Technical communication, business communication, and content development all have a wide range of sub-disciplines, which may account for the epic debates on job titles, responsibilities, and need for respect from coworkers. And during the course of their careers, many of our fellow professionals venture down the path to developing educational and training materials–calling it instructional design, curriculum development, elearning, mlearning, or some unique combination thereof. It may be stating the obvious, but getting into some phase of this arena of content and communication requires some understanding of the ways that people acquire knowledge–how do people learn? This is the basis for our latest poll question. We start with the easy part: how do you like to learn?
In a field where content reuse looms larger as a business objective, knowing how people learn is critical to figuring out how to create, curate and reuse content that might have started life as something to help sell, to define a new product, or to guide how it’s produced. Or if it starts out as training content, it may end up in marketing, support, or other user assistance channels. Either way, it’s part of the old truism of knowing your audience. And individual audience members have distinctly different ways that they acquire and retain information. What works for you may not work for me, so we need to create content that works for both of us, while retaining the consistency of message.
Think about learning from your own perspective, and let us know which of these methods works best for you. Feel free to post a comment to tell us why, or how it affects the content you plan and develop. We hope it will lead to some additional questions that address this part of our profession (so feel free to suggest some future poll questions that cover other aspects of developing learning content.)