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The quality of your instructional design can make or break the effectiveness of your learning modules. After all, they’re not just making your modules—they’re making sure they’re tailored to suit the needs of your students, and imparting knowledge as clearly and effectively as manageable. It would make sense that a business would rather have their own staff handling their instructional design, in order to better control and monitor the work being done on those learning modules.
However, as with any industry, in-house hiring entails going the extra mile (in some cases, literally). First comes the entire cycle of hiring, filtering your applicants then training said applicants—training in itself will involve some costs in training materials. Sure you can directly control the quality of the work they put out—but this also means having to take a more active stance in management of these instructional designers. Time spent on them could be time spent on pursuing other business endeavours.
How much does your company invest in training its trainers?
We’re not talking about simple money matters here—getting a trainer ‘battle-ready’ for their learners takes a significant amount of time and effort on top of the financial costs of the materials involved. Let’s say your trainers are sufficiently trained—TAE certifications and everything. Now comes the arduous task of actually assembling those learning modules. All this time you could be educating learners (be it in the classroom or online) instead of attending to your company’s training needs.
Education is an industry that’s literally as old as the human race. As soon as our ancestors figured out that younger people had to be trained in knowledge and skills, education began—first with oral tradition then eventually through establishing institutions for learning.
Today, several schools are still confident in the traditional training methods. Despite technological advancements, one can’t deny that the simple classroom lectures are still capable of getting knowledge across to students. Paper documentation still survives and if the paper itself decays, can be encoded onto another document. A significant portion of the academe has built their portfolio using traditional methods and swears by the benefits of ‘good old-fashioned learning’.
Using games to enrich learning is by no means new to the education industry. It’s not rare for elementary teachers to have students compete in order to show how much they’ve learned from the class, and several schools are still fond of holding education-based competitions like spelling bees and debate contests.
Gamification is the practice of essentially making games out of things that aren’t games. Don’t mistake this for making light of something serious, however—this is, simply put, putting game elements into something in order to keep the audience engaged. This is decidedly easy in a classroom setting: You can pit students against each other in little competitions. It gets a bit trickier when you’re creating modules for online training, which a student is meant to complete on their own.