I have always enjoyed the eLearning Guild’s eBooks and they just released a new one – 58 Tips for Breakthrough Instructional Design. It has some great tips on research, design, development and project management, all coming from 14 experts in the field. Oh yeah, it’s free too. Access it here.
As a side note, you may have noticed it has been quite a while since my last post. Work, and life, have been extremely busy for me. However, I am making it a point to get back on track with writing new posts.
Thanks for your patience and for visiting my blog.
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.
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
Over at the eLearning Guild they posted the recorded DemoFest 2010 Highlights Webinar. I was lucky enough to attend the webinar last week and it was great to see the winners show off their work and learn about the design and development of these great courses.
Head over to the eLearning Guild and check out the DemoFest 2010 Highlights Webinar.
Benjamin Martin has published “Beta Testing an Online Course“ in Learning Solutions Magazine. It details his approach to beta testing online courses and provides practical advice for what is a very important stage of e-learning development. If you are creating e-learning, then you are probably involved in beta testing and will find this article helpful. If you are not beta testing your courses, then you should be and this article can help you get started.
You will need to subscribe to Learning Solutions Magazine or have a membership to the e-Learning Guild to read the article in its entirety. However, associate membership is free and in my opinion an absolute must for anyone in the e-learning field.
The elearning Guild’s Learning Solutions e-magazine recently published an article by Brandon Carson, Dolly Joseph, and Enzo Silva tilted “ARGs Leverage Intelligence: Improving Performance through Collaborative Play.”
It is a worthwhile read. It includes some great examples of ARGs and a case study of an ARG implemented by Sun Learning Services (Sun Microsystems). Plus, there is practical advice regarding designing ARGs for learning, who should be on an ARG design team and their roles, and design risks.
FYI: You will need to log-in to the e-Learning Guild to access the e-magazine. If you are not a member, you can join as an Associate Member for free.
Here are few more resources on ARGs and learning:
Innovative Learning (including examples and design principles)
ARGology.org – ARGs in Education & Training (contains resources for getting started and examples)
The latest e-Learning Guild e-book has just been released.
FYI: All their e-books are free.
It includes 54 Tips for Selecting e-Learning Service Providers, 44 Tips for Working Successfully with e-Learning Service Providers, and an article by Evelyn Jackson, “Improve Outsourced e-Learning Quality with Consistent Standards.”
The e-Learning Guild has released its latest e-book, 65 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Budget. And as with all their e-books you can’t beat the price, free. Here the link where you can download it.
I have a couple of tips in there too. I hope they are helpful.