Description of Conceptual Framework
The first phase is to determine the need for a particular piece of training. When training materials are created for a skill level or topic that is not needed it does not benefit the users. Not only is it a waste of time and money for something that will not be used but the user may become even more frustrated that they cannot understand the materials you are trying to present to them. Often times the client may think they need something when the end result is they need a different solution to accomplish the same task. Determining the need decides whether instruction should be designed or not.
The analysis consists of: creating goals, surveying potential learners to verify the need, list the tasks and determining resources.
In order to create goals, the need of the project must be determined in order for the preferred outcome to be successful. Once the need is set, goals are created to determine the preferred outcome. Goals produce the big picture of the end result.
The goals of the project help determine what survey questions should be created. The goals also determine who the target audience is so we will know who to survey. On the job when a major project has been requested that requires a lot of time and/or resources I have found I is important to survey the potential users/learners to justify the need. Surveying the users provides verification of the determined need. It also allows the users to add input that may or may not be necessary to include in the project.
The goal is needed to begin listing the tasks. The survey responses are necessary for the tasks in case the users request anything to be added or removed from the project. At this point the lead individual(s) must compile a list of what steps need to be done in order for the project to be completed. This step produces a final list of every task that needs to be completed to finish the project.
You must know what tasks need to be completed in order to figure out what resources are needed. For example if a particular developer does not have the technical skills to complete task 7, a second developer must be brought in for that task. Once the tasks are listed out the resources need to be determined. Are there enough technical designers to build the lesson? Are there content providers? Is there a project manager? And, is there a budget for the project? This step takes the tasks list and breaks it out to determine what type of resources (analysts, project manager, multiple developers, multiple content writers, etc.) and assign each person their piece of the project.
The design process includes creating storyboards, and outlining the content.
To complete a storyboard, the task list must be created in order to know what phases of the lesson need to be taught. The lead individual(s) must also keep in mind how much time each resource has to contribute to this project. The lead individual(s) must create a visual storyboard for the designers so they know the flow of the course and the general look and feel. The storyboard produces a visual outline for the developers to follow.
The storyboard must match the outline of content. These two tasks need to be created by the same person(s). Again the resources must be considered in order for the right specialist to be involved in each section of the lesson. The lead individual(s) must also outline the content for the content writers that match the flow of the storyboards. The outline of the content produces the structure of the course. It also produces the layout for the content writers to put their pieces together in the correct order.
The development process includes building the lesson delivery platform, writing the content and applying the content to the delivery platform.
In order to build the lesson platform the developers must be handed a storyboard and outline of the content. This allows them to build it in chronological order for the lesson. At this point the lesson platform is ready to be built. The developers will use the storyboard and outline of content as a guide to build the lesson screens. Building the lesson delivery platform is the backbone of the project that holds it all together.
The storyboard and outline of content is needed for the content writers to write the content. They also need to know the outcome of the survey in order to incorporate any requests by the learners. The resources information is needed to complete this process as well. At the same time the developers are building the lesson platform, the content writers should use the outline that is provided and the storyboard as a guide to write the full content of the lesson. This step produces the final content.
The developers should reference the storyboard, outline of content and the full content as they are applying it to the lesson delivery platform. The full content will now be provided to the developers to add it into the delivery platform. This step produces the final lesson that has full functionality and all the content is included.
The testing process includes usability testing and testing the content for accuracy and grammar.
The usability cannot be completed until the content has been placed into the delivery platform. During the usability test, the team should be referring back to the storyboard to make sure it has been developed correctly. A team of individuals should review the completed lesson for usability. This should include easy of movement between pages, make sure all links work, make sure all content is legible, and make sure it is 508 web accessible. This step when finished will ensure that all users can technically follow the course without any problems.
The content needs to be tested after the developers have placed it into the platform just in case they put the wrong section/chapter in the wrong place. A content team should then go through the course for a second quality assurance session and make sure that the content is accurate in the learning situation and make sure the grammar and spelling is correct. This step when finished will ensure that all the content is in the appropriate order. It will also ensure that it is correct based on the goals of the lesson.
If the usability or content tests show that the course needs improving the process goes back to the development phase until it pasts the testing phase. This may occur once or make take several revisions before it is ready to be implemented.
The implementation includes launching the lesson to the learners.
All testing on the lesson must be complete in order to launch a professional lesson to the learners. Once the lesson is completed it is now time to deliver it to the learners. The developers need to make sure it is launched correctly from a technical stand point. This step produces a finished product that has been delivered to the learners.
The evaluation process includes reviewing the goals and evaluating the learners.
The lead individuals and analysts need the feedback from the learner in order to validate their goals. Once the lesson is delivered to the learners, the analysts and lead individual(s) need to sit down and make sure the learner achieved all of their intended goals. This will then decide whether the course needs to be improved, or if the course was successful and the design of it is completed.
The learner evaluation must come after the learner has had a chance to take the lesson. After the learners have had a chance to take the course, they will fill out an evaluation that will be a web based form that collects generic information about the learner. It will then collect detailed information regarding the lesson and if the learner achieved new knowledge from the lesson. This step provides feedback to the authors of the course. The evaluation will then be used in the goal review to see if the course is successful.
Does the lesson need improving?
If the evaluation leads to needing to change the content or delivery platform the process will then go back to the Development phase. Once the content or platform has been changed it will be retested, implemented and evaluated again. Once the evaluation comes back with positive feedback the course is then complete.
A course is never completely done. After the course is launched a long term plan to reevaluate the course to make sure it is still accurate and effective should be put in considered