When building a course it often involves SMEs, stakeholders, managers and L&D members sitting round a (sometimes virtual) table to discuss what needs to be achieved. Who’s missing from the list? That’s right – learners – those people for whom we’re here in the first place.
Sure, the aforementioned collective probably have a lot of experience and ideas to share, but they are not the target audience. Likewise their contribution may be skewed by their their preference for getting things done “according to the manual”. Dare I say it, they may also be a little out of touch!
So how about you talk to your learners … as these are the people on the shop floor, so to speak.
They know what really goes on
As a result they know how things tend to get done. They also have their own ideas on what they’d like to see improved. There may have been a time when they once did things “by the book”, but new methods have evolved, shortcuts have been developed, alternative resources created and so on. Some, or indeed all, of these may not only be valid but also exceptionally valuable from a learning perspective.
They’re more likely to be dead honest
They’ll tell you what doesn’t work, what still doesn’t make sense and what is a complete waste of time. How many SMEs, stakeholders, managers and L&D members would do the same?
Their experience counts too
Stories, incidents, complaints and suggestions are the kinds of things they share among themselves every week, perhaps even every day. So if you prove to be a trustworthy sounding board then they might just throw enough of these at you in the hope that something somewhere will change as a result.
Your material will become more raw and relevant
By the time you’ve filtered through the above, you’ll likely end up with a bunch of new ideas including genuinely authentic challenges and scenarios. That’s got to be a good thing, right?