Transparency of design and development of Reusable Learning Objects (RLO)

Analysis/Intervention Tip: If you’re developing training that has project or content areas chunked out in discrete (independent) chunks. You can easily develop your elearning content around those chunks as Reusable Learning Objects or RLO’s.

If you think of the process of planning, designing, developing and implementing an Enterprise IT tool as a 60 sec/1000 yd relay race, training (at least training for IT products in a large company) usually gets the baton at the 800yd marker 5 seconds before time is up. Often in projects (in this environment), training is given the finished design/tool at the 11th hour and expected to deliver a complete package right before the tool is deployed. I’m trying to apply a modular development strategy to this project (given the short time frame). 

Currently the team I’m leading is developing training for a re-design in one of our enterprise business tools and its process. I call this project Operation Q, Q for “Quilt.”  I think of this project as a constant piecing of pieces as if I was working with others to make a quilt.  Even a quilt needs a good solid design plan, and for me it’s the development of the business process around the project.

As I have a good map of the high level areas of design/business process, I’m working with design and testing team to develop a staggered schedule for developing, reviewing, and testing the training modules. I tried to make sure with this project that we could get some degree of transparency from the design and testing teams to begin achieving our tasks and design sooner than later.  It took some explaining and negotiating, but it paid off. In the past,  I’ve worked on projects in the past where I actually had to build the map (of the business process) for them, and then have them validate it. 

Fortunately we have a design leader who is willing to work with us and who believes in the importance of capturing information that is helpful to the end users during the design process. We have a standard document for capturing information on both business process and the tasks associated with the process. Our design lead was able to incorporate the more important fields from our document into his teams design process.

Some Instructional Designers may think that this is wrong, I should be able to have access to the designers in order to do an adequate task analysis. Unfortunately, they’re on a crunched time schedule, and influencing the project to push their launch date out for training’s sake is easier said than done. The only difficulty we have right now, is getting a good view of the entire design and how the project requirements (namely, the employee performance requirements)  map to the design.   I feel that without this mapping, it’s difficult for me to develop a comprehensive list of learning objectives. I’m discovering that I can get some of this information by following along with the design process or listening in in the design team meetings.

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