242- On-Demand: One Course, Many Contexts: Using Activity Theory for Front-End Analysis

Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Instructional Design

LS-DX on-demand sessions are recorded videos you can access starting at this date and time, and watch at your own convenience.

Ever read a comment from a learner on a course survey that says, "The presenter was very knowledgeable and thought provoking, unfortunately this solution would never work in my setting"? At the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, our members work in school, hospital, and private practice settings, at companies and institutions of vastly different sizes, subject to different regional laws, and made up of different employee compositions. The challenge is to be able to walk a tightrope of content design that is broad enough to warrant product creation from a business perspective, but specific enough to address the unique challenges of each learner. The answer: activity theory.

Activity theory is a framework for analyzing a system that allows us to see how specific workplace factors can impact a learner's ability to implement a solution. In this session, we'll integrate principles from activity theory into the analysis and design processes to help subject matter experts tackle environmental challenges at the right level.  First, we'll practice analyzing a task and work setting, exploring how just a few categories (tools, rules, community, and roles) can be used to better understand a task in context. Then we'll come up with specific questions that you can ask your subject matter experts on topics relevant to your content areas to help them uncover barriers to success. And finally, we'll explore ways to weave the answers to these questions into a variety of formats and delivery methods to avoid content being "too specific" or "too broad", even when delivered to a variety of audiences.‬‬

In this session, you will learn:

  • To analyze the barriers to implementing training using the components of activity theory
  • To write questions specific to your topic areas for use in discussions with SMEs
  • To prioritize the most relevant barriers for your course
  • To design content using context-specific examples that can serve as broader models regardless of setting
David Sensenig, Instructional Designer - American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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