We’ve all done needs assessments to determine knowledge and skill gaps, but how do you know what information your learners need each day, on the job? It’s easy to assume that we’re giving them everything they need, but let’s be honest: we’re good, but we’re not perfect.
There are several key pieces of data to help you figure out what your learners need. Consider the following:
Monitor the information above and be as responsive as possible. If you notice a gap in your offerings, do something about it. This will help fulfill the short-term needs of your learners. (Of course, you’ll want to continue to do needs assessments to try and anticipate the organization’s long-term needs.)
Most of the suggestions I’ve given come down to the old adage, “Know your audience.” I’m simply suggesting that you mine existing data (or start gathering more data) to better understand what your learners need, and then adjust your offerings accordingly. This process should be ongoing; don’t be lazy and address their needs on a quarterly or yearly basis. I’ve even thought about creating a dashboard that can aggregate all of these data feeds into one place. This would allow me to keep an eye on the data on an up-to-the minute basis. I don’t know that I would react to each and every item that came in, but it would certainly help me identify trends.
What other information should be monitored?
B.J. is the Founding Editor of eLearning Weekly and has contributed more than 150 articles. He works in elearning at Qualcomm, focusing on mobile learning.