I’ve talked before about how our design task will need to accommodate both the formal learning and the informal job resources, but as I’ve been thinking about (and working on) this model, it occurs to me that there is another way to think about learning design that we have to consider.
The first notion is that we should not design our formal learning solutions without thinking about what the performance support aspects are as well. We need to co-design our performance support solutions along with our preparation for performance so that they mutually reflect (and reference) each other. Our goal has to be to look at the total development and execution of the task.
The other way I’ve now been thinking of it, however, is to think about designing the workflow and the learning ‘flow’ together. Visualize the formal and informal learning flows as components within an overall workflow. You want the performer focusing on the task, and learning tools ‘to hand’ within the task flow. Ideally, the person is able to find the answers, or even learn some new things, while still in the work context. (Context is so important in learning that we spend large amounts to recreate context away from our existing work context!)
The point being, not only is formal learning and informal learning co-designed, but they’re both co-designed in the context of understanding the flow of performance, so you’re designing the work/learning context. Which means we’re incorporating user-interface and user-experience design, as well as resource design (e.g. technical communications) on top of our learning design. And probably more.
Now, are you ready to buy this? Because I’d talked myself to this point and then realized: “but wait, there’s more. If you call now, we’ll throw in” an obvious extension. To be covered in the next and last post of this series (tying it back to the context of explorability and incremental advantage I started with in my last post.