When it comes to designing eLearning courses, most instructional designers focus on intellectual skills and development. However, attitudinal training is also a crucial consideration, particularly in the modern workplace and within organizations. This type of training is necessary for modifying negative attitudes, as well as for encouraging individuals to make specific choices and decisions within their daily lives.
Why Does Attitude Training Matter?
There are any number of reasons that attitude training matters today. Many businesses and organizations are looking into it for things like:
• Smoking cessation
• Diversity training
• Sexual harassment
• Conflict resolution
• Recycling and environmental protection
These are just a few of the myriad of reasons this type of training matters. There are many others, some much subtler. For instance, training to use a specific type of device might involve influencing individuals to have positive feelings and associations regarding the device, the operating system, the apps, and other related elements.
How It’s Done
So, how can instructional designers incorporate attitudinal training? Actually, there are many different options depending on the type of training needed, the required amount of subtlety, and other factors.
Behavior Modeling: Behavior modeling can be one of the most direct and powerful ways to train attitudes. It’s often accomplished by using video and can be utilized for almost any behavior that needs to be changed or modified. For instance, a video might be produced that shows two employees arguing. In the first example, the argument becomes heated and ends badly. In the second, one of the employees uses conflict resolution skills to defuse the situation.
Results Based: All behaviors come with certain risks. By showing the results of risky behavior, training can provide a deterrent for specific actions due to attitudes. For instance, an interview with the survivor or a drunk driving accident could highlight the devastating results of the decision to get behind the wheel while inebriated. These often tie into strong emotions and have significant impact on viewers.
Role playing: Role playing and simulations can provide important benefits for learners by almost physically putting them into another person’s shoes. This can be a powerful tool for any number of situations, from customer service training to sexual harassment to diversity and sensitivity training, and a great deal more. However, it is important that these training scenarios be more than mere mockups. They should branch depending on learner decisions and choices and follow through to the ultimate results of those decisions to truly highlight the results of decisions based on specific attitudes.
While some learners require seeing the results of actions to change their attitude, others will change when faced with accurate facts and statistics. For example, relevant statistics and facts might be used to cause someone to change their attitude toward carpooling, proving that lower emissions combined with the benefits of protecting the environment and the stronger bond formed between workers who carpool together.
Tension occurs when an individual holds beliefs and goals that are inconsistent with one another. For instance, a confirmed junk food addict might want to live a long, healthy life, but their actions would make this impossible. By presenting information about the effect of poor food choices on the body, from weight to arterial plaque, it is possible to force them to change their beliefs and attitudes toward nutrition and physical exercise to coincide with their goal of living a long, healthy life.
Attitudinal training can be invaluable for any number of needs within a business or organization, and there are myriad options to provide such training, from videos to role-playing to storytelling and more.
Hiring a professional eLearning company and working with skilled Instructional Designers is a great place to start. Contact us to learn more!