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How to Create Useful Job Aids

Posted by Beth Brashear on 3/27/17 8:00 AM
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Recently, I bought a craft for me and my 3-year-old daughter to do together. It was recommended for her age so I thought, “This shouldn’t be too hard.” After pulling out all of the pieces and looking at the instructions, I realized this WAS going to be hard! The instructions only had four pictures which implied there were only four steps to this craft. By the time we got to the second picture, we were lost!


Those instructions were our job aid, but rather than “aid” us, they just frustrated us. So, as an instructional designer, when you’re designing job aids, what should you consider?
  • Job aids should be written for the skill level of the lower 25% of your learner audience, and should be detailed enough for a novice to use it without confusion.
  • In addition to the written words, pictures are a great reinforcement to your instructions or steps—the detail comes from the words, and the pictures reinforce those details.
  • They are practical and easy to use; however, they are not suitable for detailed or highly complex tasks.
  • They can become outdated quickly, but are easily updated when small changes take place in a process.

Here’s the perfect example of a simple, yet effective, job aid:


PIE Chart-1.png


Learn more about creating helpful and interactive job aids in our Instructional Design for New Designers workshop! With great job aids, your training continues to benefit your learners even after you’ve taught the course.


What are some of your best job aids? I’d love to learn more, so please add your comments below.


Instructional Designer Starter Kit

Beth has been a course leader with Langevin since 2015. She currently resides in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Beth began her training career in 2006 and believes, while training needs to be educational, it also needs to be fun! Outside of the classroom, Beth enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, playing volleyball, photography, and travelling. She hopes to one day visit India during the Festival of Lights, Mexico for the Day of the Dead Celebration, Rio for the Carnival, and China for the Chinese New Year.

Tags: job performance, instructional design, job aids

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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