Nearly every instructional design project involves developing learning objectives for various learning scenarios. Typically, instructional designers collaborate with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), asking open-ended questions to analyze and clarify what the learners will be doing. The answers we receive from our SMEs will help shape our learning objectives. When it comes to developing learning objectives, any good ID should be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy or (for online courses) Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. Here are some potential examples of how an ID might partner with an SME to create learning objectives and learning scenarios during the course development process:

Scenario #1: For the past ten years, KawKan has been using a lean manufacturing approach in the assembly of their motorcycles.  Over that decade, business has remained strong, but operational costs have continued to increase despite increased sales every year. Management has considered the idea it might be time to switch from the Lean process to a more robust continuous improvement model. Since the company is immersed in the practice of Lean manufacturing model, the management team is not familiar with the basic elements of the continuous improvement model. Management has asked you to prepare a presentation outlining the continuous improvement process and how implementing how it can improve the overall manufacturing output. The designated contacts for this project include the director of supply chain management and the director of continuous improvement for production.  Assume the role of an instructional designer developing an outline for a training resolution. 

        • Goal: KawKan’s production employees should be able to understand, analyze, and apply continuous improvement practices to their manufacturing tasks
        • Learning objectives/outcomes: By the end of this training, learners will be able to evaluate, analyze and understand the key aspects of a continuous improvement model, including differences and similarities between Lean manufacturing and continuous improvement; learners will be able to switch from Lean processes to continuous improvement processes; learners will be able to describe and apply continuous improvement processes to their daily work on the production floor
        • Potential Subject Matter Experts: Supply Chain Managers, Operations Manager, and Production Managers (managers will be points of contact for training and will contribute to the ongoing implementation and retention of information among production employees after training has occurred); Process Improvement Experts (trained experts who can contribute to initial training as well as followup training sessions);  Vice President of Production for KawKan (a trained professional who can be present for project meetings and provide crucial feedback about departmental needs, and help determine the “bigger picture” goals of this project)


Scenario #2: MedPat is a moderate-sized medical device manufacturer with offices, distribution centers, and production facilities scattered across North and South America. The company’s growth has primarily been done through the acquisition of smaller and competing business in the same market.  Given the degree of displaced locations, different operating procedures, and non-integrated systems, the operations have become too strenuous.  One of the larger sites has been chosen as a test site to harmonize the setup and production of the company’s new devices.  Soon, other sites will be manufacturing this same device.  MedPat needs to remove itself from a paper-based operation because it slows down production, the records are hard to consistently manage, and it leads to communication issues with the site and field reps.  The designated contacts for this initiative consist of a process improvement expert and the vice president of production. Assume the role of an instructional designer developing an outline for a training resolution.

        • Goal: MedPat aims to improve manufacturing and operations while streamlining the production process through consistent training, communication, and a company culture shift to implement the use of an electronic operations system
        • Learning objectives/outcomes: By the end of this training, learners will be able to: 1) identify his or her own role in business operations and how electronic communications can be better utilized during daily tasks for this role; 2) explain and demonstrate proper usage of the new electronic system; 3) discuss and analyze methods to help improve companywide communications and record-keeping systems
        • Potential Subject Matter Experts: Process Management Expert (a trained professional who will conduct research and audits as needed, during the initial investigative phase of the project as well as follow-up data collection during and after training, to assess training needs and learning retention), Operations Managers (solicit feedback from existing employees and provide followup training and support after training occurs), and Vice President of Production for MedPat (to be present for project meetings, provide crucial feedback about developmental needs, and offer “big picture” goals for this project)