Sunday, November 13, 2005

Recent M & As in Learning Industry








  • Sumtotal acquires Docent, Click2learn, Pathlore
  • Saba acquires Thinq, Centra
  • Adobe acquires Macromedia
  • Oracle acquires Peoplesoft
  • KnowledgePlanet acquires KnowledgeImpact
  • Blackboard and WebCT merge
  • Convergys acquires DigitalThink

Image sourced from: www.lonelydriver.com

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Formative Evaluation

  • Conduct one-on-one, small group discussion, field test
  • Employ informal talk, short test, discussion, survey form (any/few)
  • Evaluate training needs, objectives and methods
  • Determine the improvements that can be made on the training program
  • Determine if supplemental information can cater for the additional training topics identified
  • Implement suggestions that make sense

Monday, October 24, 2005

Strange Incident in Office

A team member called me on my cell phone last morning, "Aradhana, I am not coming to office."
me: "You're taking leave?"
tm: "No, I am not coming. The questions that I forgot to include in the script...."
me (interrupting): "Are you saying you are not coming back to office? Are you leaving the company?"
tm: "Yes" (!!!)

In the afternoon, her colleague/friend comes to me, "Aradhana, its not that she's got another job. She was just scared to face up to you after the mistake she made."
me: "Which mistake?"
colleague: "The questions she forgot to add to the script she worked on. We made her understand and now she wants to come back." (!!!)

Decision to leave a job based on a mistake as basic as this, communicating leaving a job by a simple phone call and then conveying intention to return...it was a strange incident.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Elearning on a decline? Just one thought...

Of late, I'm hearing that e-learning is on the decline. That our world is changing--e-learning would soon get replaced by say, mobile learning (learn anywhere, even while riding back from work). That the tools are getting smarter--allowing organizations and corporate to cater for their training needs internally without having to go to the training companies.

The way I see it, these developments are great! We might then have within reach a breadth of media--ILT, online basic (say, e-briefings), online advanced (e-learning), WBT, mobile and a blend of all these. Most likely one media would not win over another. Just as radios, television, films, theatre and television have a definite place in the entertainment world.

If organizations cater for their training needs through inhouse teams (with tools getting simpler and more powerful), our expertise would demanded for times when the training does not need to be just rapid but both effective and extensive. Whether e-learning/training shops become niche or not, my bet is that the market will continue to need skilled IDs.

Cheers to the good times ahead!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Three Years!

Today I complete three years in my current organization (Convergys Learning Solutions, formerly DigitalThink). Its been an enriching journey!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why is it OK not to be SME while Developing Courseware

  • Instructional design principles remain the same irrespective of the content.
  • its analyze content not as a subject, but at a higher level--what is the key problem the training intervention is trying to address? Based on the content provided, what objectives contribute towards the solving the problem? How do these objectives tie with the interactions so that the course is within the the scope? What would be the evaluation criteria?
  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) might consider some concepts as a given while providing content, without considering the audience profile.
  • The language used for the online media is direct and straightforward. ID-SME collaboration helps to break complex concepts into simpler, easily understandable content.
  • Audiences tend to think within their departmental/team silos. Even within the team, people have different levels of subject knowledge. IDs use their skill with content to preempt questions for all levels of learners.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Building a team: Positive Team Dynamics

  • At the onset, set and communicate well-defined team principles. Share this information with the entire team.
  • Clearly communicate your expectations from the team. Listen their expectations from the work experience. Exchange this information with the entire team or during one-on-one sessions with each team member.
  • Reinforce the team priniciples and values continually and encourage team members who personify those values. Share this information with the entire team.
  • Lead by example.
  • Encourage three important values--share learning, help each other and be polite. Perform this activity with the entire team.
  • Expect team to handle conflicts with other team members one-on-one. Explain techniques on how this can be done. Share this information with the entire team.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Manager I Am

  • Particular about adherence to schedules, quality standards and lucid communicaton.
  • Define process clearly and actively emphasize on it adherence.
  • Transparent, true and honest in relationships.
  • Attention to individual growth, interests and current capabilites.
  • Direct and straighforward communication.
  • Emphasis on learning and spreading learning.
  • Encourage questions and discussions on the project.
  • Open.
  • Organized.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Instruction Designer's Expectation from QE Testing

Important Note: Assume that there is a separate the content QE process that addresses script styles, grammar and other issues for the script and this QE refers primarily to the functionality check.

