A Tale of Two Cookies
I recently heard a story of two girls and their cookies. The first girl bakes a few dozen chocolate chip cookies and goes door-to-door to sell them. She finds selling the cookies difficult. Not everyone likes or wants chocolate chip. Some like oatmeal raisin. Some like peanut butter. On top of that, a dozen is a lot. Some only want six.
The other girl decides to go door-to-door and asks the neighbors what they want, taking orders specific to their needs. She then buys the ingredients she needs for each order, bakes the cookies, and delivers them to satisfied customers.
The first girl committed all of her resources to a product that many didn’t need or want. The second was able to manage her resources by committing them to a product that customers did want.
Bake Cookies People Want to Eat
There’s a lesson here for elearning.
Training needs to be designed with the end-user in mind.
Typically, we’re like the first girl. We build the training courses based on what we think and then try to sell them. In addition the course is built based on the curriculum rather than user’s needs. We commit all of our resources to building the course.
We should be like the second girl and learn to make cookies people need and want. Instead of building the course around information, we should build it around how the learner will use the information.
Today, with rapid development tools, like the Articulate Studio, we have the flexibility to bake the type of cookies that meets our users’ needs. In the past, it took months to design and build curriculum. Today, training can be built within days.
Since we can build and modify our training so quickly, we are in a better position to build it and get it to the users as they need it. If we find that the information doesn’t work for them or needs to be modified, we can do so on the fly. This saves time and money…and helps to satisfy the users.
“C is for Cookie…That’s Good Enough for Me.”
Here’s a simple acronym to help you create learning based on the user’s need…OREO.
- Order taking. Keep the cookie story in mind. Don’t just bake chocolate chip cookies. Understand the learner’s needs. Use you rapid elearning tools to quickly pull together the cookies that will be eaten.
- Results. Organizations spend money on training because they expect results. Design your training to meet real needs. As a rapid elearning developer, you’re in a win-win situation. You can respond quickly to training needs at a very good cost.
- Engaged learners. Build the learning experience in a manner that engages the learner. Engagement means that the course has to look nice and embrace proven techniques on how to present information visually. It also means that we need to engage the user’s learning process and make the course truly interactive.
- Objectives. Make a promise to your learners: This training will not waste your time. Be clear on the objectives and build your training to meet them.
In future posts, we will pull our OREO apart and look at these steps in greater detail.
What type of cookies do you bake?
Upcoming E-Learning Workshops & Events (2015)
- September 23 & 24 (Vancouver). Community-based elearning workshops focused on practical tips & tricks. You can register for one day or two days. To learn more & register, click here.
- September 29 (Las Vegas). Want to learn to get the right look and feel for your courses? Join David Anderson and me for a fun and active hands-on workshop. This topic is by far one of the most popular of the ones we've covered in any of our workshops in the past.
- September 30 (Las Vegas). Going to Devlearn? Swing by the Articulate booth and say hello.
- October 28 & 29 (Philadelphia). Community-based elearning workshops focused on practical tips & tricks. You can register for one day or two days. To learn more and register, click here.
- November: Just added! I'll be in London, Dublin, Berlin, Paris, Belgium, and Utrecht. Details coming soon.
Free E-learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.