Knowing me, knowing you … A-ha!

What makes an effective learning solution?

I’ve asked the same question many times over the years with the following responses:

    Relevant
    Realistic
    Interactive
    Goal based
    Flexible
    Challenging
    Structured but not controlling

Although all of these elements are important they pale into insignificance without one vital consideration because without it, learning doesn’t hit all the marks.

When discussing a hypothetical situation recently, it was suggested that if we were to produce a specific training programme within the given timescales, within the given budget, using the given resources, to the large number of learners, the only way to get this done in time was to forego the analysis of the audience’s needs, experience and characteristics! The reason given was that there would just not be the time.

My counter-argument was that without knowing your audience, how can you design the most appropriate solution. What you’d actually end up with is the usual blunderbuss approach i.e. blast it out and hope you hit the target!

Unfortunately, and sadly, this seems to be a common decision and subsequently, is the reason why a lot of training solutions, ‘e’, classroom or blended, can suffer.

Today I attended an eLearning Network event where the theme was ‘truly effective eLearning and the key ingredient for its success running throughout the discussions was the need to be more learner-centred. Without knowing your audience, how could eLearning (or indeed any learning) be learner-centred?

Then tonight, by chance, I also read something Clive Shepherd posted on an Onlignment blog post ‘making transformation happen: analysis and design‘ which reinforces how imperative the analysis is.

So as the song goes… “Knowing me, knowing you is the best I can do”!

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