  1. There are no missing instruction text.

  2. Instruction/common text are consistent and accurately written.

  3. Popups, glossary, resources, jobtools, instruction text, page numbers, slide numbers, coach, tutor and all other course features and attributes function as expected.

  4. Exceptions are well-addressed.

  5. Popups, glossary, resources, jobtools, instruction text, page numbers, slide numbers, coach, tutor and all other common course features and attributes have consistent look and feel and reference, for curriculum development.

  6. The content flow is alignes with the script.

  7. Reverse flow is well desgned.

  8. There are no usability concerns - for example, no distinction betweem visited and not visited states.

  9. Outstanding alpha, beta and other issues are adequately addressed and implemented.
  10. Image quality and content readability is adequate.

  11. If image sequence is provided in the script, whether the same sequence is followed in the course.
  12. If the client requests a global term change, after the course has been produced, whether the change is implemented across the course text, resources, jobtools, quiz and glossary.
  13. If there is a content change in the course, whether the change is well-effected in the resources, jobtools and quiz.
  14. For audio files, whether the voice matches with the gender of the character name. For example, Angela is always a female voice.
  15. For audio files, if the same character is used across the course, whether the voice is also kept consistent for the entire course.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Purposeful Mistake

A colleague told me yesterday that sometimes just to evoke a reaction or kick up a discussion, he intentionally misrepresents a fact. Nice strategy!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

About to Sign the Dotted Line? A Checklist

  • Know who your prospective manager.
  • Get information from your prospective manager on the attrition rate in the team. His/her answer would be a good indicator on the kind of manager he/she is. Obviously, lesser the attrition, more successful the manager.
  • Find from him/her your first assignment and how you would be considered successful--you would know how much thought has gone into working out your role description or how important the role is to the organization.
  • Insist on meeting other members of the organization--you would get a clue of the culture and the people in the organization and whether you really fit in that environment.
  • If you aren't happy with the salary being offered, make sure your prospective mananger knows of it and find out how they plan to address this concern once you onboard. Typically, if you aren't really happy with the salary offered and salary is your primary motivator, I would recommend not accepting the offer--I believe that one of the best times for negotiation is just before joining and if the organization is unrelenting at that point, its unlikely that things would turn dramatically later (I'm not sure if I'm being pessimistic here :).
  • If you have a long holiday in the horizon, let your new manager know--Its my experience that honesty works.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mentoring - My style

  • Set expectations on the role of mentor
  • If the mentee is new to the organization, make him/her welcome; if not, express happiness in working together
  • Structure mentoring plans on a weekly, daily and hourly levels
  • Create a blend of guided and unguided, self-paced and time-based components
  • If you have work other than mentoring, discourage the tendency of the mentees to seek clarifications any time. Allocate time in the middle/end of each day for questions
  • Be open and honest about things that you don't know
  • Follow-up

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Politeness - A Best Practice

The clients blowing things out of proportion and getting intolerant about the minutest slipups
The production team just does not get it!
A peer asks the question already addressed in an email sent days ago
A team member commits the same error explained a number of times before
The production team forgets to implement the change so important for the client

These are some of the frustrations I face in my role as a Learning Strategist, just as many other professionals in this role. In time, my best practice has been to be polite. If that's tough to be rightaway, I just take a break - coffee, tea, friends..anything that allows me to be kind to the 'perpetrator' :) and gives me space to be able to present my dissatisfaction in a dignified manner.

I have to accept that there have been times when I have been direct in my criticism. Having done that, I have almost always regretted my action - it takes away team spirit and the scars sometimes remain much after the project is long over.

Handling client is different. Jeff Jackanicz, an amazing project lead who I once worked with, taught me an important lesson for handling client-related frustrations - "Don't give in to the temptation of justifying your stand. Clients don't have that kind of time to read your explanation and empathize with it. Try to move the project ahead. Don't give another opportunity to the client to complain." I have held on to this advice - it works!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Writing a Self Review

I completed another one of my performance appraisals last Thursday. My best practices for writing self review:

  1. Keep the records straight: I keep aside postive mails, records etc. received over the year in a separate folder. This practice not only helps me remember my accomplishments for the year but also provides enough material to substantiate my claims.


  2. Leave aside unnecessary humility or modesty: My self review states the facts for the year. Places where I have led, taken initiative, influenced a decision are stated as is. A self review document is a business document. Shying from stating acheivements as is can backfire.


