One thing I was sure of was this: the ‘learning projects’ in which I was the instructional designer/learning experience designer were “learner-centric.” My resume stated this right up top. My LinkedIn profile confirmed it. I was one of the good guys.

After all, I completed needs analysis. I tried my best to make the courses accessible. I stressed real-world practice activities over data dumps. I included potential learners in piloting the material, and incorporated their feedback whenever possible.

So – I came to this article by Dr. Snyder feeling pretty good about my practice…and finished it realizing that I have to up my game. [Continued after the article]

Specifically, when Doctor Snyder asked:

  • When you decide on your instructional strategy, what do the workers think of it?
  • Have you asked for a critique of your plans?
  • When you create a prototype, what do the workers think of it?
  • What do they think about how they will access, consume, and use the instruction on the job?
  • What barriers do they forsee? Is the content, the practice, and the feedback relevant to their work and authentic to their application context?

…I realized that I had not involved the ‘consumer’ in the entirety of the instructional design process as I should have.

I take an iterative approach to developing the learning experience, returning to SMEs again and again to share updates and gain feedback. Bringing the consumer back into the process only when it was time to alpha test the course implied that the people that asked for the course carried more influence than those that needed the course.


My Call to Action

To invite the learner into the learning design process with an all-access pass.

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