Best type of course for communicating a New Process

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to e-learning course design and I'm looking for your advice on what type of engaging, effective interactions or course designs might work best in STORYLINE to help our field sales team understand our RFP (request for proposal) process, the paperwork required and their role in that process. 

Desired outcomes:

Our sales people & managers should: 

  • understand overall RFP work flow  (& benefits of process to them & our customers)
  • know how to submit an RFP
  • understand purpose of and how to complete, paperwork required (including knowing downside of not completing info. upfront)
  • understand expectations - where & when in process sales person/sales mgr. needs to be actively involved
  • how and/or where to get help

(Because RFPs are intermittent, we know they'll forget the above learning so we're planning to develop "job aids" to remind them of  the above.

I'd love to hear your suggestions or see maybe what you've done for similar courses!  THANKS SO, SO Much !  

Jan

11 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Jan.

I would build this around the BENEFITS of getting it right, the COSTS, (personal and business) of getting it wrong, and build that into a story, where each segment builds on the last, (pretty much what you have laid out - so I am not sure that I just added anything to your thinking   ).

In one Storyline course I built recently we had to demonstrate form-filling, and this is what I came up with for one bit of it:

http://youtu.be/XwTyE4ZCH-8

Not sure it works for you, but might be something to think about. You would need to purchase the software to get the full functionality, but I am using it all over the place in all kinds of ways, so it has paid for itself many times over already.

Hope this helps.

Nicole Legault

Hi Jan!

Thanks for posting your question here! Sounds like an interesting project you get to work on here! How exciting!

Whenever I get a new training project I almost always tend to think of the content in terms of making it scenario based. This means putting the content into a real life context and situation. 

Maybe you could create a simple character, for example Bob, that is representative of the employees at your company. Your learners can help guide "Bob" through the RFP process and help him make the appropriate decisions along the way. This really comes down to personal preference (some people don't like characters as much as others) but I find they give it a real human and personal touch.

You could set it up in terms of a real-life situation and have your learners make the real decisions that they will have to make when they are on the job. This way you are somewhat ensuring that they actually know the process and what they need to do, versus making the learners memorize a bunch of terms or do a basic true or false quiz. 

For example, "Bob is sitting in his office when he receives a RFP for blabla. What is the first thing Bob does?" Answer 1: "Bob researches the companies and does some intial investigation to make sure he has accurate and detailed information for his RFP" or Answer 2: "Bob starts immediately filling it out, and answers most things from memory. Then he quickly sends it off to management for review". This is just an example I'm giving you. these questions and answers are just examples. But you see how you are putting the learner in the situation where they need to make real workplace decisions... 

These are just a few of my ideas that came to mind!! Looking forward to seeing other suggestions from the community! Hope this helps!!

Jan  Stanard

Hi Bruce, Thanks for the quick reply.  Good news is I was thinking along the same lines - real world scenario, but wasn't sure how to 'make that happen' (for lack of better words) - Like what kind of scenarios or how to present it.  So thanks for the idea about keeping it positive.  

I viewed your video, very cool!  What software did you use?

Jan  Stanard

Hi Nicole, thanks for the post!  I love your examples.  I knew I wanted to build in some kind of interactions (vs. just presenting BORING info) along with real world scenarios, but I wasn't really sure HOW to do that. You taking the time to detail out an example is really helpful.  AWESOME suggestions!  

Nicole Legault

No problem Jan! Very happy to help. 

Another thing I thought of (from reading Bruces comment about the costs vs benefits) is perhaps you could also set it up so that if Bob properly fills out the RFP and submits it correctly, at the end of the course, he lands the contract, but if he fills it out wrong, he misses out on the opportunity. 

This is illustrating the real life consequences of what happens if the job is done correctly vs. incorrectly!

=)

Nicole Legault

I don't have a template at the moment, but good idea for future project for me... Although I don;t have a template I do have a few more tips to offer about building your scenarios:

1) create relatable characters that your employees will like and relate to. 

2) develop real-life challenges (make them realistic, apply all the real life rules and parameters)

3) demonstratae real life consequences (what would really happen if they did a step in the process incorrectly? or if they went to the wrong person for information? Show consequences.)

