I feel that sometimes we attempt to make training more complicated than it has to be. I recently was asked to develop training for using a closed circuit TV system. The manufacturer’s user guide is a few hundred pages long. I found out specifically what the end user needed to know to do their jobs. Turns out they required only about five pieces of knowledge and skill. I focused my training on those items and ended up with an eleven page document with a skills assessment check list at the end. Very simple and it does what they asked this training to do.
Ironically the training department’s expectation was a “job aid”. Many organizations think of job aids as “one pagers” or single page documents. I think this is a misnomer about job aids; job aids are anything that helps a learner perform their job. It could be a cheat sheet that sits on the top of their computer keyboard, a sign on the wall or like in this case a few pages about how to do a particular task. I think we get stuck with expectations of our clients rather than building a training solution that is right for the training problem. If a single page is all that is required; you are wasting the learner’s time to give them too much, if one page isn’t enough than more is required. It really is that simple.