Asking questions is vital to any development process. You basically can’t create anything cool without them. With custom e-learning, there are lots of fun decisions to make, creative approaches to consider, and opinions to evaluate. Luckily, a good vendor lives for questions. So fire away. Here are a few ways questions of all kinds make a big difference when you’re developing training.
During your search for a vendor, there might be many things that are undefined. You want to ask potential vendors lots of things to learn about how they work, what they specialize in, and how they plan to help you succeed. When you start a collaboration with a vendor, you want to keep the questions going. Have a meeting where you toss out questions about the project’s design and purpose that push your team’s creative possibilities within the constraints you’ve established. At early brainstorming meetings, posit questions that feel broad and open-ended just to see where the conversation leads.
It might seem like these are “stupid” questions because they aren’t necessarily technical or focused, but that’s the beauty of them. Instead of choosing familiar or expected methods, focusing on curiosity early on gives the team permission to aim high and aspire wide.
With some big decisions determined - such as basic instructional design approach, technical parameters, and overall visual approach - your questions should start to take on a more precise nature. You’re solving specific issues, as well as addressing the design gaps that arise throughout writing and production. You might determine that an intended feature no longer works as planned. Try adding something new. It may come to be necessary to make the training have the right impact. Work within a schedule. Reality doesn’t have to be a drag, though. You’re asking tactical questions that can get executed quickly and sustain momentum.
As a final secret note, don’t be afraid to still ask some big questions along the way, even if it’s just for a laugh or to break up a creative blockage. It may be too tricky to change course, but it might be constructive to get the question out there. Questions often lead to interesting ideas for the future, and who doesn’t want some more good ideas floating around in the air? Maybe only maniacs wouldn't want that.