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  • Writer's pictureNicole Papaioannou Lugara

If Not a Course... What Do I Build?

If you've been an ID in the private sector for a while, you've probably heard the phrase "learning in the flow of work." Learning in the flow work means that the learning supports performance and efficiency. It doesn't break the person away from what they're doing. Instead, it helps them continue to do what they were doing-- hopefully better or faster than before.

Rarely are formal courses or trainings considered learning in the flow of work. But so many instructional designers are still ONLY creating courses.

Full disclosure: In my first ID role, that's all I did for our external clients. It wasn't until I moved into management that I started seeing the bigger picture. When I made the shift to freelancing, I again played it safe, only building courses and instructional content for people.

Honing my needs analysis skills and building out my toolkit has helped me to create more impactful solutions for my clients that support learning in the flow of work, when that's what the context demands.

Today, I want to share some of that toolkit with you by walking through some of the tools you might use in four different common use cases:

Use Case #1: Institutional Knowledge

Might sound like: We want people to know how to do it "our way" when they're ready to take on a new task or a task that's rarely done, but will come up from time to time (e.g., institutional knowledge that is not essential to know during training).

Opt for solutions like:

  1. Slack Channels

  2. Knowledge Bases / Internal Wikis

  3. Internal Blogs

  4. Internal Podcasts

  5. Playbooks

  6. Curated Video Playlists

  7. Curated Web Bookmarking

Use Case #2: Feedback Loops

Might sound like: We need to work on our feedback loops.

Opt for solutions like:

  1. Feedback Frameworks (e.g., Stop/Start/Continue)

  2. Form Fill Apps

  3. Templatized Emails

Use Case #3: Process

Might sound like: People have learned the process and demonstrated they know in assessments, but they still don't follow it (assuming they have all the resources they need to do the job) / they forget how to do it on the job.

Opt for solutions like:

  1. Searchable Video Tutorial Libraries

  2. Worksite posters

  3. Checklist applications

  4. GPS-based notification system

  5. Coachmarks or walk-through apps, like Walk.Me

  6. Process maps

  7. Project management tools with templates, relationships, and deadlines

Use Case #4: Decision-Making

Might sound like: People need to make quick decisions based on the environment they're in.

Opt for solutions like:

  1. Decision trees

  2. Use cases with scripts

  3. Chatbots with use cases (e.g., Do you need help with X? Ok great. Here's what you need to know about X)

  4. AR + AI applications (have you seen all the neat things Hololens can do?)


Learn how to identify needs and pair them with powerful learning solutions in From Data to Design. Next enrollment period opens January 14, 2022.

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