My 48 Hour Rapid e-Learning Challenge

One person. One course. 48 hours.

Time to put rapid e-learning to the test. I recently got an assignment to create an e-learning course and it needs to be done fairly quickly. I need to get it done in a few weeks and I don’t want to spend more than 6 hours a day on it. On the downside, the course goals are a little fuzzy, there isn’t much existing content, and I am writing the content and developing the course on my own. On the positive side, I have a lot of autonomy to design what I want.

Here’s the plan:

I will use the Articulate suite to build the course (a tool I have used for one previous course). Because of the tight timeline, I will rely mostly on relatively simple approaches but (hopefully) engaging instructional strategies that a single, non-programmer/action scripter can do alone. To that end, I’m drawing a lot of inspiration lately from blogs like Cathy Moore (e.g. how to add emotional impact ; dump the drone), Tom Kuhmlan’s Rapid E-Learning Blog, and Jane Bozart (especially her Better Than PPT book).

Goal: A fully functioning course in 21 days (and no more than 48 hours). By “fully functioning” I mean ready for beta testing, not necessarily final release.

  • Days 1-5: content outline, design/strategy, storyboard in PPT, document my processes.
  • Days 6-10: finalize storyboard, write screen content and script, identify graphic/media
  • Days 11 – 15: Build all course screens and interactions
  • Days 16 – 20: Record audio, test, release beta for review
  • Day 21: Kaizen (improvement) – Review process for what worked, what didn’t. Look for areas of waste and inefficiencies, Improve and document process for next project.

Along the way:

In addition to developing the course, there are a few other things I will do:

  • Document lessons learned and best practices.
  • Track metrics and track data to help with future improvement projects.
  • Develop project management and process documents that can be replicated.
  • Update this blog minimum three days per week: include discoveries, general experience, review of software, etc.
  • Search out other blogs, product support site for help, and post questions as needed.

That’s it….ready, set…..

Do you have any ideas for getting set up and started on a WBT rapidly? War stories, best practices or things to avoid….any comments are appreciated. Comment here or e-mail me.


6 Responses to My 48 Hour Rapid e-Learning Challenge

  1. Janet Clarey says:

    My only thought – use sticky notes vs. ppt for storyboarding. Easier to manipulate and see the big picture. And faster.

  2. Tom Kuhlmann says:

    Look forward to your challenge. I actually have a similar type of series planned for my blog.

    Essentially, I agree with Janey on the sticky notes, however, I’d still use PPT or some other digital method. why do any handwritten stuff if you can avoid it?

    Just use Cliff Atkinson’s Beyond Bullet Point approach to create descriptive sentences ofr each slide. Then use the slide sorter view to move the content around. Or…

    Use a mindmapping tool like MindManager to create your outlined content. What’s nice with MindManager is that you can quickly convert your mindmap into PPT slides.

  3. Kevin Shadix says:

    Janet – good idea with the sticknotes. I’ve used that approach for brainstorming with teams, but never with storyboarding. But as Tom mentions, I don’t want to have to transfer my handwritten notes to PPT or whatever later. Plus, since I work some at home and some at a “real” office, I don’t want to have to gather up the stickies and carry them around.

    Tom – funny you mentioned mindmaping. I just signed up for Mindmeister last week and played around with it for a content outline. I like the approach. It actually reminds me of stickies in that you can move the little nodes/ideas around however you want. Great for group or individual work, and perfect for outlining.

  4. Eduardo says:

    Hi, did you reached your goal? I hope so. Please share with us.

  5. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  6. PiterKokoniz says:

    Hi !!! 😉
    I am Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that I like your blog very much!
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you!
    Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia

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