Training hacks for learning and development professionals

I think L&D project managers have it very tough. They manage multiple projects, co-ordinate feedback from many SME’s and stakeholders while interfacing with instructional designers to carry out the learning program.

Here are some hacks I have found to  enable you to get the project signed off quicker and cheaper, while engaging your learners and creating a positive return on investment:

  1. Focus on performance training. Get your stakeholder to focus only on what the learner has to do. Don’t worry about translating the original latin meaning of the job, the legislation that the process is based on or the invention journey of the equipment you want the learners to use – you can add them as a link or an external reference. Focus only on what you want the learner to do, what makes it hard and how to overcome it. A good example of this is the training software WalkMe.
  2. Create job aids. Rather than choke up your learning program with steps, stages, online sliders and dials, create a job aid like a poster , reference sheet or checklist. This is effectively and commonly done by WHS and emergency workers. Putting your learners ease of use at the centre of your learning strategy will yield higher application of the learning content.
  3. Avoid adding audio over words. This is a major no no. Our brains read faster than audio plays and having both or audio playing over content actually prevents us from learning the information. Many stakeholders want this but preventing learners progression through an eLearning module until the audio has played is a sure fire way of dis-engaging learners and is also disrespectful to their time investment in learning.
  4. Tell stories. This is how you bring a theory or process to life. People love stories and they fire up the imagination. Adding conceptual images rather than telling the exact story with the image will also build a learners imagination further. It is a way of your learners experiencing what can happen if they make mistakes on the job.
  5. Create small microlearning pieces. This is ideal for busy professionals who need to dip in and out of learning during the work day. Its also a great way of presenting complex theories. Done well, it starts off with easy to grasp theories and builds upon them to develop an understanding of comprehensive information. This is called scaffolding and is used by teachers in all educational fields.
  6. Use the right staff for the right job. If you simply need to make something look good and have all the content required for your course – you don’t need a learning designer. You need an administrator who can use the software. A learning designer will curate your content and learning artefacts from a learners perspective using adult education theories and cost a lot more.