One of the NogginLabs Blueprint laws talks about defining your success. For example, say my main goal was to come up with a functional opening line for this paragraph. I had some criteria so I would know what success looked like: didn’t want it to be too in your face, wanted it more like a classic monologue set-up that is factual and chill but clearly signaling the topic at hand. I tried some ideas out, wound up with something pretty declarative and simple. Finally settled on one that, according to my criteria, does the trick. Success? According to me, in this case, and fortunately that is fine in this specific instance.
That is the cool thing about success when you’re making training courseware. You can define any goals that suit your need. In a good design, learners can get even more than the standard “By the end of this course you will be able to…” behaviors. Is there some other issue you might want the training to address? You can position training experiences to affect other changes beyond the discrete skills that are covered. Identifying these criteria will begin to shape a customized definition of success for your organization. Once that is explored, you can start to design a training solution that is perfectly tailored to get the job done.
Say your audience works on commission or is held to a specific set of industry metrics. As a group they have a lot in common, and maybe you want people to compete with each other to drive motivation. Games with leaderboards, ranks, and cool, culture-specific achievements could be a great option. Tie them to real-life incentives that can be achieved at different milestones. Reward your top ten performers after a set period of gameplay an exclusive grand prize. Even employees who don’t “like games” can find a reason to get involved if it is designed as intuitive and relevant. Make a game that looks fun enough to pique curiosity, is easy enough for anyone to participate in, and is challenging enough to invite mastery. What began as a training incentive can now deliver a shift in the culture that gets people interacting, sharing insights, and actually improving their performance. Success, in this case, could be as simple as a noticeable boost in morale and pride.
Training can also be used to change a perception about something, curb an annoying attitude, or just get folks to lighten up. Pairing these kinds of goals along with behavioral or knowledge goals is a great way to create a cohesive presentation that sticks. These types of goals might not be strictly measurable in the traditional sense, but they can represent legitimate visions of success. The design approach can be finessed to convey these concepts subtly or shout it out loud.