Valuable to Whom? Trouble with Stakeholders Who Think they Know

The one who controls the purse strings pretty much calls the shots. So, of course, we (who rely on their paying for our services and realize that they could just as easily go to some other group or organization who would do exactly as asked) pretty much say “yes” and try to incorporate the stakeholders’ ideas into the instructional designs.

In a recent (and ongoing project at the moment) we have some stakeholders who make decisions about what to include and what not to include in a training program based on nothing but their own feelings of what “should be covered.” (I hate that phrase! If you’re going to cover something, then it sounds much more like information that can be communicated in a memo … it’s covered.)

The kicker is that these stakeholders assert that their proposals requirements are valuable to the training. That may be so if the training was a matter of ticking off checkboxes … ‘okay, we covered this and that … ‘ – ‘You see, we managed to get all of this information in during the class.’

And what about the value for the learners?
Don’t waste my time … make it interesting … give me choices … let me try it out … provide the tools I need … don’t insult my intelligence … make it fun (please!)

Do the learners / users really care what gets ‘covered’? At the very least, I think that learners are not so much concerned about the amount of ‘what is covered’ but much much more about how to use that stuff to do their jobs or to make their daily grind a bit more meaningful.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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