So, let's come back to my wife. I decided to take on the challenge and give myself 10 hours on a Saturday and a budget of $0.0 to build an elearning module. Obviously it's a bit of stretch to call my work top-class, but given the time-constraint I placed on myself, I'm happy to have a first-cut which I guess I can easily show to an internal client if necessary. Now if my wife was to know that I was doing elearning work in all the (long) breaks that I took yesterday, from helping her around in the house, from watching movies and from following the India-South Africa cricket match; she is going to be livid. So, you and I have a secret to keep. If we're agreed on that, then let's start breaking down what I did and how you can do some similar things.
Sharing Effective Feedback by Sumeet Madhukar Moghe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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I decided to build a course on Effective Feedback because this is something I continue to need at work and is in line not just with some conference submissions I've been making, but also with a webinar I'm doing in April (more on this later). I don't consider myself to be a subject matter expert, but I guess it's a topic I'm fairly passionate about, so I played the role of the SME as well. A few more details:
Course Duration: Approximately 25-30 minutes
Tools Used: Articulate Studio '09
Course Location: You can access the course here and you can download the zipped, offline version here.
Development Time: 10 hours
How I Aggregated Contenthere. I also used a lot of Patrick Kua's writings, since I found his blogposts to be a very astute assessment of the skills behind effective feedback. That gave me a fair amount of existing content to repurpose and helped me move forward very quickly.
How I Designed the CourseI decided that I was going to keep my course navigation mostly linear. I also decided I wasn't going to do anything hugely fancy with the course. I took the approach of sketching out a few mockups (like the one above) using Balsamiq, to give me an idea of where I wanted to go with the course. I also did a few quick sketches on paper to draw out the flow of topics in the course. I must say, I could do some more work on the design and language, but I'm postponing that to another iteration. The key for me was that I didn't want to detail out every screen. The fact that I was using a rapid tool meant that if I had the general flow and navigation thought through, I could move through the development in a fairly quick, iterative fashion.
How I obtained Media Assets
- I did almost all of my graphics editing using Powerpoint. The only other tool I used, was the free application - Poladroid. It's quite easy to create vintage style polaroids using the tool, and it gave me an opportunity to have some fun along the way!
- I used the Design Comics toolkit for all the characters in the course. They come in various poses and are open-source, so you can choose to edit the SVGs if you choose.
- The other images are royalty free pictures from my favourite free-photo resources -- stock xchng and I also used some of my favourite Microsoft illustrations.
- Lastly, I used a snippets of a video from the Carnegie Mellon University free podcasts. It's that of my favourite speech ever -- Randy Pausch's last lecture.
- Lastly, I got my Artculate player skin free of cost from Kineo, for filling out a survey to support some of their research.
Myths about Rapid ElearningSo, with all that in place, I was able to put together this elearning module on feedback, which you're free to download and use for non-commercial purposes. My aim with this experiment was to bust some of the myths associated with rapid elearning in particular. I'm not going to say much more than what's on the link, but I do want to reiterate that Rapid elearning doesn't have to be CRapid elearning. Rapid elearning doesn't mean that the speed will kill your quality.
- It means that if you spend a reasonable amount of time designing and planning the right approach, you now have the tools to reach an implementation quickly.
- It means that you can go through several iterations of the course with your clients.
- It means that the cost of change for your courses remains low.
- It means that your dependence on programmers and costly tools remains low and you can empower your teams and SMEs through a familiar tool and familiar interfaces.
- It means that you can respond to your organisation's learning needs faster and effectively, as long as you have the willingness to put some thought into your design and learning strategy.
What did you think of today's blogpost? Hopefully, you'll never have to build a course with no budget and with 10 hours to finish it, but my hope is that you can respond to similar situations with increased confidence in the future. My course is still a work in progress (and I can share the source files if you'd like), but I'd love to hear some feedback about that as well and maybe get some free QA! As always, your comments will help me in a big way, so please comment liberally on this post and drop me a line if you'd like. Till next time, ciao!