The role of job aids in Instructional Design-led learning programs

If you have ever sat through a learning session, whether real-time or self-paced, and felt bored, not interested or simply waiting for it to end, then rest assured that you are not alone. A critical problem with training programs is often the way information is presented. Lengthy, word-heavy or visually unappealing learning materials can take away the fun from learning. This is why job aids play an important role in making any training program a roaring success. 

man standing in front of group of men

What is a job aid?

A job aid is a physical or digital information artifact that acts as a support material for any training or learning program. They are suitable for use in instructor-led, face-to-face to virtual sessions or self-paced online sessions. For example, during an instructor-led, face-to-face,  learning session, the presentation deck that the instructor refers to while teaching acts as a job aid. Ideally, every job aid should be visually appealing, well organized, structured to suit the training  program and have a balance of design elements and text to avoid cognitive overload. They can be shared with the learners for reference even after the learning session is complete. 

At Accuracy, we create a host of helpful job aids that facilitate the use of our products. These job aids can be used as references for synchronous and asynchronous study, thus promoting a continuous learning environment. 

To learn more about synchronous and asynchronous study, read our article.

Our reusable formats can help you ensure that a standardized approach is employed across your learning programs. Examples of job aids that we can create to support the end-to-end Instructional Design-led training and curriculum programs we create include:

  • Presentation decks
  • Interactive PFDs
  • Handouts
  • Knowledge scenarios
  • Simulation scenarios for systems and process training
  • Demo and virtual tour videos
  • Quiz questions decks, assessment questions decks
  • Infographics for visual storytelling
  • Animation videos
  • Curriculum maps
  • Instructional user manuals
  • Reusable templates for newsletters, email and social media communication

How to create an effective job aid to facilitate learning

The most effective job aids are designed using a healthy combination of Instructional Design and User-Experience Design principles.

Step 1: Identify your target audience and their preferred learning style

The key to creating effective learning material is to know who you are creating it for. Drill down on the client brief to understand your learner’s profile. At Accuracy, we lay emphasis on the importance of creating job aids based on the preferred learning style of the majority. If most of your participants are visual learners, choose a blend of video-based or simulation scenario-based learning. 

Step 2: Choose a few formats to drive your learning programs

Just using a single type of format can be monotonous and confusing. It is always prudent to choose from a variety of formats to cater to all learning styles so that you miss no one. 

Step 3: Collate all information for your job aids

Collect all relevant content to start designing your job aids. 

Step 4: Meticulously plan the structure, design and formatting elements for your chosen job aids

Any effective job aid is the work of a well-organized information architect. Before you start scripting your job aid, plan its structure, information flow, design elements and formatting elements. Remember, the manner in which your information is presented plays an equally important role in helping the learner absorb your content. 

Step 5: Create, share, incorporate feedback

Once you have created your desired job aids, refer back to your learning objective for the entire program and ensure that all content is aligned to the objectives. Make relevant changes, if required. Edit your job aids to remove all redundancy and fluff to make them succinct. 

Step 6: Roll them out

Share them with your desired audience. Don’t forget to gather post-training feedback to assess how you can improvise your existing job aids. 

To learn more about  comprehensive tips on how to create effective job aids, read our article.

Preeti Singh

Writer & Blogger

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