In the e-Learning Guild‘s discussion community, the concept of using stories for training is being covered. At one point, Christy Tucker noted that at a previous job she had worked with a person who had been a high school English teacher and was very good at creative writing. She really appreciated his skills in creating a story to engage the learner and push the concepts through. She then made the point that you didn’t have to luck into an English teacher to get those kinds of creative skills and made the following suggestions about interviewing that I think are great ideas:
One of our interview questions there asked potential instructional designers how they would assess learning for a particular objective from one of our courses. We specifically picked a higher-level objective and one that wasn’t immediately obvious for most people to measure in a fully online environment. People who talked about multiple choice tests and fill in the blank questions were generally eliminated; people who described scenarios or case studies or stories were the ones we likely hired. Sometimes in interviews we gave the candidate the benefit of telling them that we did no testing at all and focused on real-world activities before asking the question. Several interviewees gave us completely blank stares when we told them they couldn’t test–they simply couldn’t fathom any other method of measuring learning. I think you can do something along those lines to filter your candidates for those who “get” this approach.
This is really good guidance for getting into the head of the interviewee. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with questions that make the candidate really process through a task and show you that they’re capable of thinking creatively. Christy’s idea really struck a chord with me.