“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
Instructional design is particularly useful to increase the effectiveness of your corporate training offering and overall performance. The challenge, however, is keeping learners engaged. The instructional designer plays a key role in this process. The strategy they employ is informed by, amongst others, the needs of stakeholders, the availability of resources, the particular audience, the goal of the training and the methodology that will be used to deliver the training. These bigger-picture concerns, when executed correctly and effectively, will pave the way for the smaller but still critical decisions in designing and developing corporate training material. Research shows that when businesses align their learning strategy with their business goals, they are at least 40% more likely to witness increases in their key business metrics.
WHAT IS INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN?
Reiser and Dempsey define instructional design as “a systematic process that is employed to develop education and training programs in a consistent and reliable fashion”. Instructional design combines the art of creating engaging learning experiences with the science of how the brain works. It plays an integral role in the corporate sector, for example, when companies need to create and introduce new training programmes, instructional designers are the ones who collect, analyse and collate the data to determine if employees are properly educated on new topics introduced in the company. In addition to the above, instructional design in our context also includes the process of identifying the skills, knowledge, or understanding gaps of a specific audience and creating, selecting or suggesting learning experiences that close those gaps.
HOW CAN IT IMPROVE CORPORATE TRAINING?
Instructional design yields results. Carefully crafted design strategies that successfully engage learners makes it more likely that they will achieve their goals. Nevertheless, evaluation remains a key phase of the instructional design process to evaluate whether the strategy effectively meets the set objectives. Below we delve into 5 instructional design strategies that can enhance learning in corporate training:
- Picture-based learning
As mentioned in our previous post, images are the easiest and the most efficient way to ensure that information is retained as long-term memory. Instructional designers can therefore always benefit from presenting content visually since people remember visual information better than linguistic information. The advantages of picture-based learning include higher levels of engagement, increased retention rates, improved comprehension and motivation.
- Story-based learning
Designing content that keeps learners engaged throughout a training session is challenging. Story-based learning breaks the monotony of the session while simultaneously captivating the learners’ attention creating an exceptional, impactful and engaging learning experience. Story-based learning contextualises elements such as thought-provoking plots, relatable characters and a strong message.
This type of learning strategy improves learner engagement while challenging them to make the right decisions such as changing certain behaviour or address performance issues. The interactive scenarios synonymous with this learning strategy put learners in real-life challenging situations in order to elicit behavioural responses. Using critical thinking and problem-solving skills, learners must solve these challenges by making decisions and experiencing the consequences of their decisions in a safe environment. The aim is for them to learn from their mistakes but also from their correct decisions.
Microlearning is an emerging design strategy that aims to provide just-in-time performance support as a part of the corporate training offering. It’s best suited to enhance other instructional design strategies in order to reinforce what was just taught. Considering factors such as distraction, low attention spans and cognitive overload, this approach may appeal to modern learners. Microlearning is, however, not the proverbial silver bullet. As mentioned above, it’s best utilised as a complement to other training and should be a 5-7-minute bite-sized learning nugget with a key takeaway.
Gamification is currently a hot trend in learning design and corporate training. It entails using game design techniques in a non-game context such as a corporate environment. Adopting a gamification strategy creates an immersive learning experience that can take learning engagement to the next level. Some of the benefits of gamification include increased knowledge retention and performance. Gamification is a successful strategy for safety training, induction and onboarding training, compliance training, product training, and so forth.
At Trainiac we believe that to get the best out of your business, you need to get the best out of your people. To do this you need to empower and inspire them. To achieve this, you need to train and communicate with them in motivating and engaging ways. Corporate training crafted with effective instructional design can achieve just that.