A well-designed eLearning course is a treat for the eye, punches in the message hard, keeps you glued to it, and sticks in your mind. But as an instructional designer, you know how challenging it is to develop such a course. From client and SME interviews and chunking content through to storyboarding, developing, and deploying, the eLearning workflow is time-consuming and demands exacting standards. And there are the time and budget constraints. You have to manage your time, so you can keep up with the pressure and still pull off winners. You learned about some productivity hacks in an earlier post. Here are some more hacks to amp your efficiency and happiness at work.
It's no secret that the best and the most productive artists engage in rituals before they work. It doesn't matter how simple or strange these rituals are. What matters is that these pre-work rituals are significant part of the process.
Most experienced project managers follow the same 5 steps when making decisions in order to keep their projects on track, under budget and deliver successful results. These 5 steps apply to any kind of projects but how do they relate to eLearning development projects?
Small variations in the entry variables can produce large changes in your exit variables. Author: Juan Carlos Vidal, Production Manager Planning your eLearning projects ahead of time allows you to execute it properly regarding quality, costs and time. In the production process, the little details count as much or more than big aspects if you want to control the variations that might occur in your outcomes. It is common for a lot of people to take part in the planning process and in the project's general aspects; nevertheless, the fewer people involved the better, because tuning in the basic aspects that make an eLearning project successful is what sometimes gets harder to do when there are a lot of people pitching in ideas. These variables are harder to measure because they require technical, specific knowledge to understand them. Variables, such as the ones mentioned above, that take a part in an animation's design process are: number of drawing lines, amount of steps, quantity of text per image, quantity of text per step, amount of images per step, number and level of difficulty of the programmed actions, amount of characters or new scenarios, etc. When there is no control or knowledge over the effect of the variables that make up each task, they're process is usually called "black box" because its results (cost, time and quality) are really hard to control or they present a variation range wider than expected. Another important aspect is controlling the sequencing of these variables. If you're aware of the possible sequencing and its effects, you'll be able to gain control over the process and adapt it to obtain the desired results. For example: if you want to reduce its delivery time, you can subdivide and overlay the micro execution of tasks in order to achieve minimum production time. A way to compensate for the lack of control in the process is by clearances. The inconvenient of doing this is that they absorb a lot of inefficiencies that don't give an added value and that make the process slower, more expensive and more prompt to mistakes. So, the more entry variables you know the better control you'll have over the results. This control becomes more important as the flexibility of the process increases. This means that any increase in the variety of your products or the answers they demand from the process, will require more control over it to satisfy the demands. A less flexible process, that isn't controlled properly, has a tendency of establishing a satisfaction point, which is harder to change as time passes by. If your process isn't handled properly, there's a good chance that frustration, wearing out, breaching of goals, blockage, etc might occur, that's why it is important to have at least one person in charge of the productive process of your eLearning courses. How can SHIFT help you control your eLearning development process? SHIFT is a powerful tool that allows you to control every step of your eLearning development process because it automates most repetitive tasks associated with eLearning development. Through a single login screen, based on profile, the user will have access to only the courses and the roles within those courses assigned to him. No room for unauthorized people or unskilled people to change things. By integrating all users, administrative work and especially document traffic (among team members) is eliminated. The development process is parallel among team members and SHIFT is responsible for managing the complexity.