National Association of Broadcasters: Playing by the Rules of Political Advertising

Background and Business Need

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is the premier trade association for radio and television broadcasters in the United States. One of the organization’s missions is to provide education and professional development to support broadcasters and media professionals as they seek new skills and insights. NAB’s growing library of online courses is designed to educate broadcasters and help them perform their job functions more effectively.

NAB was seeking to create a new online training to help industry professionals understand the most crucial of the many complex rules related to political advertising. The organization commissioned KnowledgeWorks Global Learning (KGL) to design and implement its newest course.

During initial meetings, the client described the importance of political advertising rules, by which all radio and television stations must abide to avoid penalties and legal action. However, these guidelines only existed in the form of a highly detailed, text-heavy rulebook that the client’s target audience would need to somehow absorb and put into practice. KGL determined that there was great scope and potential to transform the content from the lengthy rulebook into a relatively concise, but consistent, online training experience.

After assessing the client’s business needs, KGL defined the scope of project to include the following:

  • Analyze the rulebook to extract the most important and relevant information to include in the course
  • Confirm learning goals and requirements with the client’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • Iterate the design process to incorporate client feedback
  • Use Articulate Storyline 360 to create a single responsive design for both desktop and handheld devices
  • Deploy the online course on the client’s Learning Management System (LMS)

To create a learning experience that met the client’s expectations, KGL employed a scenario-based content development approach to better engage learners with the business-critical material in new ways.

Challenges

The main source content from the client was a PDF file—the digitized version of the aforementioned rulebook—which ran to the hundreds of pages. Along with the PDF, KGL was provided with a few useful ancillary documents. The content shared was factual but included illustrative examples to help convey certain concepts. The material had to be thoroughly evaluated and substantiated in order to proceed with development.

Solution

Overall Approach

Throughout this project, KGL worked closely with the SMEs to verify the content analysis and meet the client’s learning expectations and desired outcomes. KGL created custom designs and templates along with a sleek user interface for the course. The solution is supported with a Micro Design Document (MDD) that clearly states the content presentation strategy for each screen.

Content Development Approach

To ensure that the self-paced online training focused on each of the seven political advertising rules identified as crucial, KGL structured the course into unique modules. Each of the seven modules tackles a single rule, covering pertinent lessons with engaging visuals and an interactive design.

In addition to presenting the information using a visual approach, it is important to help learners understand each political advertising rule through real-world examples. Each module includes a scenario-based activity, which mimics a real-life candidate running an election campaign.

At the end of every scenario-based activity, learners are prompted to make a decision or state if they agree or disagree with a given decision. Based on the response, feedback is provided immediately.

To assess learners further and improve knowledge retention, each module ends with a Knowledge Check. Again, learners are provided instant feedback based on their responses.

Solution Highlights

  • KGL ensured that the online learning catered to a diverse audience
  • Interactive screens and scenarios are employed to engage learners and to assess their problem-solving and critical thinking abilities
  • Intermittent Knowledge Checks motivate learners to apply and test what they learn in each module
  • The training was prevented from becoming text-heavy, avoiding cognitive overload, by distributing the information progressively across multiple interactivities

Outcomes

NAB is extremely happy with the customized solution. The course met the strategic requirements and was and deployed on the client’s LMS. The following is an excerpt from the client’s feedback:

Just another note of thanks as it sinks in that we’ve reached the finish line on this course. It really has been a great working relationship and I’m very appreciative of the time, patience, and detail everyone brought to the project. Cheers to you all and thank you one more time!

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