When we sit down to talk about the instructional design for your custom e-learning course, we have to take a couple of things into consideration. We talk about the objectives of your course, the best way to present your content, and your audience. In fact, we end up talking about all kinds of things. The operative word here is “talk.” We don’t argue; we talk. We try to avoid poisonous philosophical arguments when we design e-learning because, let’s face it, this stuff can be pretty subjective.
COMMUNICATING YOUR POSITION
In the past, we’ve addressed picking your battles. But what do you do once your battle has been picked? Choosing a position to represent is but one part in avoiding a full-fledged argument. The next step is voicing your position in such a way that communicates openness and an awareness of its subjectivity.
If you think green should be used where there is currently blue, call out that this is your opinion, not necessarily the “right” way to do things. Give your team a strong “why” and then open the floor for others to contribute. This can help your colleagues understand your position and react accordingly. Communicating defensively or aggressively is a sure-fire way to derail any project.
THE SCIENCE OF E-LEARNING
If you’re looking for a formula that perfectly sums up e-learning, there isn’t one. E-learning courses come together in myriad ways because of changing needs, audiences, trends, and everything in between. Fighting for an element that you’ve deemed “right” is not the best use of your time or talents. Sometimes, it’s best to back down for the sake of the project’s success. As long as your approach is consistent and your team has the same perspective, the details typically don’t matter as much.
BUT I LIKE ARGUING
I know—it can feel pretty good sometimes. The most important consideration to take with any team-based project, however, is its success and what it will take to get there. Your project should hold more value than your own ego. Listen to your team and understand from where they’re coming. Re-evaluate the objectives. Take stock of how bad it would really be if an element remains blue instead of changing to green. Talk to your team; keep talking, and then talk some more. The subjective stuff will likely remain subjective, but with effective communication and a realistic assessment of the project, you can begin to lead a professional life void of unnecessary arguments.