Optimizing Learning Transfer

For creative instructional designers, designing content is only half the job. In order to make the real leap to an effective learning transfer, they need to cater to the various learning experiences via different learning styles. An effective learning program must be able to support learners into effectively converting what they know to what they can do. To get learners to make this leap from knowing to doing is where most instructional designers fail to achieve the desired outcome. Hence, it is imperative to understand the importance of designing experiences and not just dump content into PowerPoint slides. This article elucidates five business and process driven approaches that helps to extract the utmost value from developing e-learning modules. Such approaches must be adhered to rigorously and thoroughly in order to lessen learning scrap and enhancing the business influence on learning interventions.

Describe Business Objectives:

Shift focus from learning to performance stating the business perspective for the learning intervention. Once the goals are set forth unambiguously, it becomes simpler to design effective learning strategies for the cause. Thus, instructional designers must focus on designing activities to attain an improved performance from the learners. Business objectives spell out what learners would do on the job and how that would serve as an advantage to the business.

Design Complete Learning Experiences:

Learning is not a one-off event, it must be followed up like a process continuously, that is, vigorously preparing and supervising what happens before and after the learning initiative. Repeatedly, it has been observed that one has developed an outstanding e-learning course but it could not create value as it failed at the learning transfer step.  Instructional designers focus on the planned instructions whereas, the unplanned instructions that happens before and after the course determines the ultimate result. The work environment determines whether an employee can or cannot apply the newly learnt skills from a course. Thus, organizations must understand this as an important step and plan, support and take responsibility for its sincere execution.

Facilitate Its Application:

In order to bridge the learning and doing gap, one must initiate by keeping the end in mind and then devising effective learning strategies to facilitate its application. This step is highly dependable on how well the business objectives were set forth in the first step. Instructional designers are often confronted with too much content in too little time. Understanding how adults learn and by utilizing captivating instructional strategies like scaffolding, active engagements, reflection, practice and feedback can enable a positive learning transfer and on-the-job application.

Provide Performance Support:

For a higher return in investment into L&D department, providing performance support during as well as after learning initiative becomes vital and foundational. Performance support restores confidence in the employees to try out new skills in their job role. Encouraging continued support required for gaining proficiency results in an increase in the likelihood of success.

Document Results:

In today’s competitive market, it is highly important to judge every investment in terms of its achieving the organization’s goals and mission. Answering questions like did the initiative achieve the desired outcome or was it worth it enables an organization to take an informed decision for future investments or ongoing improvements. Documentation should be able to capture the relevance of a program and measure the outcomes it was designed to deliver. It must be credible, efficient and compelling to persuade stakeholders to trust in the organization.

SKILD Solutions has over a decade of experience in designing and developing engaging learning solutions with the right blend of technology, instruction design, and learning methodology. We develop courses that not only engage your audience, but also ensure you meet your business needs. Our team of talented graphic designers, multimedia developers, and learning architects offer incomparable quality at cost effective rates.

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