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Ready, Set, Reset: 21 Questions and Tips To Guide Your Digital Instruction to Success

Happy 2021! As we would all like to put last year behind us, or at least as much as we can, we are in a new virtual world that will end up defining a new normal for both development and delivery of digital instruction.

Most, if not all of us, have dabbled in simple conversions of ILT to VILT using tools like Zoom with less than optimal results.  Simply narrating PowerPoint presentations and adding a quiz doesn’t quite do the job to increase competence and performance.  And let’s not forget all the issues with our legacy Flash courseware that is no longer supported by the browsers.

So, as you are hopefully still developing your New Year’s Resolutions, here are some questions we at Allen Interactions believe would be helpful to consider about your current training programs.

Does your training program...

  1. Truly challenge your learners? 
  2. Engage learners enough to overcome the Zoom fatigue of never-ending online meetings?
  3. Take advantage of the fact that most “information” is constantly changing, making memorization meaningless?
  4. Use multiple modalities to ensure the best possible learning methods like spaced practice?
  5. Leverage all existing reference materials and knowledge bases
  6. Teach learners how to find information, use critical thinking, and problem solve, or is it still a method of “data dumping”?

With more and more people working and learning from home, this is the best time to focus on optimizing multiple technologies for learning.  The “fear factor” surrounding technology is rapidly dissipating.  Social Networking has become the norm in every day life, so now is the time to incorporate Social Learning into your curriculums.

Other successful techniques that have become more common place such as:

  1. Critiquing of submitted work: Self, Peer and Instructor
  2. Greater dependence on Electronic Support Systems
  3. Mobile Delivery
  4. Serious Gamification and Simulation
  5. Use of AR/VR
  6. Fully Blended Approaches to Curriculum

Allen Interactions has always been known for our performance-driven e-learning instructional design methodology, CCAF Design, and agile-based instructional design model, Successive Approximations Model, or SAM, but, we have found that re-evaluation of learning needs against the new working and learning environments is essential.  There is a concern that too many e-learning solutions are still being developed with the Hammer/Nail approach when there are so many new challenges and tools available.

Therefore, we hope that some of your New Year’s Resolutions include:

Take a step back and look at the business and learning needs with a different lens
Find approaches, modalities, designs, and delivery techniques to overcome the isolationist mentality that has been developing.

Design Blended Solutions

Consider adding in Intro and Outro Zoom-style sessions to introduce learners and set expectations as well as intermediate sessions for discussions and deeper dives into e-learning content.

Utilize Social Learning and Assessment

Take advantage of the new technology to allow for cohorts, video/audio recording and posting, surveys, assessments, and identification of mentors/gurus.

Investigate and Incorporate Agile Processes

The use of SAM for e-learning development has proven to be just as effective with remote workforces, stakeholders, and learners.

Evaluate Designs

Review the design tools Allen has developed methodologies such as CCAF and resources like 6 Rules to Designing e-Learning for Maximum Motivation to improve on instructional designs.  This would include treating higher level learning topics as more than just facts.

I hope some of these ideas lead to a happy, productive and successful New Year and best of luck making truly engaging and effective digital instruction for your organization!

If you run into roadblocks, we’re always here for advice and guidance!


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About Author

Steve Lee
Steve Lee

Steve Lee co-founded Allen Interactions with Dr. Michael Allen in 1993. With 25+ years of industry experience, Lee brings incredible talent and skills to the team with prior experience developing multiple large-scale military aviation e-Learning projects. He served as a college professor for 10 years, teaching and developing curriculum in hardware, gaming, networking (Cisco/A+, Network+, Security+) and information security. During that time, Lee also developed the Information Security Certificate Programs for the State of Colorado. Lee holds many positions within the Allen team including, but not limited to, Chief Delivery Officer, Strategic Relationship Manager, and Studio Executive.

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