You understand the learner.
A well-considered profile of the target learner conducted in the needs assessment or planning stage will help avoid spending resources to retool the learning solution during the implementation stage. There are a great number of factors that can be considered, depending on the context: proficiency level, educational background, position in the organization, tasks, skills, availability, etc. Understanding the learner can be boiled down to an essential task: Get the right knowledge to the right person at the right time.
An important step in developing learning objectives is to develop them in alignment with organizational objectives, business goals, and organizational values. For example, if there is a major product development effort within the organization, mapping the learning goals to marketing, product development, and production needs will help the organization to have a cohesive strategy to get information and knowledge to the right stakeholders.
You understand the learning goals.
Clear learning goals are key to avoiding the investment of time and capital in a learning solution that is ineffective, overly broad, or deficient in content that meets the needs of the organization. For instance, time spent in training may be less efficient as a solution a need for just-in-time information, or, conversely, a set of instructions may leave the learner unprepared for situations that require more extensive training.
Essential Questions for Early Planning Stages:
- What gap or need exists?
- What are the organization’s business objectives?
- How will the learning support organizational objectives?
- What other objectives need to be considered? Regional? Departmental?
- Who is the learner?
- What is their role in the organization?
- What are their current skills?