Knowledge versus Action
I saw this quote today and it inspired me to share it. I think that this is one of the most powerful ideas in our industry. When we design learning experiences for our learners, we need to consider what actions the learner will need to take with the content we are teaching first. In most instances, the focus is on the content that needs to be presented, versus what the learner needs to be able to do as a result of that knowledge.
Here at TLS Learning, we have a rule that the words “Know” and “Understand” are not viable options for performance outcomes of a course. In order for a learning experience to be effective, it needs to move a learner to action. They need to be able to accomplish a task, complete an activity or change some way they are working. When you just want them to know something, that doesn’t lead to success. It is only when they do something different that change and success can happen.
How do you move a learner to action?
- Think first of the outcomes and results you are hoping that learner will achieve as a result of your training.
- Consider the topics/high-level targets that that learner will need to do to accomplish a particular task or process.
- Think of specific activities a learner has to do that will illustrate the actual context or situation that they will be in back on the job.
- Last, consider what content/information they need to learn in order to achieve the result and goal you are trying to achieve (and then cut out more content from there)
Our clients most often struggle with this concept with “check the box” training- compliance training or something similar. These are some of our favorite courses to create because they have such a bad rep. Really if you think about it, the reason that regulatory bodies require certain rules from their organizations, is that there are very serious consequences involved. So instead of thinking of compliance training as just something that your employees have to read, why not challenge them to actually learn how to apply the rule or regulation.
For example, there is a reason the FDA has rules around PPE’s. Just ask the worker who didn’t wear the right clothes when handling acid and you have a real life story that illustrates why the rules are important. These are some of the easier courses to bring to life if only companies would stop thinking of their compliance training as just something that needs to be checked off a list.
Check in next week and we will actually map out a course topic using the four concepts above.
Have a course idea you are struggling with making actionable? Respond here and we will use that as our example.