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The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Model for eLearning Content Development

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We’re not like the other guys. Other custom eLearning content development companies have their ADDIE’s and their SAM’s.  (In case you weren’t familiar with the acronyms they are both instructional design models. ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Development, Implement and Evaluate, and SAM is short for Successive Approximation Model.) Employing either model is well and good. And as a general rule, we at KMI Learning follow SAM principles.

But that’s just the beginning of the story.

At KMI Learning we also follow the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. model. OK. I just made it up. But it’s actually true. And no, Aretha Franklin doesn’t have anything to do with it.

In fact, the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. model helps us shape our relationships with our learners – our clients – as much as it helps us create the courses themselves. We build R.E.S.P.E.C.T. on the basic principles of consideration for what the client and the learner are dealing with, and what is of importance to them. And so, on to the model itself.

R is for Respect:

Maybe it’s against the clever acronym rules to use the acronym word in the acronym itself but this is foundational for us. We recognize, understand and acknowledge that our learners are busy people. We get that their time is limited, their lives are full, and lots of demands compete for their attention. So in our relationship with our learners, we

  1. Respect their time. As we said, our learners are busy people. We keep our learning simple, to-the-point and tight.
  2. Don’t talk down to our learners, or lecture them. We know our learners and clients to be highly effective, intelligent people, with a commitment to their jobs and their lives.
  3. Maintain the honesty and integrity of the content.

E is for Engagement. Remember what we just said earlier about not lecturing? That applies here as well. Basically, if it’s not challenging and fun it’s pretty much a waste of time and money. Just because you can turn a PowerPoint presentation into a course doesn’t mean you should. At KMI, we work hard to involve our learners in the learning, and we create scenarios that are meaningful to them.

S is for Surprise. The human brain loves it. In fact, we humans actually crave it. The stimulation of surprise goes a long way in reinforcing a lesson. The element of surprise is an excellent tool that we wield to keep online learning from settling into mind-numbing patterns. We try to do something different – if not on every click – at least every few clicks. The bottom line? Don’t let learners disengage out of boredom.

P is for Production value. I know this hurts (see ‘E’ below) but it’s really important.

  • Good quality sound – not recorded from a laptop mic – recorded and mixed in a studio. Yes, it’s old school. And a bit expensive. But entirely worth it.
  • Good quality video, which means nicely composed shots and creative editing, rather than talking heads. Save the talking heads for the newscasters – and even they intersperse their narrative with compelling visuals. Which brings us to…
  • Good graphics and animation. If we are not reaching the quality of Scooby Doo cartoons maybe we should think about another approach. That does not mean that we should limit our production value to decades-old Hanna-Barbera-style presentations.

Production value makes the difference, and standards (along with expectations) change with time. Stay current. There’s a reason why Sesame Street has been effective and relevant for over 40 years. They understand the value of production in presenting their content to their learners. So should you.  

E is for Expense. This can be a sore point. Sorry, not sorry. The good stuff costs money. Period.  What we do is worth it. Don’t believe us? Do the math: A really well-built 15-minute custom eLearning course will cost in the range of $15-$30K. The course includes focused and customized eLearning content development, which has also been vetted by your own subject matter experts. Factor in unlimited usage, since you own the course.  Then consider that the course has a shelf life of at least 3-5 years. Learners typically take the course at a time that works for them, and knowledge checks are built into the learning modules, as needed. Consider that generic courses have a 1-year license. So, is eLearning content development really more expensive than the off-the-shelf alternative? In a word: no.

C is for Change. As in behavior change. Not CYA stuff, not check-the-box stuff. Real change. In behavior. In the ways, people do their jobs. In the quality of the jobs they do. Take safety training for example: Is your training reducing injuries? Are your learners learning – and incorporating – new safety-related behaviors into their daily lives? Are they healthier? If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no,’ then you are not bringing about real change. Our custom eLearning content development for courses aim to create and cause a shift in the behaviors of our learners. In some cases, we’ve caused a fundamental shift in the way our learners relate to their job. And the results have been spectacular.

T is for Time. In other words, we take as little of it as possible to get the learning across. Learning is not passive. Quite the contrary: typically, learners are interactively engaged in the learning itself. Because they are involved in the scenarios, or stories, in which the learning takes place, the learning takes place in a much shorter time.  

T is also for truth. We tell the truth to our clients. Even when it’s not exactly what they want to hear. Or when it’s about the time or money it will take to create a course. We’re willing to lay out the facts as the facts, and not sugar coat what we have to say. Either way, it brings us back around to respect. Here, in particular, our experience is that respect goes both ways.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

 

Respect.

Engagement.

Surprise.

Production Value.

Expense.

Change.

Time / Truth

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Respect. One dictionary definition says, ‘to have due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of [another].’ Our courses are created with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for our learners. If you would like to see how R.E.S.P.E.C.T. could work for you and your learners, please contact us at info@kmilearning.com .Thank you for your attention and consideration.

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