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Deconstructing My #DemoFest Course – Part 3 (Development) #DevLearn

Of the questions asked of me during DemoFest, I think most were regarding development tools. In regards to development tools used, the course is truly a Frankencourse, a term I believed coined by David Anderson (@eLearning).

So here are the development tools I used for this project.

Adobe Flash – The initial interface was built in Flash. This provided greater ease of animating the characters, creating the navigation, which is non-linear and not as simple as adding next and back buttons of which it has none. However, the Flash movie sits within Articulate Presenter and navigates to an assessment made in Articulate Quizmaker which also sits within the same Presenter project (more on this later).

Adobe Captivate – I used this for creating every simulation in the course. I find Captivate to be a great tool for software simulations, plus I could easily edit instructions in the sims, add graphics including the Captain and Ossie 7. It also afforded me the opportunity to have several sims be more exploration than just task driven. For example, the sim where Ossie 7 lets you explore each ribbon at your own pace and direction. Note: All the sims are “try me” sims in which the participant completes tasks and/or explores the application. They are not demonstrations were they simply watch the application being used.

Articulate Quizmaker – Very easy way to create the assessment at the conclusion of the course. Most of the questions in the quiz were scenario based and  involved clicking the correct button on a graphic representation of the Office application (e.g., an Outlook ribbon). Quizmaker easily accommodated this, plus worked well within Presenter – it should since it is also part of the Articulate suite.

Articulate Presenter – This is what I plopped the Flash and Quizmaker into. Essentially, the first page of the Presenter project is the Flash course, which has numerous pages and opens all the sims and links to its additional resources. It also has a button that takes you to the quiz. It actually takes you to the next presenter page introducing the quiz. The third page is the Quizmaker assessment. And because it is in Presenter, I could easily publish the presenter course as SCORM compliant that would work well on my learning management system (LMS).

Social Media – Ongoing support includes the use of social media, including TwitterScreenr videos, and Diigo social bookmarks.

That’s it. I know to some it may seem insane to use so many tools, but with so many different aspects of the course it did require these tools to get this project done. Don’t believe me? Take a look – Introduction to Office 2010.

Note: Microsoft Office 2010 was used to the extent that it was the subject of the sims, job aids, etc., but not actually a development tool itself.

View the course – Introduction to Office 2010

Deconstructing My #DemoFest Course – Part 2 #DevLearn

In my last post I gave an overview of my DemoFest course, Intro to Office 2010. I would like to delve into the analysis and design of the course.

When this project was brought to me it involved training for both a Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrade, which is why some of the documents included here references Windows 7 in addition to the Office upgrade. My first step for any training project is the needs analysis, albeit it is often very informal when on short time-lines like this project. Because I had been teaching a face-to-face computer basics class, including some Office training, I had already a big jump on both knowing the audience and how they use the systems that were being upgraded.  I also was provided a second work PC with Windows 7 and Office 2010 loaded on it. This allowed me to use and learn the Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010 applications while simultaneously identifying the changes staff will encounter. Keep in mind, I still had my current PC so I had the luxury of being able to make comparisons of the old and new. Once I identified the learning needs, which by the way were more numerous in Outlook due to bigger changes to Outlook from 2007 to 2010 than in the other Office apps, I was ready to draft a course design plan. 

The course design plan is crucial in creating an effective course and includes everything from the rationale for the course to its evaluation plan. I am providing a link so you may see a copy of the course design plan (CDP).  I always circle back to my stakeholders and share the CDP with them. It shows the approach I am taking and exactly what will be taught. Keep in mind it did not reference much regarding social media. It focused mostly on the asynchronous online course itself. The social media and Intranet page were components that evolved during the development stage. FYI: If you would like to know more about my approach to writing course design plans, please visit my post on CDPs.

Once the CDP was completed and reviewed by my stakeholders and subject matter experts, I like them to sign off on it, I began storyboarding the course. It is important to note, I am a “one person e-learning shop,” so when I storyboard they are not handed off to developers or anyone else. These are tools for my own design and development process. So, as you can see in the examples below, they include enough detail for my own review and get quite messy. If I worked with others I would create much cleaner versions. Either way, below are several examples that show a bit of the process. Once storyboards were developed, and rewritten a few times, I then had the content, navigation, development tools needed, etc. I am was now ready  move on to developing the course.

Storyboard - Office 2010 IntroStoryboard - Office 2010 Menu

Regarding the Windows 7 content that was scrapped just prior to implementation, because the course was non-linear, but had a separate section for Windows 7 sims, it was easy to isolate that section of the course and remove it. Actually, because the interface was built in Flash all I had to do was remove the button to the section and introductory reference to it. I will speak more to that in the next post in which I address course development.

View the course – Introduction to Office 2010

Read more about course design plans

Read more about storyboards

Deconstructing My #DemoFest Course – Part 1

During this year’s DevLearn 2011 conference I won the DemoFest award for the Software Systems Training category. Being selected for this award really put me on Cloud 9. It is so flattering to have my course selected by the DevLearn attendees. Thank you everyone who attended DemoFest. And a big congratulations to all the other winners of this year’s DemoFest. It is a true honor to be in their company.

