2 thoughts on “Is your customer the business or the learner?

  1. Interesting and enjoyable! I think there is benefit in thinking about customers and consumers, but it’s not a perfect metaphor for workplace learning. Helpful, but not perfect. First, just because our learners want something, doesn’t mean it is the best thing to give them. There’s a ton of research showing that learners don’t know learning, so we have to be careful not to just cater to their desires. On the other hand, we do, I think, have an ethical obligation to our learners because we are impacting their health, career, and their lives. We also have an ethical obligation to those who purchase our services. Much of this comes back to the professionalism in our field, and our obligations to our professional standards.
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    Anyway, thanks for getting me thinking!

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Will! I do agree that our learners don’t always know best, but I think our industry believes learners don’t really know at all. The evidence is usually found in the rare approach of actually asking learners what they want/need, or even asking them to review content before it’s released. I think there’s some middle ground where we use good performance/learning analysis tools to identify needs, but also where we enable our users to control a bit of their own destiny and weigh in on their solutions!

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