10. All design takes place within constraints

Designing blended solutions
The third element of the situation that you need to investigate, after the learning requirements (‘the learning’) and the characteristics of the target population (‘the learner’), is the logistics. You need to know what practical constraints (or to put it more positively, what opportunities) you will have to accommodate (or, in the case of opportunities, to exploit).
All design takes place within constraints. I’m sure film director James Cameron moans about his measly $200m budget and his unreasonable two-year schedule. Chances are you have much greater limitations to work with, but this is completely normal, and can be seen to help the design process by closing down the options you need to consider.
So what logistical factors are likely to impact on your design?

  • The size and geographic distribution of the target population.
  • The amount of time available for training.
  • The budget.
  • The deadline.
  • The facilities and equipment available.
  • The human resources available for design, development and delivery, and the skills and knowledge they possess.
  • The software tools available for development and delivery.
  • The organisation’s policies and procedures with regard to learning and development.

Next week, we’ll move on to use what we have discovered about the learning, the learners and the logistics to start making decisions on the methods that will bring us the results we’re after.
Next upLearning methods are timeless