Why We Have to Disrupt When Designing Learning

Thursday, October 19, 2017

In the context of seeking to improve operational service excellence and a better patient experience, learning developers need to be more than effective. L&D pros need to be fast and solve complex problems with an empathetic approach because that is the way to embrace patient-centered care and innovation.

Developing the healthcare workforce isn’t just about compliance anymore; it’s about the development of value-based care. This demands a new mindset—a major transformation that requires us to be flexible and agile. The way people learn is being reshaped with the addition of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and that changes learner’s expectations.

The truth is that IT and learning are similar; both try to simplify the complex but they differ in speed. While technology is very fast, L&D struggles to innovate on the way to approach learning. That must change. The industry must adapt and be able to respond with speed in order to generate and share knowledge in a way that is aligned with organizational goals. What’s more, the industry must embrace learning design that is compatible with real life—compatible with a “beta version” world, in which things change rapidly.

In addition, the design process needs to center on human beings. Designers must consider their expectations and preferences about learning, and the performance that is expected from them.

If you are a learning professional, this can be challenging. And if you are a healthcare subject matter expert, the challenge is even bigger because designing learning is not your primary job. But we need to engage SMEs in the process of instructional design and having tools that help them share their knowledge is crucial.


Linear instructional design systems are good, but they’re still linear. L&D pros must disrupt to design learning in a way that is not just effective but also flexible, agile, simple, and fast. 

Knowing how to do something does not mean that you know how to teach someone to do your job. Enter the Trahentem® Methodology for Learning Design.

This design tool uses three Canvas models that have been developed to facilitate the process of diagnosis, the selection of knowledge and content, and the design of solutions that are focused on how people learn and how they perform. In other words, it is a disruptive and practical approach that bridges theory and practice and enables developers to execute learning design in the real world.

Following the principles of design thinking, the Trahentem® Methodology combines the analysis of the context of a problem with empathy, placing people at the center of the learning design process. It enables the search for diverse perspectives for problem analysis and solution, always prioritizing the collaborative work preferably performed by multidisciplinary teams. 

Bottom line: Disrupt before you are disrupted. That means L&D professionals need to be practical, agile, and aligned with organizational goals—all while meeting the expectations of employees who need to learn in the real world.

Want to Learn More?

I am an ATD Master Trainer Program facilitator. In the program, I can help you identify areas where you excel, and where you have opportunities for growth. You’ll benefit from collaborative and concrete training, and then be invited to assess your skills and knowledge. Hope to see you soon.

About the Author

Flora Alves has been working in the talent development field for more than 25 years. She founded SG, a training company focused on learning transfer, which has helped companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Rubbermaid, EMD Serono, Merck, and AMIL, among others, for the last 15 years.  She invented the Trahentem Methodology for Learning Design Using Canvas, a learning solutions design tool that uses three Canvas models to facilitate the process of diagnosis, the selection of knowledge and content, and the design of solutions focused on how people learn and how they perform.  Flora is the author of the bestsellers Gamification: How to Create Engaging Learning Experiences, A Complete Guide From Theory to Practice and Learning Design Using Canvas: Trahentem.  She is a professional speaker and has presented sessions and workshops at the Brazilian Conferences organized by ABTD, the Brazilian Association for Training and Development, and at the ATD International Conference & EXPO (2016 and 2017).

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