I’m going to start with the first step in the process – analysing the situation. We do this first because the information we uncover at this stage underpins just about every decision we make when it comes to design. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the most appropriate design can seem pretty obvious once you have the right information at your disposal.
Situation analysis has three elements, which can be described quite simply as the three L’s – the learning, the learners and the logistics. In the next few posts I’m going to concentrate on the learning. I’ll move on to handle learners and logistics.
By ‘the learning’ I mean the end point that we’re aiming towards with our solution. Be careful, because while learning may be our aim, our ‘client’ is probably much more concerned with what this learning might achieve in terms of increased performance. If we can focus in on performance, then this will serve us well when we come to making design decisions.
We cannot always take a requirement for a learning solution at face value. Our client may be wrongly diagnosing the problem. Work performance is influenced by objectives, organisation structure, available resources, working conditions, incentives and disincentives, aptitudes, motivation and the quality of feedback. None of these are going to be fixed through a learning intervention. Our job starts when there is a shortfall in knowledge (and information), skills and attitudes.