August 26, 2022

Designing High-Impact Learning: L&D Breakthroughs

Lêarning designers are very excited about the promises of their learning programmes. But many know that learning programmes often underdeliver the expected impact. And do we even consider the implications of our programmes on the BEE, SETA, QCTO, Professional Body, and Regulatory Body?

The six disciplines model is a business and a process-driven approach that complements and extends existing instructional design models such as ADDIE, SAM, and AGILE to ensure that learning creates business value. Let’s dive a little deeper into the six disciplines and what learning designers can do:

D1 – Define Business Outcomes

L&D should link programme objectives to business needs, describe what participants will do differently, and agree on the definition of success. Important questions to consider:

  1. What business needs will the programme meet?

  2. What will participants do better and differently?

  3. What or who could confirm these changes?

  4. What are the specific criteria for success?

D2 – Design the complete experience

To design and complete the experience, L&D professionals should include all four phases of learning, plan and manage the learning transfer process, and define the finish line as on-the-job results.

D3 – Deliver for application

L&D must strive to clarify the content’s relevance and utility, provide time for practice with feedback, and use methods that make learning memorable.

This discipline involves selecting instructional methods, technologies, and supporting strategies that facilitate learning transfer and application. Key questions to consider at this stage are the following:

  • Did the learning programme teach participants HOW?

  • Are learners motivated to make an effort because they understand the relevance of the learning programme and what’s in it for them?

D4 – Drive learning transfer

L&D needs to make the transfer a critical part of the process by focusing on learning outcomes and implementing systems and procedures to support the transfer. The learner’s manager has a powerful influence on transferring learning, so active and engaging managers are critical to the transfer process. Vital elements of a learning transfer support system include reminders, reflection, accountability, coaching, collaboration, and learning content.

D5 – Deploy performance support

L&D professionals should consider four key attributes of effective performance support:

  1. Availability (when and where needed, such as through feedback and coaching)

  2. Concise (provides just enough information)

  3. Practical

  4. Clear and easy to understand.

D6 – Document Results

L&D should track metrics such as how the learning process or activity was managed, costs, stakeholder interests, and learner reactions. L&D professionals should ask themselves if the programme achieved the expected results and if it was worth everyone’s efforts and time. Furthermore, they should measure what matters to programme stakeholders, use insights to drive continuous improvement, and market the results to key stakeholders.

Get in touch with us today to help you create high-impact learning initiatives.

Extract from the 49 Tools for L&D published by Jan Rijken and Nick van Dam.

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