  3. Substantiate each claim: If client consulting is my strength. I provide examples justifying this claim. If multitasking is another of my strength, I state the number of courses I worked on, activities I undertook in addition to the project work.


  4. Clearly state next year's goals: I keep the goals for the upcoming year achievable, measurable and aligned to my interest and company's direction. For example, if the company would be venturing into other markets in the coming year, consulting for those markets would be a goal for me since it aligns wonderfully with my interest and company's business direction.


  5. Finally, take the appraisal for what it's worth: In my over six years of professional life. I have come to believe that an appraisal is as good as the manager. Hence, I factor in the integrity and maturity of my manager before entering the appraisal meeting. Some of my enormously talented managers have helped me tap my potential and mature professionally - they congratulated me on my achievments, helped me identify my growth areas and recommended possible solutions and they listened. Some other managers have left me wondering if they ever read my self-review!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Designing Elearning Curriculum

Strategy:
  • Work out the curriculum and course level instructional strategy.
  • Identify consistent elements for the entire curriculum - what are the look-and-feel elements and functionality what will remain same for the entire curriculum.
  • Identify the disparate elements - what look-and-feel elements and functionality will change for a specific course within the curriculum so that the learner interest is maintained.
  • Work out a higher level assessment strategy for the entire curriculum. Decide if pre- and post- assessment will be provided at curriculum level, course level or both.

Scripting:

  • Maintain a comprehensive style guide. Keep the document alive.
  • Maintain a glossary document that houses the glossary terms and descriptions for all the courses, as they develop. You will be able to easily reference this document for newer courses.
  • Make sure the design changes as a result of content variation is aligned to the curriculum look and project scope.
  • Keep an eye on the word count to make sure the interactions are not strained at the production stage.
  • Be aware of all the interactions available to you - these are the tools with which you will make effective courses.

Graphics:

  • Maintain consistency.
  • Identify icons, images, elements, resources that can be leveraged across courses.
  • Make sure that the look-and-feel is consistent per lesson across courses. For example, if lesson 3.1 refers to a process workflow, make sure that the arrows and the junction elements are consistent for all the courses within the curriculum.

Audio:

  • Plan your audio strategy - one voice for all courses or different voices for different courses?
  • Identify the audio elements that will remain consistent for a particular lesson for all the courses within the curriculum.
  • Keep the audio generic.
  • Record various permutations and combinations for instructional text audio so that later if the voice talent is unavailable, your project remains unaffected.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

CBT and WBT: A Comparison

CBT
  • Installable/downloadable to learners' hard-disks
  • Allows course access without Internet/Intranet
  • Learners can track their progress
  • No bandwidth concerns
  • Convenient for traveling learners
  • Does not allow community-building and score comparison

WBT

  • Course accessed using a virtual address or location using the Intranet/Internet
  • Learners can track progress and compare result with other learners
  • Bandwidth and net access speed are the primary design factors
  • Convenient for traveling learners with Internet/VPN access
  • Provides tremendous scope for community-building, for example, tutors, chats and web-seminars

Friday, February 25, 2005

Building a Team: Interviewing

-Introduce yourself.

-Ask open ended questions that covering the following aspects:

  • Behavioral - Conflict, challenges, prioritization, pride project
  • Technical - Process work flow, instructional design, instructional theories and their application

-While the interviewee grapples with the questions take additional notes on:

  • Communication skills
  • Individual dynamic and the impact it might have on your team
  • Skillset that the candidate adds to the team

-If you are a panel of interviewers, divide the questions. Allow some overlap.

-Provide an overview of the company's operation and function.

-Address the any questions that the interviewee might have. Which area do the questions fall in?

-Fill out a predefined evaluation format that covers the parameters that are important for your team.

-Debrief

Friday, February 18, 2005

Efficient Use of Downtime for Professional Growth

  1. Look into your company's reference location, you might find a wealth of information there. If there is no such location, create one.
  2. Talk to members of other teams - educate yourself on the work they do and find out how your job fits into the overall picture.
  3. Have technical discussions with your own team members, if they have time or match their lunch/tea times with yours. :)
  4. Visit technical sites and e-zines to keep yourself posted on the latest trends.
  5. Maintain your blog.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Designing a Content Collection Guide

A content collection guide (CCG) is a tool that allows the subject matter experts (SMEs) to provide content for the course. A CCG eases communication and smoothens the content collection process. Here is how to create one-
  1. Write out the lesson objectives.
  2. Against each learning objective, describe the content required.
  3. Exemplify the content.
  4. Insist that the SMEs provide only the core content and not spend time on cleaning the language.
  5. Invite the SMEs to provide urls and other referenece materials.
  6. Add a note on how to use the document in the beginning and finally-
  7. Provide a thank you note at the end of the document.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Designing Scripting Templates

  1. Identify the primary, secondary and tertiary users of the template. For example - external clients might be the primary users, instructional designers (ID) secondary and the production team tertiary users.


