A director of learning design needs to ensure instructional materials created by their design team are marketable. A proof of concept for K-12 publishers and providers helps ensure instructional materials target the audience correctly. This guide helps verify if the materials will meet the requirements and interests of K-12 students and instructors. Most importantly, it reduces the risk of rejection before costly production. Leaders will explain which materials and resources are needed for the project. Learning design leaders can use these five tips for leading instructional designers (IDs) to create an effective proof of concept.
1.) Know the Audience When Creating Proof of Concept
Firstly, market research helps create relevant instructional materials. An ID team will rely on this research to develop the proof of concept. The proof should identify pain points, limitations, resources, cultural aspects, and other information that affect the target audience, such as students. Moreover, the information helps the team measure results after the materials are created. Besides that, getting regular feedback from the target audience will help the ID team make updates and improvements to the product.
2.) Identify The Needs When Creating a Proof of Concept
Therefore, the ID team will identify and review the essential needs when creating a proof of concept. The leader and the team clearly describe these needs like improving reading scores or aligning a set of stories to state standards. The goal helps decision-makers understand the needs of the target audience. Besides that, the goal shows how the instructional materials will fulfill these needs. Furthermore, the design team can explain these advantages to the decision-makers and show them how they are beneficial.
3.) Focus on Reducing Risk
Leaders should ensure a proof of concept focuses on reducing risk. Therefore, risk reduction will be the main goal. The proof should explain how investing time, resources, and money will support the gains, for developing the instructional materials. Learning design leaders guide the team to identify and avoid potential risks. With transparency and diligence, leaders and teams can create a proof that will be approved.
4.) Guide the Proof of Concept Toward Stakeholders
Accordingly, learning design leaders must guide their ID team to write the proof of concept that resonates with the decision-makers. These stakeholders might be c-suite level or school district leaders. For example, design leaders will create a narrative supported by data to back up projections for a project. Thus, leaders should know the concerns of the decision-makers, addressing their expectations. The proof’s language should be clear to them too.
5.) Collaborate With the Instructional Design Team
Most importantly, learning design leaders must involve their team in developing the proof of concept. The collaboration includes the initial research and idea-generating phases to analyze and improve the final product. Leaders and IDs should brainstorm ideas together to solve the audience’s needs. Therefore, leaders should rely on feedback from the team and be ready to revise and improve the proof based on their recommendations.
In summary, an effective proof of concept includes essential information like the target audience, their needs, and the risks. The proof should resonate with the decision-makers, clearly explaining the main points. Design leaders guide and collaborate with their teams to create an effective proof of concept. With these five tips, leaders and ID teams can be successful.