Create A Successful Learning Strategy“It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date.”
~ Roger von Oech

Mr. von Oech, founder of Creative Think and researcher on creativity, couldn’t be more right. It’s hard to accept that something that worked well in the past just doesn’t anymore, whether it’s a pair of jeans that used to fit great (and, now, not-so-much) or a system or process at work that was so carefully implemented.

What changed?

In the case of learning, technology has changed, audience expectations have changed, needs have changed, the competitive landscape has changed…it could be any number of things.

If you’re nodding your head, thinking knowledge needs to be delivered at your organization in a whole new way, read on. Before you dive in, it’s important to lay out a plan, and we’re here with a list of steps to guide you.

Here are 8 steps to creating a winning learning strategy:

  1. Have a clearly established set of objectives. Learning objectives are like guideposts that keep an eLearning course on track throughout the creation process, providing criteria to determine what’s really important in the content and when it needs to be broken into additional courses. Ideally, an eLearning course has no more than five objectives. Any more, and the project starts to lose focus.
  2. Prepare a script centered on the objectives defined in Step 1. If content doesn’t point to an objective, it should be removed, keeping your program succinct.
  3. Determine objectives-based visual elements to drive engagement. The visual elements make the piece interesting and cater to different learning methods.
  4. Add interactivity. Include survey or quiz questions, simple games or exercises to reiterate key points and test comprehension.
  5. Track, Report, Analyze. In order to accurately determine effectiveness, it’s necessary to track more than just course completions:
    • Abandonment – Is there a point in the course where a lot of people leave the program? Is it a dry section? Can it be improved?
    • Behavioral Change – Ask a question at the beginning and end of course based on objectives to see if the course is making a difference.
    • Feedback – Do people like the course? Do they feel it’s worth their time or that it’s actually useful?
  6. Summarize data based on entities, not just users. Evaluate a department, an office, a business unit, a district or even a country. Everyone in the organization, from the CEO down, can see how training is impacting his or her team.
  7. Measure and Improve. Just like a classroom teacher improves curriculum based on feedback, organizational learning needs to be organic. Prepare a strategy that allows for content adjustments to be made based on the feedback and the analytics we are getting on the module.
  8. Make learning a campaign, not just a module. Establish a plan to reiterate key learning points in a structured, scheduled rollout of information including myriad learning modes, such as videos, animations or infographics, and continue to measure effectiveness beyond just the initial course.

photo credit: Checkers