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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

Success in every step: how instructional design empowers e-learning


Success in every step: how instructional design empowers e-learning

Geoff Hyatt

It might seem as if a marathon’s finish line is where success is defined, but this overlooks numerous achievements that enabled participants to reach it. Just as an athlete’s training regimen, nutrition plan, support network, and psychological conditioning enables her to go the distance, e-learning demands multiple aspects work in harmony to achieve their desired result. This doesn’t happen by accident—it happens by design. 

At NogginLabs, we know that top-tier custom e-learning isn’t measured merely by how it performs upon completion. It needs to succeed from its earliest strides all the way into the home stretch. Otherwise, you might end up with a course that at best hobbles along—or at worst, falls flat on its face. You need a plan, and this overarching framework depends on what’s known as instructional design.

Whether a goal is best reached via a realistic business simulation, the gamification of learning objectives, or another engaging solution, the success demanded by award-winning e-learning is empowered by instructional designers. They are the ones who create the theory of a course and determine the winning techniques and instructional technology it requires.

NogginLabs' Senior Instructional Designer Matt Young explains, “Successful instructional design creates an experience for a learner that is both compelling and applicable to real life. Learning objectives help us define what we believe learners should know or be able to do at the end of the training. The aim of instructional design is not only achieve the goals defined by those objectives, but to ensure that the training built from those objectives accurately reflects learners’ current experiences and creates a clear path to acceptance and utilization the new concepts and desired behaviors.”

Instructional design, like marathon training, is in many ways about encountering defined barriers—and overcoming them.

When learners interact with engaging training solutions that accurately portray their established understanding and needs, the barrier to adoption is lowered. Learners can then see the value of the training’s main tenants and how it will directly benefit them.

These barriers must be presented in the context of an attainable goal. Struggle and frustrations might emerge, but just as a coach needs to make sure his athlete understands the purpose of an activity, obstacles must be understood as tools to drive achievement.

“Failures experienced in training serve to identify misconceptions and open doors to new possibilities,” says Young. “In this way, the training can lead learners to apply the learning objectives in their real lives to thrive and excel.”