Managing complexity while delivering custom content
Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning has a mission to improve the practice of management and its impact in a changing world. To support this mission, its corporate learning group focuses on providing learning experiences for corporate clients built around important and timely ideas-based content from Harvard Business School, Harvard Business Review, and industry experts. Its learners include executives at large global organizations, who can choose to participate in a broad spectrum of flexible, tailored leadership development experiences through both online and blended learning.
Jennifer Long, Director of Educational Products at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, comments: “Our co-creation approach is what makes our offerings unique. Although we’re building on our expert content, we’re tailoring it to the business priorities of our clients. Clients may also have a need to change aspects of their program midstream. We can adapt dynamically to meet the client’s needs.”
Ron MacLean, Experience Architect, Educational and Learning Product Design Group at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, adds: “Co-creation is great, but it creates more options for the user experience. During the program, if we don’t manage the learner experience carefully, it can lead to learners becoming confused.”
When Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning launched phase one of a new blended learning solution, the team quickly identified opportunities to improve the user experience.
Ron MacLean recalls: “We had feedback from learners saying that they weren’t clear on what to do next that sent us back to the drawing board.”
Part of the challenge is that Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning’s courses are highly focused on self-directed and peer-to-peer learning, rather than a top-down instructional model.
“We’re trying to drive our learners’ engagement with the platform, with the content, and with each other. We need to walk the line between having a robust design that enables us to deliver content aligned to the specific client needs and keeping it simple enough that learners don’t get lost. That’s the challenge.” – Jennifer Long, Director of Educational Products, Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning