Tom Kuhlmann on saving your training job

Tom Kuhlmann manages the user community for Articulate and writes the Rapid E-Learning Blog.  I value the pragmatism and good sense in his posts–like yesterday’s, with the subtle title, Here’s How You Can Save Your Training Job in this Economy.

Water?  Oh, you should try and find your own resources.I know, I know, there’s a lot of rumination on the conceptual mountaintops about the role of training, learning, and whether we shouldn’t just fling everyone into the deep end of the informal pool.

Still, you can hardly argue with Tom’s contention that when organizations have to make tough decisions, they lean on things that provide the most value.

His audience is people who develop training, and he offers ways to deliver value faster.  Obviously, he does that with Articulate’s tools most of the time, but he wields the tolls with good sense.  Good sense is transitive–you can study Tom’s examples and apply the principles to your own challenges.

A handful of points to encourage you to read his post:

  • Rapid elearning brings down the cost of production–but no software replaces sound instructional design.
  • People aren’t course-deficient.  Focus on having people meet their work goals, not on having them take courses.
  • A large part of elearning is visual design.

Tom’s example comes from an elearning shootout in which the competitors reworked a sales course for an atomic-powered clock.  Tom didn’t bother explaining the display.  “If I am telling the customer that the display is…easy to read, then I shouldn’t need a big long explanation of how to read it.”

What is a tired, overused substitute for interactivity?My favorite line: 

What did the training industry do before Jeopardy?

Tom thinks a lot like Thiagi when he says to design your learning interactions to match the desired outcome.  In other words, don’t slap a game template on because “people understand the game.”  You want the interaction to make sense in context, not remind people of Alex Trebek.

Pool photo by POSITiv.
Alex Trebek screen shot by Von Roeder.