How long does it take? – Navigating learning design timeframes

One of the first conversations we have with many of our clients starts like this:

I’ve already done a full learning needs analysis and gathered all the content;

Can you start building learning content for us?

People seem quite surprised when we still want to go through a discovery process before giving a final answer to this question.

They’ve analysed the needs, so why can’t we set time frames and jump straight in?

10-second Spiderman

Take a look at this video, which shows one of the main reasons we need to explore what people are looking for before we start.

All three of these drawings match the description ‘Spiderman’s face’. All three are by the same artist. All three have roughly the same dimensions.

Without knowing the context, there is no way we could tell you which would be suitable.

This video is often used to explain why higher quality costs more. But it’s also a great way to illustrate the importance of understanding the purpose of a piece of work.

If all that was needed was something recognisable as spiderman, the 1-minute version here might be perfectly adequate.

By making sure we understand the context of an e-learning module, the audience, and the behaviours the learning intervention needs to enable, we can make sure that we are right-sizing our work to match the actual need.

So how long is that, then?

A Synapsys Goals Workshop, where we explore what is required for your learners to succeed, can be anything from an hour to two days, depending on the project. For a single e-learning module, we generally look at two to three hours.

From there, the whole design and build process generally takes from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on how many reviews are required, how long our clients want to have for each review, and how complex the module is.

It’s not instant, but it means we can have confidence that the end product will work.


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