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Design Thinking: Putting the Learner First for Success in Corporate Learning

Corporate trainees are constantly being overwhelmed with information from different avenues. If a learning program is not focused on the needs of its learners, this often leads to high turnover early on in employment. Design Thinking is meant to combat this by having the learner experience at the epicenter of the design process for learning programs. It’s a solutions-first approach that is tailored for the learner to succeed.

The following 4 principles cover Design Thinking and how to use it to improve the corporate learning process:

 

1. Learner first, everything else, second.

The easiest way to break this down is to put yourself in the learner’s shoes. Gather feedback, analyze the questions learners have, and the challenges they face. Studying these findings will help create solutions for any challenges.

2. Research, goals, and solutions.

After the last step, which was a more empathetic approach, it’s time to move into a more practical approach. Conduct research to find real solutions to these real problems. In this stage, the issues and solutions are outlined, along with proposed goals.

3. The means to the end (goals).

Now that goals have been outlined, it’s time to identify how they will be reached. It’s time for fresh ideas that push the limits of the learning strategy. The step is critical, as it will determine whether or not your program has a true Design Thinking approach. For maximum results, consider looping in team members from different disciplines to narrow down well-rounded ideas.

4. Design Thinking is brought to life.

This is where ideas come to life. A simpler, “beta” (unfinished) version, will prove functionality and leave room for feedback and improvements.

 

Design Thinking: Question, Test and Keep Developing

True Design Thinking has a window for improvements immediately after launch. Once the strategy is executed, participants should have the flexibility to leave feedback. The collaboration and involvement factors help generate more engagement and a sense of belonging from participants. Trainers and facilitators also get to know the trainee’s learning styles and preferences.

Once feedback is applied and programs are improved, results should reflect positive improvements. Programs can (and should) be revisited periodically.

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