“THE BUYING PROCESS, step three”

The third step in your buying process should be “The Review of the Media Used.”

Confucius is credited with the following:

 “I hear and I forget,

I see and I remember,

I do and I understand.”

 So it is with modern media training.  While the “doing” is mostly vicarious, the learning results are close to ideal.

But, only if the programs you are evaluating for purchase are based on multisensory media (full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio) — with a minimum emphasis on the written word!  (And, as you know by now, the written word will mostly fail to communicate with almost half of your workforce.)  Other positive components can include animations, brilliantly designed graphics and stills in order to emphasize the “doing” part of the training.

All of this is designed to facilitate the “do” in learning.  It’s what we mean when we discuss effective skills training.  Education may teach us theory, facts, opinions and intellectual understanding.  Training makes it possible for us to do things better and to acquire new skills.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “What we learn to do, we learn by doing.”

Of course, you also need to examine the instructional design behind any courseware you are considering.  You should require the following elements:


1)  Navigation through the course is simple, consistent and intuitive.  In other words, are the screens user-friendly and obvious to the learner?

2)  The instruction is both meaningful and interactive.  In other words, are the individual units of instruction performance based and require meaningful responses from the learner?  In addition, knowledgeable instructional design will segment the course into very small units of instruction, each tied directly to a performance objective.

3)  Adult learning characteristics are accommodated.  In other words, are the designed communication techniques consistent with the learning culture of the individuals to be trained.

4)  Administrative management requirements are satisfied.  In other words, the test results, time spent, etc. are readily incorporated into your LMS.

5)   The media used is appropriately integrated into the learning experience.  In other words, the full-motion video, graphics, stills and animations are directly appropriate to the subject being taught.


Step four on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com