I've been reviewing what I've done during my relative disappearance from the social media space.
It has dawned on me that all of the "instruction" I have designed in the past few years share one objective:
"The student will know where to find help when he/she needs it."
Hasn't really mattered what the topic has been.
Or what the "stated" objectives are.
That one lone objective has colored the materials I have developed (and what form).
Documentation and online tutorials have been task based and progressively shorter.
Makes it easier for reference.
Larger chunks of instructor-led time (in-person or synchronous on-line) is spent navigating the help systems and reinforcing those behaviors.
I find myself working on more projects where I am designing support systems vs.designing "training"
This is good.
Why do I think that?
- I receive more questions that are follow-ons from existing support materials vs. questions that are IN the support materials. People actually RTFM! Never thought I'd see the day.
- The complexity and sophistication of the questions I am asked have
increased. It has been a very long time since I have been asked how to
print something. And that was with an application where they hid the
printing function (and it doesn't work very well anyway - don't ask)
- I'm getting more "thank you"s in my in-box.
- Less of my time is spent fielding phone calls, emails and IMs regarding stuff I "trained" and more of my time is being spent on projects.
If I need hard, reportable evidence - I can pull it from my emails, my weekly status report, the help desk system and my time sheet.
When I look at my portfolio over the past year - I don't think I've designed anything that would win ASTD awards.
But something seems to be working. I'm cool with that.