How to change course mid-stream

2 Oct

Change is perhaps the keyword in regards to instructional design. Typically we design courses, forging various strategies to enhance learning transfer all in the name of change. However, sometimes as an instructional designer change itself is hard to do.

Take for example a course that I have been auditing over the last couple of weeks. The course had been designed months in advance. The lesson plans had been signed-off and the trainers approved. Yet, when the course was implemented, something didn’t feel right. Although the trainers covered the content expertly, middling feedback from learners caused concern.

Interestingly the feedback centred on the trainers covering too much content and not providing enough context. Learners wanted to know what change would mean to them and where they worked, but not what change meant overall.

Based on this feedback we began to redesign the course mid-stream (half-way through an intense two-week training period). Instead of content, we started with scenarios. Via these scenarios learners became more engaged in the course, embracing change with greater confidence.

Is redesigning a course mid-stream easy to do? Of course not, you’ll face uncertainty and doubt. But when you listen to the final feedback of your learners, the change is worthwhile.

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