Friday, August 24, 2012

Course as Last Resort

As I may have mentioned in these pages (and have definitely mentioned in person) - I don't think I have created a legitimate "course" in a couple of years.

Sure I've created learning objects, quick references and other small chunks of helpful things.
"Courses", however, have tended towards "How do I find help / information?"

From the feedback I've been receiving - this is not a bad thing.

What is interesting is that projects and clients still insist on "courses".  Because they are familiar, comfortable, and a whole infrastructure of support has been built around this idea.

I've been a little bogged down creating a Telecommuting support site for IT recently.
This is a good thing.

It means that I and my colleagues are starting to look at courses as a tool in the training / performance support toolkit vs the only tool available.

So I've decided to play a little game with myself.

What can I do that is NOT a course that would help the end user?

I'm thinking this question will help me continue to dig up new ideas and resources on top of (or instead of) a "training event" that would really help people at the point of need.

It's worth a shot, anyway.

Please read Jay Cross' article The Game of Course.
Kinda like buzzword bingo - but with money.
Try this in a project meeting at your own risk :)


John said...

We are going through that same evaluation process at the moment. How do we support field employees who have to think on their feet when asked questions on topics they may not normally have to address. Is it a document, a wiki, a mini's challenging but I love a challenge!

Ray Deis said...

I agree about not using courses. I like to create focused articles and short videos for self-serve on demand learning for the user community.

Learning has gone from "Nice to Know" to "Need to Know" to "Need to Reference" It's all about performance improvement.

I had a request for 10 people to learn Excel. They have none to little experience. I guess in this case an elearning essentials course is the best solution. At least it is not a public classroom course.

Check out a a recent article from Jay Cross. Courses are dead. Just foolin'

Unknown said...


(sorry about yelling. i think i'm going to love this game.)

Routing people to the information they need when they need it is where we need to be.

Brian Dusablon said...

Excellent. It's so much more efficient to enable a user/learner via performance support and guides than to force them through a course.

Good for you!

Brian Dusablon said...

Excellent. There are certainly times where a course is the best option, but it shouldn't be our default choice. So many of what folks are calling courses these days are nothing more than presentations, anyway. And pretty poor presentations at that.

Time to get back to designing appropriate solutions - start simple and build up as necessary.

Hmmm...some similarity there to the two types of responsive design for mobile: graceful degradation (large screen first, cut features as the screen shrinks) vs. progressive enhancement (mobile first, build up on larger screens).

Now I have an article to write...

Wendy said...

Thank you all for your comments! I seem to have hit a nerve ;)