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Determining When and How to Create Learning

The learning department for one of our clients came to us with a two-part challenge that many learning professionals can relate to.

First, they received too many requests to create or update learning for them to handle. Second, for the learning they did create or update, they weren’t always sure of the best delivery channel and method to use.

They were feeling overwhelmed and realized that these challenges were having an impact on how they were perceived throughout the organization. They came to Benchmark to see what we could do.

In response, we created two tools to help them.

Example of work products

The first was a learning intake job aid that provided a quick and easy procedure for triaging requests. Designed as a process flow, it included a series of straight-forward yes/no questions (with supporting reflection questions) to help learning professionals quickly determine whether to proceed now, later or not at all.

With this tool, they were able to quickly determine and sequence priority projects and thereby manage their workload. Because they now had a clear rationale for why a certain project did or didn’t get done, it also improved their professional image, as their decisions were perceived as consistent and fair.

The second tool was a learning design job aid. It laid out key design and development considerations (e.g., learning provides extensive practice, works for a dispersed audience, is quick to develop, etc.) and visually laid out how the various delivery channels and methods perform against each consideration.

Their task became simple – determine which considerations mattered most in a particular case, and then just look across the job aid to find the delivery channel and method that performed best. This took guesswork and time out of making learning design and development decisions. It could also be used to help others in the organization understand why a particular solution would/wouldn’t be effective.

In addition, we added best practices for each of the delivery channels and methods – so learning would be as effective as possible.

Several years later, these tools are still aligned with the priorities of the learning department, and have even been of interest to various professionals in the business.

For more information, contact Louise Grummitt.


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