Two Most Important Questions To Ask Your Clients

When I'm at the analysis stage of developing training, there are two most important questions I ask of my clients.  These two questions are often confused with one another, but there is a difference between them.  The first questions is as follows:

"What will the learners be able to do or know upon completion of this course?"

I think you can see that this leads to my ability to build my objective.  The rest of the course design and development will stem from this very simple question.  For example, if my client responds to this question with "learners will be able to change a flat tire" than that is my objective for the course, at least for the most part.  I will likely break it down into sub tasks as needed and add the conditions, such as "given a car with a flat tire, a spare tire, a jack and a tire iron, you will be able to...."

The other question is:

"What do you hope to accomplish with this training?"

Now they sound like similar questions but they're not.  The first question was to answer was the learner was going to gain from the course.  The second question is what the client, the stakeholder, or business for that matter, will gain from this course.  For example, I might be designing a customer service course.  The learner's objectives might include items such as learning the proper steps to greeting the customer, and identifying their needs, and so one.  The business will get out of this course, more sales, happier customers and less complaints.

I think we often over design a course because we have failed to ask these types of questions.  If you identify was the client wants for themselves, their business, and the objectives for their learners, you should never have any questions popping up in the eleventh hour about course content.