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5 steps to designing a results-driven elearning curriculum

Blog posts | 23.09.2022


Shaping the future of learning

“Do or plan (something) with a specific purpose in mind.” 

Oxford Language Dictionary 

That’s the dictionary definition of design, as a verb - and yet, so many times learning designers can get stuck at ‘design’ as a noun: “the art or action of conceiving of and producing a plan or drawing of something before it is made” 

At Kineo, we like the verb (as our name suggests, derived from the verb ‘kinetic’). But, what we really like about that definition is the second part: “with a specific purpose in mind”. This is at the root of our approach to learning design - that it be anchored in solving a specific business need or result. 

A results-driven approach to elearning curriculum design

We’ve all been part of training sessions that feel generic, soulless and like a tick-box exercise. Quite frankly, these types of sessions shouldn’t be happening anymore. Any learning for your employees represents a genuine opportunity to engage with them, impart new knowledge and empower them to be better versions of themselves. 

So, what’s going wrong? A lot of the time, the issue comes from focusing on delivering content, rather than delivering a set of experiences that support and enable changes to support a specific business need.    

Your training should develop and nurture the critical skills needed to achieve a specific business outcome, in the most effective way. In order to deliver on that objective, you’ll need to bring together a few things: 

  • A clear goal, related to a specific business problem 
  • A clear understanding of your learners and their needs 
  • The optimal mix of experiences that will meet the goal 

So, let’s quickly look at the five steps to a successful results-driven curriculum… 

1. Create a clear project charter 

This step is all about being clear on your business problem and desired learning outcomes. What is the impetus for the initiative and what are the associated symptoms (i.e. what’s not working now)? What will change if the initiative is successful? How will you measure that success? 

2. Know your audience 

It’s essential that you consider who you’re talking to when you’re creating a learning experience. Identify and analyse who you’re targeting with this solution. How do they connect to the business problem? What do they need from this solution in order to achieve the desired outcomes? 

One common fault with many training programmes is that they have a large, homogenous potential audience–“all members” or “all new employees” or “our entire organisation.” And a common trap designers fall into is trying to design one solution that meets the needs of all of these potential audience members. Unfortunately, this one-size-fits-all approach will leave you coming up short for everyone. 

3. Define the performance goals and barriers 

Once you’ve documented the business outcomes and defined your audience groups, it’s time to get a clear understanding of what learner outcomes are required of the solution–i.e. what you need learners to be able to do that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do before your solution. For each audience segment, clearly articulate the performance goals and any barriers that need to be overcome to achieve those goals. 

4. Surface solution constraints 

This step is a short but important one. This is where you need to uncover any potential constraints or requirements for your solution. This could include technology, compliance or certification requirements and details around the source content available (or not!). This step will give you the boundaries you need to design within, and help to avoid any disappointment. 

5. Envision the learning experience 

Whilst it may be hard to picture the learning experience in its entirety - it’s essential to have some ‘bigger picture’ thinking when creating a results-driven curriculum. We recommend that you apply what you know about your problem, audience, desired outcomes, and constraints, and envision the learning experiences and interventions. There’s no “one way” to approach this step, but we have a proven methodology that makes coming up with a full programme or curriculum solution a bit easier to tackle. 


To find out more, download the full guide. If you’d like to learn more about designing a results-driven elearning curriculum then get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. 


Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.