Getting people to like their vegetables – eLearning style
I just read a blog written by Mike Taylor on behalf of OpenSesame.com.
He makes the following observation:
“…For example, as parents, we have found that instead of punishing our son for not eating his broccoli, he reacts much better when we tell him that want him to learn how to be healthy. Although he’s not likely to be begging for them anytime soon, he is starting to get it and we’ve made a lot of progress in the vegetable department. Maybe it is the optimist in me, and seeking these “learning moments” is my way of looking for the silver lining…”
With my daughter, we just found that the way to get her to like vegetables, (and she adores most of them…), was just to get her used to them from the word-go. She’s never questioned that they should not be liked.
It’s a bit like that when working with a new client, whether you build using Articulate Storyline (as I do), or any other eLearning content-building tool.
It seems that many people, especially in the freelance Instructional Design world try and placate initial requests on the basis of winning a contract, even if they contain unrealistic demands or beliefs from the client. Even if you cannot get a client to face upto the realities of online learning, you should as an ID explain how it should be built. It makes acceptance of GREAT learning techniques easier in the long run. Also, if you create a wonderful product that works for the business, it increases the chance that others in the organisation will be on the phone to you to request THEIR own 15-minutes of fame from association with one of your courses.
When I am starting work with a new client, I always try and be completely up-front and blunt with them. If I feel they are trying to “do” eLearning to cut costs, or “…because everyone is using iPads nowadays…” etc. I will tell them the realities of cost movement rather then (necessarily) cost-reduction, and explain some of the myths and practicalities of mobile learning etc. I feel that it’s easier to get a great relationship with your client based on honesty and professional respect from the start. They may be the expert on their subject in their industry, but you are a cross-functional expert – in learning techniques.
Start using that knowledge from the get-go. Now – who’s for broccoli?