Where exactly do social media technologies fit into current instructional design models? My answer might surprise you, but it goes back to the performance analysis even before the decision to develop any instruction was made. Even before determining if there is a skill deficiency in the performer, instructional designers, human resources leaders, and IT leaders should consider the potential for social media tools to improve collaboration and find the information employees need in order to perform. You see, in Mager & Pipe's Performance Analysis Flow diagram under the heading "Can we apply fast fixes?", there is already a decision box for "Are resources for the performer adequate?" When thinking of solving performance problems and preventing them from occurring in the future, its useful for designers to realize the potential for social media tools to serve as a resource for performers. Social media tools can serve as repositories of information for the performers, and not just learning assets maintained by the designers or the training department. Tools such as wikis, forums, collaborative work spaces, and blogs can be implemented and "moderated" or "maintained" by an instructional designer or other resource for accuracy.
Assuming learners require more resources to perform, you should be asking yourself three key questions upon reaching this decision point in the flow diagram:
- Where are the resources required by the performers located?
- Can social media technology enable performer(s) to acquire the resources?
- Is this a "fast fix" my corporate culture would embrace?
- Alex Santos
Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.