A simple process
In the next three sections, I’ll describe a simple process that I follow with clients to make sure that courses have the most-crucial learning activities, learning activities that assure that learners get adequate practice doing (during instruction) what they need to be able to do on the job, after instruction.
Figure 1 shows what this simple process looks like. (“DO” is not an abbreviation – it’s the things people must DO in order to be successful in the real world.)
Figure 1. A process for connecting learning activities to real-life activities.
Let’s look at each of these steps individually.
1. Uncover the DOs
One of the hallmarks of good instruction is that it allows learners to practice doing what they need to be able to DO in real life, in a safe environment, with meaningful feedback and help, until they are able to DO what they need to be able to DO in real life effectively.
What do people DO in real-life? Table 1 shows the most typical DO types of real-life work, and some examples of each.
|DO Types||DOs (examples)|
|1. Recall facts||Business hours
|2. Find and make sense of information, often with the aid of tools, resources, etc.||Whether the caller’s service plan covers labor
When timesheets are due on weeks with a holiday
|3. Understand underlying concepts||How databases work
Why you need overnight shipping for perishable items
|4. Know how a process works||The travel expense reimbursement process
The hiring process
|5. Complete needed steps||How to complete a new-hire request
How to check in new stock
|6. Determine which course of action is needed||Ascertain the malfunction cause(s) and contact the appropriate department
Determine whether to give a refund or a credit
|7. Create a product or produce a specific result||Write a discrepancy report
Transfer callers to another extension
|8. Troubleshoot and fix problems||Find the damaged part and replace it
Analyze the reason for the delay and suggest solutions