What Exactly Is Learning Resource Development?

Matthew Becker

What is learning resource development?

Think back to any training or learning program you've completed at work. Were these trainings conducted in person? Online? Did you have to watch a video and complete assessment questions in a workbook?

Any of the training materials you've worked with are the result of learning resource development. What exactly, then, is learning resource development?

Learning resource development is the process of researching, drafting, designing, developing, and producing learning resources.

Learning resources are the materials, tools, applications, programs, or technologies employed in a competency-based learning program to fulfill the learner's knowledge, skill, and attitude requirements. They may also be understood as the different forms of media that help a learner achieve a certain level of competency---think courseware, job aids, webinars, and other forms of technology. These types of learning resources might sound particularly familiar to you because a lot of training and learning is conducted online through webinars or eLearning modules.

Evaluation resources within the context of adult learning and competency-based learning assess or test comprehension of what is learned. These resources help organizations assess how well the learner understands what was taught to them.

Evaluation resources include tests, activities, or exercises related to learning content. Learning materials are only valuable if your learners can show you what they've learned from them!

How do learning resources equip learners to succeed?

Think of the best training program you completed. Why was it so effective? How did it engage you? On the flip side, how about a training program you disliked? What about it was ineffective? Poor learning materials may be inconsistent in quality and lead to low learner participation. Meanwhile, effective learning resources help learners prepare for the knowledge evaluation components of a program. This means that earners will be encouraged to read descriptions, review procedures or other documents, attend seminars or webinars, complete online courses, and consult with experienced personnel.

Once the learner demonstrates mastery of a concept, they move to the next stage in the competency-based learning program (or learning cycle) and complete a knowledge evaluation. In this sense, learning resources are integral for supporting the evaluation component of competency-based learning program implementation. In other words, if you have strong learning resources, then your learners will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the learning program effectively.

What is the significance of learning resource development?

Learning resources are the materials and tools used to acquire knowledge, refresh skills, and learn new skills that makes people competent at their jobs. If the learning resources you use help make you better at your job, then that's a sign of good learning resource development!

Every organization will have different learning and competency needs. It's also possible that you'll have different learning needs compared to your coworkers and managers. You may even need to upskill - learn new skills - before starting a new job.

Organizations use learning resources to support knowledge acquisition and skill development. Examples of how learning resources can be used include:

  • Orientation and throughout the job life cycle for a particular position
  • Training or certification that must be met regularly
  • A safety incident that requires all individuals to be retrained
  • A new piece of equipment that others need to learn how to operate
  • Individuals working towards professional accreditation

There are many other ways that organizations can create learning materials, but you can see how learning resource development can help equip learners with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.

Who is responsible for developing learning resources?

Learning resources may be developed by a single individual or a dedicated team. Those responsible for helping develop learning resources include:

  • The project manager
  • Stakeholders
  • SMEs
  • Instructional designers
  • Technical writers
  • eLearning developers
  • Application specialists
  • HTML specialists
  • Graphic designers
  • Voice actors
  • Video actors
  • Video and audio production personnel
  • Quality assurance specialist

This is the first article in a three-part series covering Chapter 21 of our Skilling Up textbook. To access other articles in this series, please navigate below.

Article 2 - How to Successfully Implement Learning Resource Development

Article 3 - Choosing the Right Learning Resource Development

Curious about enhancing your learning resource development skills? Get our free eBook, covering essential topics such as creating accessible content, choosing the right voice and tone, incorporating meaningful graphics and videos, and developing quality narration.

Download the Free Ebook

Matthew Becker

Matthew applies his many years of experience in teaching, EdTech, and learning resource development to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences. As an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp, he is keen on leveraging educational technologies to help learners reach "Aha!" moments in new and exciting ways.