Are we over-engineering learning?

In my little corner of the world I actually get to see all aspects of the learning function - at least when it comes to training for adults.

So, what did I focus on this week? Let’s take a look at just a few of the programs, projects, tasks and obscure activities that took up my time:

  • Met with an instructional designer about a web app that wouldn’t show up on an enterprise issued blackberry.
  • Set up and attended meetings about the learning management system┬áthat recently went back up after a three month hiatus (due to a cyber attack) and backlogged the help desk to 8,000 tickets!
  • Met with c-level leadership to discuss a new partnership that leadership has asked us to support by quickly turning around updates on over 100 classroom courses.Started close out on a project related to setting up a gaming portal.
  • Wrote statements of work for three new projects.
  • Met with project manager to discuss issues related to different contractors not communicating properly.
  • Developed a draft enterprise mobile strategy and sent out for review.
  • Met to determine raising the ceiling on a contract that supports all the learning products.

What is missing?

Did I mention content? adult learners? students?

No, not at all.

Sometimes I think we forget that we are here to support the learners. We spend all of our time setting up contracts, writing statements of work and proposals, worrying about learning management systems and proper help desk support. We worry about getting the right verbs in objectives and ensuring content matches exactly to the objectives.

But, as we follow all the processes, standards, procedures, systems, politics, communications, etc. - do we forget the main point?

I think we do. We could learn a lot of lessons from K-12 educators, creative geniuses on the internet, marketing folks, and storytellers.

It will be painful. It will require pushing a speed boat in the opposite direction while it is moving forward at 60 mph speeds.

But, baby steps will help. And, after a few baby steps focused on the right things..perhaps we can “turn the boat.”

Until then, I will reflect and blog so I don’t become a cog in this big machine.