Platform Agnostic Is Great, But ‘Training Agnostic’ Is A Must

Many forward-thinking training developers are making the same mistake: While they recognize the importance of making training available via any medium, from PCs to smartphones, they’re still not making the training available to every kind (and stage) of learner.

Allow me to explain.

FAN9006498When faced with complex, fragmented problems, it makes sense in many scenarios to deal with each issue separately – one on one. But it doesn’t make sense when different divisions or functions of the company end up solving the same or an overlapping problem separately. Devoting multiple resources toward solving slightly different variants of the same problem is not the best use of anyone’s time or money.

And unfortunately, Operations & Maintenance Training often provides ready examples of this scenario in action. Although it’s true that the ‘Operations’ segment of the enterprise may be fairly disjointed from the ‘Maintenance’ side – and even within maintenance, the Field Operations team may need ‘On the Job’ training aids that are more modular, brief and carved out than what the classroom training instructors require – there are commonalities to what each would require.

The most requested item on the training wish list? We’ve heard both students and instructors requesting ‘Self-paced learning anytime, anywhere’ that would offer elements common to the classroom instruction, but wouldn’t be the exact same course.

You see, a device or platform agnostic solution only addresses half of the problem: A long, tedious course would frustrate a user in the field, while a quick refresher course may leave out some important basics for the students just starting out in the classroom.

The goal then should be to purpose resources to build not just a platform agnostic technical solution, available on any device – but one that can transcend various training objectives and be TRAINING Agnostic.

And here’s how to create Training Agnostic content:

27929451.  Stating – Learning objectives (not lessons) should be stated clearly and broken down into a modular, Lego-like fashion. Breaking down larger objectives into smaller ones is key. For example, if a novice trainee needs to see an initial overview of a complex system before learning actual procedures, then that is one individual objective carved out separately – and this might or might not be linked to the other objectives. For clarity, let’s call them Objective-driven Modules.

2.  Designing – The technical design and base architecture of the training application needs to allow for snap-on and snap-off Objective driven Modules, keeping the Lego analogy top of mind.

3.  Deploying/Publishing – All modules should be designed not only as Mobile-First, but Touch-First, to ensure that the modules used in a classroom will work just as well when accessed on a tablet in the field.

The capability to snap-on and snap-off modules as needed, combined with the ability to deploy freely to web, PC, mobile and tablet formats is the bridge to ubiquitous training. Using this approach, Heartwood has helped forward-looking companies build training courses to solve for multiple objectives – all from shared development effort and costs.

Deployed applications could serve multiple functions:

1.      Classroom Training & Fault-based trouble-shooting
2.      Self-paced lessons
3.      Just-in-time (JIT) and On-the-job (OJT) Performance Aids
4.      Mobile/Tablet Apps & 3D Interactive Technical Manuals (IETMs)

Remember, company objectives don’t occur in silo-ed vacuums. And training shouldn’t either.

How does your company approach training development – and could you see this approach enhancing your process and deliverables? Reach out here for a deeper discussion.