Written by:

Holly Macdonald


March 23, 2016

One of the most useful tools that we instructional designers can borrow from #UX is the Customer Journey map. After we’ve confirmed that this training should exist (a la Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping), we should remember that learning is not an event, but a journey.

What is a Learning Journey?

It’s a type of timeline that we can use to align different types of instructional products or solutions to support learning. Learning is not a binary activity, it takes time! A Learning Journey includes the things that happen between Don’t Know to Know. learning journey

When making a map of a learning journey, it would be helpful to think of it not just in terms of time, but also consider the task from an instructional point of view:

  • complexity – is this something they’ll learn easily or will spaced repetition help?
  • frequency – is this a task they be doing a lot or rarely. If it’s rarely, then provide less training and more performance support, AND trigger it somehow (push notification)
  • consequences of poor performance – is this something that they need to do right in order to avoid significant consequences?  If so, it’s essential that they learn it and get “challenged” or tested on it to ensure that they really have learned it.

And consider how performance might be monitored or shaped throughout the journey, through:

  • Coaching
  • Feedback
  • Monitoring
  • Practice

As you map how people might move through their learning journey, it will give you some ideas of how they need training or performance support. It will also help you identify how to construct or deliver training and performance support to your audience. One of the interesting elements of training is that it often includes both knowledge and skill. And we are often involved in marrying the two together. Knowing something and doing something are not the same thing. Doing it right is another issue entirely!

There’s more nuance that can be gained from the customer mapping methodology, and we’ll explore those more in future posts.