As an Instructional Designer (or consultant, learning designer, trainer, etc.) you will often have to sit down with your clients to find out what they really want from a learning solution.
And no matter if this solution is for example an e-learning course, a classical training, a webinar or a new curriculum, some questions you will have to ask them.
Not only will you have to ask them to avoid going down the wrong path, but especially to get the most and best out of the learning solution and create really satisfied clients.
So, here two important questions you will have to ask:
1. What is your (organization’s) goal?
Sometimes just asking your clients this question will start an interesting conversation, because goals are not alway (clearly) defined or sometimes not even known or multi interpretable. This can be the case for goals on an overall, organizational level but also on a more detailled level, for example: what is our goal with this learning solution? What will it contribute to? Do we achieve our goals by taking this path? etc. etc.
Knowing what the goals are, helps you and your client to get on the right track and towards the perfect learning solution.
2. What problem or issue do you want to solve with this learning solution. And are there other solutions?
If there is a performance issue, especially managers tend to resort to learning solutions without having researched other possible ways to solve their problems. And sales managers, freelance trainers and other people in the learning business are eager to comply with their demands. So in a lot of situations training is used to solve a problem, where there would have been other and better solutions.
Therefore, with keeping the best result for all stakeholders in mind, you must really ask if there are no alternatives. And if your client is having problems addressing these alternatives, it’s your responsibility to help him with that. And in the end, maybe the best solution is indeed an e-learning course or training. Or, for instance, a simple job aid might do the trick.