Learning Managers are needed to understand their specific learning problems and corresponding requirement so that they select right vendor company to develop and deliver the most effective e-learning solution.
Learning or Instructional Strategy is not something which can be demanded or instructed to learning developer to adopt; it is devised based on certain elements or parameters. In this discussion we will be analyzing only design related parameters. The other parameters are commercials, development tool, delivery platform technology etc.
The design based parameters to decide learning or instructional strategy are:
- Learner – All about learner profile; academic, cultural, personal etc. all which can affect his/her learning abilities
- Objectives – Enabling objectives; specific abilities to be developed after course completion
- Content – Type of content; process, procedures, principles, facts or concepts
The above elements are the three pillars for an Instructional Designer to decide about course instructional strategy.
Among these three, Learner and Objectives are defined by learning problem; you won’t get much room to change or modify them. Content is a depended variable, you can chunk or modify it in-accordance with the Learner profile and the Objectives.
Let’s Understand Objectives and Learner in brief:
- Objectives –Objectives can be considered as 100% independent variable; once objectives are decided, then everything in instructional strategy has to fall in accordance to it. Objectives are derived values from your learning need or problem. Your learning need is your problem and objectives are the desired change or required solution to solve those problems. In most of the cases you won’t get alternative learning solutions; for example, if learner is to acquire ‘Apply’ skill, then he/she has to have corresponding cognitive ability; if learner is to acquire ‘Drive’ (a physical activity), then he/she has to have corresponding psychomotor ability. For several issues, always the learning environment won’t be conducive enough to achieve set specific abilities; in that case you can target to achieve a skill higher than to it. For example, if it is difficult for you to achieve ‘list’, then try to acquire ‘describe’ which is a higher skill to ‘list’. This target or objective shift will cost you more.
- Learner – In general, learners are also considered as 100% independent variable. While developing a course you may face few challenges or constraints that makes difficult to develop or convert the content which suits learner’s learning style. For example, it is very difficult to convert theoretical subjects into pictorial forms; in this case, you can prepare or train learner to learn in other than his/her style. It is difficult to bring significant change in learning style but you can succeed to an extent.
We understood that, Content is a dependent variable and Learner and Objectives are independent variables. It is an excellence of a learning developer or an e-learning company which can bring little change or modify Learner and Objectives and deliver an effective e-learning course. So the final suggestion for learning manager is to identify right learning need and required learning solution, then select the most dependable learning developer to deliver you the most suitable learning solution.
To make things simple, below table helps you to map learning objectives, learner style and corresponding content type.
Note: If required, you can add more number of problems.