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  • Expertise in Web Based Product Training
  • Focus on Technology Vertical
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What’s the best e-learning design strategy?
What’s the best way to create an e-learning program? What is the best learning design strategy? Should it be constructivist, game based or direct instruction? Should you use social networking? Or perhaps you need e-learning 2.0? Does the answer lie in names like Flash, Flex, PHP or MySQL? Or should you just video tape an instructor speaking and publish it to a web location?

The answer, predictably, is “It depends”. It depends on your business context, the desired performance outcomes, the nature of the content being addressed, the success criteria for your e-learning project, your learners and their media preferences, and a whole host of other factors. In the final analysis, the only criteria that really matters is – is the strategy in alignment with your business goals?

In the product training space, most design strategies would fall into one of two categories.
  • Information Strategies: Much of product training is about making the right information available to the right person at the right time in the right format. This calls for information architecture and design. This is the art and science of structuring and arranging information such that people can find the information quickly and easily. Information design also encompasses the way in which information is actually presented on screen – in the form of infographics, illustrations, flow charts, conceptual diagrams, tables, graphs, photos, and what the like. In effect, you need sound information architecture, elegant and usable navigation and effective representation of information.
    In the product training space, typical information design based solutions would include searchable and well-organized information portals, product blogs, troubleshooting and case-study based wikis, customer feedback loops, user generated content, customer discussion forums, integration with networking applications if applicable, and so on.
  • Learning strategies: Learning strategies are specifically about building competencies aimed at a particular outcome. These strategies need to address how learners will acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform specific jobs. Teaching skills requires a different approach than teaching behaviours or concepts.
    In the product training context, this would translate into specific methods to create material to support selling skills in the form of sales pitch demos, customer objection handling and the like. In the after sales learning scenario strategies such as troubleshooting labs and simulations may be appropriate. Product and business “big picture” knowledge pieces may be relevant for orientation, customers and secondary stakeholders of the products
The ideation and choice of a strategy is a critical task. The best kind of e-learning partner to do this would be one who is content and technology-agnostic, and focused on the business results you want your product training to deliver.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

– Winston Churchill