Also, with the bullet points of info you gave I would consider setting it up like this:

Present them with the RFP Workflow from start to finish, with all the info they need to know. This can be through text, graphics, media. Remember to try to keep it simple, basic, no nice-to-know only the need to know information.

Then, you can build a scenario that uses your 6 bullet points as the different quiz questions. Maybe one scenario based question asks them step by step, what they would do in terms of workflow. Also, maybe you can build a quick scenario where they run into a small issue and you can set up a scenario like "Bob doesn't know where to get the information for a certain part of the RFP. What should he do when he needs help?" Answer 1: "Go to a manager and find out the appropriate information" or Answer 2 "Go online and do some Google research". Then you are testing if they actually know what to do...

Bob S

Hi Jan,

Scenarios are almost always a great way to go. In addition you might want to consider how important it is for learners to understand the process/workflow overall. If it is important, you might want to think about creating some visual representation of the process... dessert island pirate treasure map, flowchart, AAA-style TripTick, maze complete with Minotaurs, etc etc.

You could then even consider using that graphic as the "backbone" of the course and highlight particular steps as you come to them, possibly then diving into the next scenario. Of course making the sure the graphic style/theme ties to the scenario theming would create a wonderfully seemless experience that allows the learner to mentally tie the big picture the the specific knowledge needed for each step.

Hope this helps,

Bob

Bruce Graham

Jan Stanard said:

Hi Bruce, Thanks for the quick reply.  Good news is I was thinking along the same lines - real world scenario, but wasn't sure how to 'make that happen' (for lack of better words) - Like what kind of scenarios or how to present it.  So thanks for the idea about keeping it positive.  

I viewed your video, very cool!  What software did you use?


No worries.

I think Nicole has you covered re the whole "scenarios" conversation, not a lot I can add.

I used Sparkol Videoscribe to do that, and then inserted into Storyline as an .mp4.

Bruce

Louisa Fricker

Hi Jan - I'm late to this conversation but wanted to add a couple suggestions that have worked for me.

1 - (echoing what others have said) Have one of the Storyline characters appear regularly in the activity, as though that character is talking directly to the learners. The character can point to important info on the screen, give instructions ("Time to put on your headset! There's a video coming up next"), and tell the learners when they've completed a section of the training. It helps personalize content that risks being dry.

2 - Include a Quick Quiz after each section. I use simple interactions, such as a drag-&-drop to complete 3 or 4 sentences, to allow the learner to check their knowledge. I also make the quizzes optional - you can skip right past them if you want - to keep them low-stakes.

Good luck!

Kimberly Read

A potentially humorous twist I've tried on the consequence driven scenario: offer learners both the good example outcome and a simply ridiculous bad example and outcome - side by side.

Ever seen Animaniacs Mr. Skullhead?

(If not, here are some Mr. Skullhead typical examples:

Good Idea: Whistling while you work. Bad Idea: Whistling while you eat. (Skullhead is kicked out of the diner... literally)

Good Idea: Having breakfast served to you in bed. Bad Idea: Having tennis balls served to you in bed. (Skullhead is pummeled by tennis balls)

Good Idea: Buying a pair of shoes on sale. Bad Idea: Buying a parachute on sale. (Skullhead jumps out of a plane with a defective parachute that falls off of his back)

Same principle applied to an RFP (picture this in cartoon design):

Good Idea: Bob calls potential suppliers and inform them the organization is going to procure and ask them to make their best effort. Bad idea: Bob calls potential suppliers and asks them to play the game "Why am I calling you?"

Good idea: Bob provides a deadline by which suppliers need to respond. Bad idea: Bob decides to call a "surprise RFP" tells suppliers he will call them someday in the future with a "pop RFP."

Good idea: Bob informs suppliers the selection process is competitve. Bad idea: Bob tells each supplier "you are special to me," calls them his "favorite," and says that he is rooting for them in particular.

When used, I've found the contrast of the good/bad examples really seems to help learners remember the proper steps and the reasons for them. Particularly if the bad examples are ridiculous, I've found it only serves to impress how silly it would be to do anything different than the proper procedure.