours or less of online learning.
2. We want to create an entire learning experience from scratch, including our philosophy of learning and a custom platform.
3. Our folks hate using this system, but it's really important to their job. Can we create eLearning to help them understand it better?
4. We want to create a digital version of our print newsletter for our clients.
5. We want to take our 2 hour trainer-led calls and convert them into Rise modules.
What do you think was the outcome for each of these?
I can tell you one of these absolutely bombed (though possibly not for the reasons you'd think). Can you figure out which one it is?
Keep reading, and I'll tell you...
1. We successfully turned the ILT into a CBT that could be completed in 40 hours or less (or more if the student wanted). We built the training on Fulcrum's adaptive learning platform. On the first deployment, the training ABSOLUTELY BOMBED 💣 BUT it actually wasn't because of the content. Leadership failed to communicate that, even though the content was on the Fulcrum platform, it was designed with great participation by their own employees and from an UPDATED, yet to be released version of the manual. While students thought our course was inaccurate, it was even more accurate than their current training.
Lesson learned: Implementation strategy is important!
2. The learning platform idea died. Never quite figuring out how to bring it to market, the client let the idea go. The next year, it was reborn with a slightly modified target audience. That also fell to the wayside. 4 years later, the project was resurrected with a new and very exciting purpose. We're now refining the strategy, and it's going to be launched as a prototype in attempt to attract investors shortly.
Lesson learned: Sometimes, ideas just take time.
3. In interviewing learners, I found that the problem was two-fold: 1) people weren't fully up to speed on the whys and hows; and 2) even when they were, the system didn't work as expect (read: was buggy enough to make you want to toss the computer down the stairwell). In nearly the year since, we're wrapping up the project with a blended curriculum, including on-demand resources that do NOT require an LMS, and best of all, the system has gotten some updates.
Lesson Learned: Always interview your learners, especially when management says they "just don't get it."
4. The digital newsletter has been one of my favorite projects. My client pretty much gives me complete creative license to "enhance" their content with bite sized learning, as I see fit. Our prototype landed them a major client and hopefully will continue to do so.
Lesson learned: Have fun every now and then. Everything you work on does not have to be massive money maker. Some things are just good for the soul.
5. You might have thought that converting a 2-hour vILT into Rise modules would be the training that bombed, but actually, it was one of the most successful. After a thorough needs analysis phase that included talking to learners and their supervisors, as well as related departments, the learning experience was designed in an impactful way. It helped learners grasp concepts quickly, and most importantly, gave them an opportunity to practice, using some of Rise's interactive features as well as tiny Storyline scenarios. The modules were also blended with live QA sessions and resources on a knowledge base. Employees gave it rave reviews, and supervisors reported better performance in an area employees had previously struggled.
Lesson Learned: Again, get to know your learners and their learning environment.
Do you have a favorite, unusual, or challenging request you've been asked to work on? I'd love to hear about it!
If you want to know more about how to land clients that let you have this kind of fun, designing actual solutions instead of just content, then consider checking out my FREE masterclass!
It will only run for one week, so if you're interested, make sure you register.