Cathy Moore in here e-learning blog Ideas for Lively E-learning lays out an excellent technique that can help you focus eLearning on intended outcomes based on desired actions.
Moore recommends working backward from the intended business goal--an action. This avoids the trap of a linear information content dump and piling up irrelevant information that does not really help learners get to the desired goal. Action mapping is a four-step process as follows:
1. Identify the business goal.
Research by Kathleen Vohs, Nicole Meade and Miranda Goode, reported in Science suggests that using money to motivate a money can be counterproductive. In a series of experiments, Vohs and her colleagues found ways to get people to think about money without explicitly telling them to do so. They gave some people tasks that involved unscrambling phrases about money. With others, they left piles of Monopoly money nearby. Another group saw a screensaver with various denominations of money.
Orange County's Sheriff's Department has a far flung workforce, rapidly changing mission-critical information, and budget constraints. They are using podcasting to get their message out quickly. Full story is at http://www.apple.com/business/profiles/ocsd/