Many of the teams I work with want to know how they can be more effective at running eLearning projects. The secret is: it’s all in the briefing stage! The briefing stage is key – getting the right amount of information to meet the expectations of your audience.
So, here are 10 tips for great a briefing process:
In the briefing process, we want the right information to do the job, but we can look for a little more – we’re writing a story our client (and target audience) will want to read. Consider discussing the following with your client, to move beyond the ordinary…
- Know the ambition. You want to know what a ‘home-run’ looks like for your audience so you have somewhere to aim. This also helps when you are talking about budget.
- Ask about the competition. What are they doing well and what is not so good? If your audience wants to be the ‘best’, figure out what competitor strengths and weaknesses are – so you know what to aim for and what to avoid.
- Consider the context. Talk in depth about where the content is going. Is it a university, an online course platform or a corporate organisation’s LMS, for example? How will the content work in its eventual context – will it make sense? Also, find out if it needs to connect with other existing content and how this might work.
- Get up close with the audience. What kind of detail can be provided about the intended audience? Likes, dislikes, biases, preferences, beliefs. Information like this can really make a difference to the creative process.
- Know the emotional target. While we often investigate what we want the audience to think about, we should also consider how we want them to feel. When we engage emotion, we are more likely to hook the learner.
- Establish the story arc. What story is the content trying to tell? Figure out the story from beginning to middle to end – to understand what kinds of themes and ideas need to be reinforced.
- Hone in on the key take-aways. Establishing what the absolute ‘must knows’ are can really help in terms of what needs continual highlighting along the way. Repetition of keywords can help to reinforce important points.
- Understand how the audience will use the content. Will they be applying the learning in the workplace? Will they need to complete an assessment? Starting with the end in mind means you are more likely to write content that supports the required action.
- Identify the success measures. How will the content be measured for success? What kinds of things will the client be looking for to know that the content has hit the mark?
- Consider ‘future-proofing’. Ask questions like: ‘How will the content hold up against future changes? Will it grow old too quickly? Is it flexible enough to be updated and changed regularly? Who is responsible for this process?
These are the principles we live by when we design and develop eLearning – it’s all about a good understanding upfront to ensure the outcome really hits the mark.
Would you like to talk more on your eLearning Strategy? Get in contact with Ben on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Roulston – THINKA Co-founder, Growth