Want your new training to meet your learning objectives? Then get the right content to your vendor.
You may be thinking, “Wait! Isn’t the content my vendor’s responsibility?” Ultimately, yes. Your vendor will take the provided content and use their expertise to develop it into something shiny and beautiful that meets every learning objective. However…if they don’t get the right content from the get-go…that isn’t going to happen.
Common Problems in Content Curation and Creation
Let’s walk through some common problems seen in client-provided content. Any of these problems can make it difficult for the vendor to meet the learning objectives.
There’s too much content
Say you have three drives full of content relevant to the course. You give all of this to your vendor. Your vendor may have a difficult time locating the content they need. This makes the development process tedious and error-riddled, and you may have to constantly dive back into the content yourself to help them find the right pieces.
There’s too little content
Sometimes you provide everything you’ve got, but it doesn’t begin to cover the topics that you outlined in the learning objectives. Maybe you don’t realize this, or you do realize this and don’t mention it because you figure your vendor is an expert and can “make it work.” A few weeks later, you might get a phone call inquiring when the rest of the content is coming. How embarrassing to have to say that it isn’t!
You want your vendor to make stuff up
This tends to partner with the “too little content” problem. You may have knowingly sent too little content expecting that the vendor would fill in the gaps with some thoughtful, well-reasoned language. That’s all well and good, but did you tell the vendor that? They may be hesitant to add anything not in your content without your express blessing.
You don’t want your vendor to make stuff up
On the flip side of the coin, if you send anemic content, some vendors may decide to proactively fill in the gaps. If you prefer to fill in any gaps yourself with specific wording and institutional knowledge, your vendor needs to know.
The content is inaccurate or outdated
Some vendors can share horror stories about designing a course around client content…only to find out in the SME review cycle that the terminology, or the brand guidelines, or the core concept doesn’t fly. Always review your content and make sure it’s correct! If you need your legal department or anyone else to sign off on it, do that before sending it to your vendor.
You don’t even know what’s in the content
This, too, is unfortunately common. You may come back to your vendor outraged about something in the training, only to learn it’s word-for-word from a document you provided! Not only that—when your vendor comes to you with questions, you can’t respond because you have no idea what they do and don’t have.
When you get the right amount of correct content to your vendor and you’re both on the same page, your vendor will be able to make a training to meet your learning objectives. Your training will do what it was intended to do, and you’ll see a return on your investment.