Elearning- The Neglected Child Of Performance Consulting


A month ago, I started helping a client (a rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices and services provider) in designing two training programs for their new hires. In my role, as a learning designer, I worked with the prime contractor, a renowned performance consultant, who was hired to improve sales performance. During the gap analysis, it was concluded that focus should be laid right at the beginning. This is why onboarding and orientation training became a key aspect of this whole performance consulting project.

I felt fortunate to be a part of this project (I was lured to the learning curve I’d get). As I started working on mapping the functional and behavioral outcomes of the elearning programs, my performance consultant shared some webinar recordings, slidedecks and clinical imprints that were used previously during virtual instructor-led training sessions. I was instructed to follow the lesson path and mash them for interactions of a rapid elearning authoring tool.

I’d like emphasize here that of out of the two elearning programs in discussion here, one was a competitive product and market related training. The second was a therapeutic training on an infamous bacterial infection. The product training was about a remarkable diagnostic and testing technology that is probably the best of the world today. Wait a minute! Why bother. All I needed to do was to curate the training content to take shape of some elearning interactions. Drag-n-drops, flash cards, roll-overs, yada, yada, yada.

A relatively near-zero effort was pre-allocated for the elearning development. “40 hours is what my developers give me to roll out an hour of elearning”, I was told. And I benevolently delivered to my client needs. After all, performance consulting is time-worthy ($ 250/ hour) and elearning development ($40/ hour) is just a development job.

Adam Schwartz didn’t create Articulate Storyline as a printing solution. Lectora was not created to replace engagement design. Then why so much love for performance consulting and the ignorance for elearning development on the other hand. Why kill the tools that deliver results of your entire performance improvement exercise.

While performance consulting can suggest many process improvements leading to indirect benefits, I say, elearning is the only direct touch-point solution that interacts with the learner and has the capabilities of people improvement, directly and tangibly.

I invite my colleagues to read and learn how in-depth learning design is. And then I am just a beginner, there are masters of this art who would agree with me.


Contextual anchoring in learning design