  2. Collect the requirement and expectation that each set of users has with the template. Work out how your design would address these needs. For example, it might be important for the external clients to be able to visualize the solution. Hence they might need some props like images of the interactivity. For one of my solutions, I devised, "Interactivity at a glance" which was a series of key interaction frames to address this requirement of the clients.


  3. Evaluate the interactions that have been approved for the project. You might need to get in touch with your production team or the Creative Director to get this information.


  4. Group the interactivities in their families. This will help you decide if you need to create a different template for each interaction variation or if the same template can be reused by providing variation details. Let me illustrate this point by using an example-
    Suppose there are two variations of drag-and-drop interaction- one where the image is dropped to a label and other that uses just labels for drag-and-drop. Group them as one family. If there are six kinds of flipbooks - three with same-sized images placed in left, right and bottom position. two with a larger image placed to the left and right and one with no image. Group all flipbooks as one family.


  5. Within each family, identify the unique variations and provide this information at source. For example- Provide word count related information close to the text area, image related information where image needs to be uploaded. If there a precondition attached to the usage of a particular interaction, provide this information at the start of the template.


  6. Provide headers for each interaction - Which course, module/lesson, page does the interaction belong to? It is very important that interaction headers are provided since they are important linkages that bind the entire script into a logical whole.


  7. Create a template for the course/lesson skeleton which would have course/module/lesson/page headers, introduction and conclusion.


  8. Test this solution with the internal teams, take their feedback and incorporate changes that bring the solution closer to the user requirements.


  9. Develop your template. I prefer creating automated templates using MS Word. You might have another preference. A very helpful document created by my friend and ex-colleague, Swati Sengupta on developing automated templates using MS Word -


  10. Create a user manual/help for the template so that the users can refer to it, if needed. You will be surprised to know how many practicing IDs don't know how to attach a template!


  11. Undertake a training session for the users, explaining the different features.


  12. Go live!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

13 Checks while Reviewing a Script Document

While reviewing scripts, I ask myself-

  1. Is the course/lesson/module titled properly?
  2. Are the lessons structured in accordance to the instructional strategy?
  3. Is the numbering for the lesson/interactivity/page correct (so that when the course goes into production there are minimal clarifications from that team)?
  4. Do the content blocks belong to the lesson that they are placed in or are they more suitable elsewhere in the course? If so, which location?
  5. Does the script follow the style conventions adopted for the project?
  6. Are the sentences grammatically correct?
  7. Is there a sentence that is long and difficult to understand? If so, how can it be modified to make it easier to understand of the learner?
  8. Are the instructional texts for interactivities/lessons/pages provided?
  9. Are the course/lesson objectives mentioned in the beginning of the course/lesson and revised again at the end?
  10. Do the assessment questions appropriately address all the core components of the lesson?
  11. For a series of courses within a curriculum, is the script style and instructional/directional text consistent? If not, point out the deviation.
  12. How does the course initiate the learner feedback?
  13. Does the course have an orientation module? If not, investigate why not. If yes, does the orientation module appropriately address all the functionalities within the course?
Best practices:
  • Always, always, always - be polite.
  • Give reasons why the change is being suggested.
  • Provide solution(s) wherever possible.
  • Compliment the writer for places where the script is clean.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Urgent Writer Needed for Technical Courses? Try this!

  1. If your project courses are primarily technical, google to find the training centers for those software, languages, packages or OS.
  2. Locate the Corporate office for the training institute.
  3. Talk to the hiring in-charge.
  4. Express your requirement for a technical talent who can write.
  5. Suggest that they post the requirement to all their centers, shortlist candidates based on your requirement and send them to you. You may also suggest the number of applications that you are willing to entertain at one time.
  6. Mail the hiring in-charge the company profile, job requirement, number of vacancies open and if you prefer to disclose - salary range candidates can expect.
  7. Hope to get resumes that match your project need!

Monday, January 31, 2005

Elearning best practices: Working with distributed production teams

Audience: Instructional designers interacting with distributed production teams.

