Make Your Course Creation Process Repeatable with Clearly Designated Roles
I often say that each person on a learning development team plays a different role. I’ve discussed using a role-based process for creating accessible elearning on our blog; our CEO, Sanjay Nasta, has also described the roles needed in elearning creation.
Why Use the Concept of a “Role” When Developing Learning?
When creating learning, there are multiple possible roles: one role might be the instructional designer (who creates learning experiences); another might be the subject matter expert (who has the core knowledge about the topic); a third might be a project manager (who makes sure that the project stays in scope, on budget, and on schedule).
So, why do I favor breaking down the process into “roles” instead of placing the responsibility of creating learning on a group (“the training team”) or a single person (“the elearning developer,” “Jennifer”)? By organizing course development in terms of roles, I’m able to provide our clients (both internal and external) with consistently high-quality learning that’s the result of a regular, repeatable, and well-thought-out process.
What’s the Connection between Roles and Process in Learning Development?
Roles can correspond roughly to a job; and as with any job, there’s a whole body of knowledge and experiences to master. The better the roles can be defined, the more robust the process will be.
If someone serves in the role of instructional designer, I expect that person to know what makes learning effective, the best way to reach learners, etc. At the same time, I wouldn’t expect the instructional designer to have mastery of a particular body of subject matter knowledge: They wouldn’t know everything about computer security, or wastewater collection systems, or cochlear implant technology.
In a similar way, the last time my subject matter expert had anything to do with training might have been that company-required, thirty-minute ethics course they took last fiscal year. But when it comes to understanding perinatal hepatitis B? They’d know that inside and out.
When I use roles to plan, I can make sure that all the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities are there to make great learning (even if one person serves more than one role, which is generally the case when working with a one-person learning development shop). I’ve got my instructional designer role covered; I’ve got an SME; I’ve got a project manager (and an elearning developer, multimedia designer, quality assurance engineer, etc.).
Using Roles When Developing Learning: The Foundation for Repeatable Greatness
By using roles when developing learning, I’ve taken the first steps to make it a regular, repeatable process. When it’s a process, I can iterate and improve. Creation no longer depends on a single person (which is useful when Jennifer wins the lottery). The creation of learning results from a project-based, individual-agnostic plan.
Until next time,
Microassist Senior Learning Architect
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