Over the coming weeks I am going to blog about the processes of designing, developing and implementing my DemoFest course. My intention is to share how I go about putting a course together and to provide the support materials used to design the course. For example, the course design plan, storyboards, communication plans, etc.

A good place start is to first provide an overview of the course and lessons learned as described in my DemoFest submission below.

Why was this project needed? Describe why you built it.
Johns Hopkins HealthCare began transitioning staff to Microsoft Office 2010 applications in February 2010. Staff required training on using the new application interfaces and learning how to complete Office tasks that have changed in the new and updated Office software.

What authoring tools, systems, or technologies did you use to create this project?
Adobe Flash, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Presenter, Articulate Quizmaker, Microsoft Office 2010. Social Media included Twitter, Screenr videos, and Diigo social bookmarks.

How many “learners” will benefit from this program or project?
760 Johns Hopkins HealthCare staff, but the course is being extended out to additional entities within the Johns Hopkins Health System.

How long did it take you to complete this project?
Approximately 120 hours during a two month period. This time does not include ongoing learner support using social media and Intranet pages.

What problems or challenges did you have to overcome while creating this project?
Time constraints, which resulted in not including audio in the course. Limited staff participation in the social media elements, specifically Twitter. The need to use multiple development tools in order to accomplish the project’s design.

What valuable insights, lessons learned, or results did you discover when working with these challenges?
Due to the less-than-expected use of Twitter among staff, there was less participation in the social media elements. In the future, I would put more effort in marketing the benefits and use of Twitter among staff. Also, I would find a way to incentivize its adoption by staff. I learned that the ongoing support implemented on our Intranet pages, Screenr videos, Diigo social bookmarks, and job aids were highly valued by staff and seen as very practical and accessible resources that are continually being used. Also, the non-linear design and easy to navigate course encourages it to be also used as a refresher course. One of my most valuable insights was that the use of whimsical characters was an effective way to market the course, and increased recognition and participation in the project. Using the characters to market the course included placing full-size cut-outs of the course’s main character, Captain Upgrade, throughout our buildings, and appearing on LCD screen advertisements, flyers, and on our Intranet.

Below is the link to the Office 2010 course. I have also provided direct links to the learning program’s social learning elements.

Introduction to Office 2010

And direct links to some of the social learning elements in the learning program:

In the next post I will describe the design process and share a copy of the course design plan and example storyboards.

Thank you again to all who attended DemoFest and a really big thank you to the eLearningGuild for holding an incredible DevLearn conference.

Be Prepared for Hurricane Irene

Hurricane

With Hurricane Irene on its way towards the east coast (U.S.) I thought I would share the following online learning courses that may be of assistance to those in its path.

Are You Prepared? – 72hours.org

Be Red Cross Ready – American Red Cross

Hurricane Preparedness – Propane Exceptional Energy

To all those potentially affected by the hurricane, please be careful, prepare as well as you can, and be safe.

Jeff

Introducing Right Click Rick


RightClickRick.com

RightClickRick.com

For quite a while I have been teaching a computer basics class in addition to developing online courses. The class is a traditional classroom course focusing mostly on basic PC and Outlook skills. Participants vary greatly in skill level and I encounter a fair number of people not familiar with what many would consider common computer tasks. Realizing many of these tasks potentially save computer users a lot of time and aggravation, I decided to also share these online via very brief video tutorials within the organization’s Intranet. The tutorials have been well received and I have decided to also make similar tutorials available to the general public.

I am happy to announce Right Click Rick’s blog. The blog is already off to a running start with Windows 7 and Office 2010 tutorials, all of which are very accessible and very free. By also having a strong social media presence, I hope to provide as much ease of access as possible for anyone wanting to learn a few new computer tips and tricks.

I appreciate you taking the time to visit www.rightclickrick.com or any of his SoMe pages which are linked below.

Rick on Facebook

Rick on Twitter

Rick on Screenr.com

Rick on YouTube

Please feel free to link, like, or follow any of the above, which I always greatly appreciate. You can also access the tutorial’s embed codes on the Screenr page or the YouTube page.

Happy 4th of July- Free US History eLearning

As we celebrate the 4th of July here in the USA, I would like to thank France for their help and also share some of the e-learning courses found on the Free e-Learning page related to our history.

Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads – National Constitution Center

An Overview of American History (video) – Digital History

Arirang*An Interactive Classroom on the Korean American Experience

Constitutional Timeline – National Constitution Center

Flash Flood: Hurricane Katrina’s Inundation of New Orleans – The Times-Picayune

Native Words, Native Warriors (Codetalkers) – NMAI

The First Thanksgiving – Plimoth.org

The Supreme Court – CSPAN

U.S. History Timeline – Digital History

WASP: Women With Wings in WWII – NPR

We Choose the Moon

Which Founder Are You? – National Constitution Center

The White House – CSPAN

One Small Step – NASA

NASA 50 Years – NASA

Happy 4th of July everyone!

No Next Button – Some Examples

As I have written in the past, I have an aversion to “next” buttons. Here are some examples of courses without next buttons, or at least in a few cases very minimal use of next buttons.

If you have examples of “next button courses” that you would to share, please feel free to add a link to it in the comments section.