Objective: List the best practices for interfacing with distributed production team.

Best practices: General communication
1. Premise: Distributed development is slower, requires greater process maturity, constant definition, stricter change management and over-communication.

2. Trust: Trust helps to better relationships, allow faster communication and reduce stress. It is a good practice to have an honest and open conversation about things that don't work.

3. Questions: Precise questions give an opportunity to the team member to clarify. You can ask team members to repeat or summarize so that both sides are clear. If you are making an assumption, it’s a good practice to state that.

4. Expectation: Finding out what works for the team and communicating what works for you could be a good way to begin working in a new project. For example, you might say: “I am a early-morning riser and am normally at work by 7 AM hence I would prefer to have team meetings in the mornings rather than late nights. Does that work for you as well?” “As a best practice, I like to document all our decisions in an email. Are comfortable receiving this process?”

5. Relationship: Building relationships helps all the above and makes working fun. A friendly chat or email can is all that it takes to know the people behind the roles.

6. Cultural dimensions: Understanding cultural differences if the production team is based in a country different than yours eases communication.

Telephone:
1. Accents: Talk slowly and ask your production team counterpart to do the same if you have trouble understanding what they are saying.

2. Tone: Make an effort to sound friendly. In the absence of visual clues, your voice becomes “you” for the listener.

3. Snags: While communicating long-distance across countries, be prepared to sometimes experience technical snags during telecoms - hearing an echo, voice cracking up and low volume are just some of the snags that you might face.

Mail:
1. Language: Make sure your language is clear and concise. Use short sentences and simple language.

2. Format: Instead of using a lengthy paragraph in conveying information, use ordered/unordered lists.

3. Over-communication: Often mails or production related documents are not consistently understood across the teams. Consider picking up the phone to talk to your counterpart (don’t forget the time difference, if it exists) to clarify or sort out questions...it generally works. Also, it is a good practice to document and share your conversations so that you, your counterpart and everyone else in the team is well-aware of the decisions made.

Chat:
1. Clarification: You might use chat for questions that need immediate response or to set instant meeting.
2. Relationship building: You could use chat as way to get to know their teams better. A good occasion to break the ice is when you see your team member online way beyond office hours or to enquire about the holiday that she/he just took.

Best practices: Beginning a new project
1. If you are joining a project that is already in process:
a. Study the approved prototype, if it exists. The project interactions are built by the production teams based on the design and scope presented in the approved prototype. Don’t forget to notice the global links to be used for the project that are presented in the prototype.
b. Familiarize yourself with the project scripting template and the interactions that are being used for the project.
c. Pay special attention to where the content gets placed in the various interactions. You can request your production team lead to give you a walk-through on all the interactions that are being used for the project.
d. Take note of the project scripting style guide. If it does not exist, consider creating one.

2. Know the production team lingo--.fla, .swf, externalized content, html.

3. Know the difference between SCO and multi-page SCO

4. Know the time-difference.

Best practices: Scripting
1. Visualize your course:
a. Asssessments:
- Feedback
- Number of attempts
- What happens if the learner fails on all attempts?

b. Interactivities:
- What would a learner to do after she/he clicks the interactivity?
- Does the learner have clear instructions for the interactivity in the beginning and at the end.
- Has the interactivity been described clearly? Important points to bear in mind while writing interactivity descriptions:
· Be specific where you need to be, let the team handle the creative aspect e.g. Keep the space between the cars consistent.
· Let the team know clearly what you definitely need/don’t need to see in the interactivity.

2. Are there any double spaces? Spelling errors? The production team is not expected to correct them.

3. Images:
a. Resolution (800x600, 1024x768), Color (True, 16 bit), Format (.png, .bmp, .jpg)
b. Good quality screenshots.
c. If taking the images yourself, remember the above factors. If the client is providing the screenshots, pass on the information to them.
d. Contact the Creative Director or the production team lead for this information.
e. Use the same operating system and retain its settings while taking all the images.
f. More specifically for application training, take images for all the steps and the effects in that step (if you care for that level of details). For example, if you want to show the change in state when a user scrolls over a dropdown menu, provide all the images in the “over”state. If you aren’t able to do so for all instances, the production team will be able to doctor the screenshot based on the “over”state for other instances but the quality of the interactivity gets affected.
g. If the screenshot needs to be manipulated, the production team expects clear instructions on the change. If the data needs to be manipulated, clearly state what the team needs to change. E.g. If the names of the registered vehicle users needs to be changed, mention clearly how those names need to be changed.
h. Clearly mention the image filenames and provide the screenshots in the script.
i. Provide the images (using the same filename as in the script) to the team in a separate folder when the script is released for production.

