2 Replies
Bob S

Brian,

I can assure you that you are not alone in this...   Regulatory/Compliance training is one of the biggest growth areas in the training world. But with that opportunity comes a new set of constraints. One of them being the "required" length of courseware.

Sometimes there is an actual time requirement, other times there is a laundry list of topics that MUST be included in the course that has the same effect of making the courses far longer than good design would dictate.

In additition, with regulatory/compliance training companies often face serious consequences if learner completion rates and accurate reporting aren't where they should be. As a result, many companies opt for a single, ponderously long, course that's easier to track and report on (as opposed to separate short courses in a learning path).

The results are just as you intimate... courses that are far too long to be effective.

So what can we do about it?

Here are some things I've pushed for with mixed results...

Courses too long due to excessive content:

  • Using test-out options for base-level content with robust assessments that meet regulators approval
  • Relegating everything I can get away with to supplemental status through the use of links, Articulate's great Attachments Tab, etc
  • Employing an almost fanatical adherence to a teach-to-the-test approach for these types of courses. (I get sign-off from everyone on what topics will be tested on, and more importantly, what won't. Then I can use that as my mandate to eliminate all of the just-in-case topics to supplemant status. See #2)

Courses too long due to arbitrary time requirement:

  • Creating scenario-based exercises that require learners to undertake some external research to find answers outside of the course (takes time)
  • Employing an almost fanatical adherence to a teach-to-the-test approach for these types of courses. (Again, I get sign-off from regulators and others on ALL of the topics that must be tested on. Then use that as a mandate to say "if that's what needs to be taught and our learners test on it well, why risk lower retention and lower results by increasing course length")

It's not easy, but it pays the bills.