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Nov 2017

Tune into your learners' needs and deliver on-demand content

Blog posts

James Cory-Wright

James Cory-Wright

Head of Learning Design at Kineo

A cry for needing help is not always a cry for learning. Many jobs or tasks don’t require a great deal of ‘capability’ to be learned. They just require the most appropriate information or instruction at the point of need that can then be forgotten and summoned again if required. Think checklists, aide memoires, FAQs, watchouts, how-to videos, top tips, flow charts, decision trees, animations, and infographics.

Developing a resource-based approach to learning

As Matt Mella, a Senior Lead Learning Designer at Kineo, puts it: “resource-based approach is on-the-fly knowledge and guidance rather than relying on memory and practised behaviours. The barrier to this isn't always technology; it's lacking the strategy and structure to deliver what's required when and where it's needed.” He goes on to suggest that “the revolution that's brewing in workplace learning is a shift from push to pull. The workplace of today is full of self-starters who are used to having support on demand at their fingertips. Apps, Google and YouTube have transformed how people develop. Why take a formal learning course when technology can extend your skills as much as grow them?”

Given that, the challenge to digital content developers is to create digital assets that meet the expectations of employees with sophisticated media tastes – highly visual, brand aware, tech sophisticates adept at social media, the internet and online games. Notice that’s not a generational thing: it’s everyone in this digital age. There is an expectation that content can be delivered and consumed in a variety of different channels. This in turn demands that content be creatively devised and developed making best use of a wide range of media. A successful approach to a resource-based solution is to embrace the many possibilities and adopt a multichannel approach like the following examples:

  • Video
    Gone are the days when video had to be high production. YouTube and Instagram have heralded the era of the selfie and the low-cost, low-fi film. Plenty of useful formats can be shot in an affordable ‘guerilla’ style with video cameras or smart phones.
  • Interactive video
    Introducing regular video’s slightly more engaging younger brother. As well as offering branching, visible hotspots and hazard identification style invisible hotspots, interactive video can feature scoring and tracking and be SCORM-compliant. Although the conventional wisdom is that interactive videos need to be substantial items, they can just as easily be ‘resourcesized’ short stand-alone interactive events.
  • Podcasts
    Although podcasts have been around for some time, their popularity is soaring - 57 million Americans listen monthly, up 23% year on year. And podcast listeners get hooked. In the UK, podcast listeners listen to over 6 hours per week. It’s a good way to provide a regular fix of information for your learners and is relatively easy to create.
  • PDFs
    Never underestimate the power of the PDF especially if it’s interactive, graphically rich and professionally produced. It’s about how they’re positioned as useful assets in their own right. It’s the ideal format for something like a jargon-buster, an aide memoire or a list of top tips.
  • Gamification
    Short stand-alone games can enhance a collection of resources. Using game mechanics like questions, timers, randomising, scoring, unlocking and lifelines, games that are often quiz-based are great for reinforcement or even introducing content using questions formatively with feedback. And when you put it all together?

To get an example of how a multi-channel approach could look or discover how you can deliver this approach effectively to your learners download our digital transformation guide. And if you’re looking for a manual to going micro with a resource-based and microlearning approach, we’ve got a guide on that too.

James Cory-Wright

James Cory-Wright

Head of Learning Design at Kineo

James has over 25 years' experience of instructional design and video scriptwriting. He heads up our team of learning designers and consultants, overseeing learning content design across all client projects. James has a reputation for creativity and innovation in elearning, having worked on numerous successful projects and regularly attends industry events, presenting our latest thoughts.

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