4. Resources:
a. Provide the reference to the Resources in the script.
b. Provide the Resources in the same folder as the images folder.

5. Production team leads should ask for the draft script so that they can have a better feel of the content. If they don’t ask, provide them anyway to help them plan but be sure to mention clearly that the script is draft and not to be used for production purposes.

6. Final step before releasing the script for production, check if your script bundle has:
a. Scripts for all lessons
b. All glossary terms within the script have description
c. All images
d. All resources
e. Images and resources are referenced clearly and consistently in the script—when you change an image filename, make sure the reference to the image in the script is also made
f. Course description
g. Course information

Best practices: Releasing scripts for production
1. Adopt consistent practices for checking in and checking out documents.

2. Find out where to upload the resources, audio files and images and make sure it is known to the entire team.

3. While releasing the script for production, send the mail to the project team alias announcing the release of the course. Send the location details where you have placed the raw course content.

Best practices: Internal reviews
When the production team sends you and other design team members url, usename and password to access the course:
1. Use a standardized format to log all feedback and comments.

2. Be very specific: When logging an issue, be sure to mention the exact location (Module/Page/Paragraph/Sentence). Mention the original sentence and then mention the changed sentence.
E.g.: Module 2>Lesson 5> Page 2> 1st paragraph> Last sentence> Change: “Finally, in some countries, like Germany, we pursue industry-standard offerings.” to: “Some countries like Germany pursue industry-standard offerings.”

No matter which application you use be sure to cover all the above points as incomplete information could mean time spent in simply locating the issue. This also leads to a lot of frustration on the production side.

3. For changes that need to be implemented for the entire course, describe the change under the header “GLOBAL”

4. For exceptions to the global entries, write “EXCEPTION: ”

5. For any issue, describe the issue as clearly as we can, mention why it is wrong (so that if it is an ongoing project, the team is better geared for future courses), and provide a fix.

6. Do not provide the production team options for fixes—asking him/her to make the decision. As an instructional designer, it is highly recommended that you work out the best solution for the issue and ask the production team to implement the same. If we need some inputs from the production team to make the decision, connect with the production lead to collect that information but make the final call. Being client facing, instructional designers are better geared to make these decisions.

7. “Capitalize” can be misunderstood as “capitalize the entire word”. Hence be sure to address this confusion when making an entry. You may write “initial capitalize ’Liquidity Management’” or “Change “liquidity management” to “Liquidity Management””

8. While making entries, do not add new format styles to emphasize a text change—it may confuse the team to mean that the text format needs to change as well.

9. Sometimes when the change in sentence is just a word, it saves time for the production team to have that exact fix. We can emphasize the change by using a different font color.
E.g. Change “liquidity management” to “Liquidity Management””

Best practices: Directing client feedback
1. On receiving client feedback during alpha, beta, pre-live process, the instructional designer must review client feedback and discuss outstanding or unclear issues with the client.

2. That done, the instructional designer can add more information to the client entry for change to ensure that the production team has clear directions. For example, if the client has not written the page number of the issue or hasn’t articulated the issue well, the instructional designer may need to edit the entry to ensure its clarity to the production team.

3. For those issues that are logged by the client and later found to non-issues, clearly state that the production team does not need to take any action against the entry.
For example: The instructional designer may write, “NO CHANGE. IGNORE THIS ENTRY”.

4. If you heard some positive feedback from the client, be sure to share it with production team as well.

Course goes Live!
1. Don’t forget to congratulate the team and each other.

2. Your project team might share the lessons learnt and best practices experienced in the course. Keep your observations ready!


Friday, January 28, 2005

Coming Up...

I hope to post on the following subjects in the near future, not necessarily in the same order-


  1. Defining learning objectives
  2. Creating instructional creative strategy
  3. Creating scripting templates
  4. Interacting with globally distributed production teams
  5. Designing e-learning curriculum
  6. Designing content collection guide
  7. Interacting with US-based clients
  8. Role of e-learning copy-editors
  9. The art of peer review
  10. The art of quality testing online courses
  11. Brainstorming
  12. Scoping e-learning projects and curriculum
  13. Sourcing the right writers