I received feedback from my alpha testers, and have made the suggested changes (largely technical issues with Captivate). I have since proceeded with sending the project to beta and am awaiting feedback from all of my testers.
Some recommended changes have included:
- Adding additional navigation support, such as hot links on the Objectives screen.
- Number section header slides.
- Adding volume control.
- Clarifying the need to hit “submit” after each test question.
- Rewording certain test questions.
I brought the orientation project to a proofing stage for my client last week, and then sent it on to a group of four alpha testers. I have received feedback from one tester, and I’m awaiting results from the others. My aim is to get clearance from my client (today, hopefully) to move the project on to beta testing this week.
My beta test group will be members of the actual Rocket Band, so I think the feedback from them will be the most critical. In preparation for beta testing, I have created an Evaluation Survey (as illustrated in Chapter 12 of Alessi and Trollip, Figrue 12.2) using Google Forms. A link to Evaluation Survey is included in the last slide of the program, and will only be made available to the Beta testers. The survey can be seen at the link below:
At this point I think the project is at about 75% to 80% complete. I’ve managed to finish the script/storyboard, clean up all of the slide animations, record and add voice over narration, edit and add audio footage from an interview with my client, and put a 12-question quiz assessment at the end of the module. The current version of the module can be viewed as a Flash-based online presentation, or as an interactive PDF. Both can be found here:
The script/storyboard can be found here:
My client is reviewing the current module now, and I hope to get feedback from him this week. I also hope to enlist some classmates to go through alpha testing of the module this week as well, provided my client gets back to me in time to make any necessary revisions. Running time of the entire module (including external reading sources and assessment) is approximately 1 hour.
A lot of progress this week! I’ve managed to produce a design document, a ICM, and really streamline a good bit of the Captivate presentation.
Last week’s Group Desk Crit session gave me some good ideas for the assessment section (such as sorting activity: “appropriate” versus “inappropriate” behaviors). Also, I decided to make the embedded video smaller on the screens, so as not to overwhelm the learner.
Another addition is audio footage I took from an interview session with Craig a few weeks ago. In the interview, I asked Craig several pointed questions. He discusses his answers in a fair amount of depth, though nothing complicated to understand. I thought that the audio captured the spirit of what he really wants out of people that work for him, so I included almost all of it (more than 20 minutes).
I still need to clean up slide transitions, and add voice over narration. I’m still constructing a storyboard/script, and should hopefully be done with it either this evening or sometime tomorrow. My hope is to have the Captivate presentation ready for alpha testing by next week, as I’d like to move on to beta by the last week in March (so that I can test with actual band members, and have time to discuss the training with them).
I’ve been playing catch-up with development on the project. I spent a good chunk of time on Sunday fleshing out some slides in Captivate, setting up the overall look of the presentation. Most (if not all) of the slides for the actual presentation are in place, and now simply need to be filled out.
There is a lot of work to do as far as writing a script, formatting the slides, creating content, and developing assessment for the learning objectives. Also, with an eye towards alpha and beta testing, I have a couple of ideas. For alpha testers, I may ask some local musician friends, and some classmates, to see what they think. For beta testers, I can enlist the help of existing band members. I’ll have an opportunity at the end of the month, as I’ll be doing a concert performance with the group on March 29th, so I should have a chance to get some in-depth feedback from everybody on the project.
I’ve fallen behind considerably in documentation for my project. I’m currently fleshing out an Design Document that will include the following information:
- Introduction to the project
- Learner Analysis
- Context Analysis
- Task and Concept Analysis
- Objectives and Assessment
- Course Map
- Evaluation Report
Much of this is already completed, but I still have a ways to go. Some hangups I’m having are still in the assessment phase. Because of the nature of the project, the objective of the course are largely performance-based. In spite of this, my inclination is to assess the learning through a simple quiz or survey after it’s completed, mainly because it’s not feasible to test the learner to see if they “packed the right clothing for an out of town trip”, for example.
I finally had a meeting with my client on Saturday (February 15th). It went exceptionally well, and we got a lot accomplished.
I started by asking him some questions (mentioned in the February 10 entry below), and I got 20 minutes of audio recorded from our talk. He gave me a lot of great content that I can use for developing the training. The interview was very conversational, and amounted to giving me a vision for his organization and the makeup of his corporate culture. Having worked with him in the organization already has given me a unique insider’s look into the development of the training, but it also made for a very spirited conversation about the meaning and purpose of his business, and how this training can help facilitate all of that.
We also shot some short video clips, which we’ll use at the chapter headings of the training.
I’ve already begun work on a Captivate presentation, where I’ve fleshed out the major points of the training. On the advice of my classmates from the group deskcrit, I’ve opted to use some of the same imagery from the prototype. I went over all of these points with my client to ensure that it was covering all of the necessary points he’d like to see covered. I’m ready to begin developing content for the project.
Due to scheduling conflicts, I have been unable to meet with my client in order to iron out some fundamental details about the scope and direction of the project. Although I outlined many of these things in my last entry, I’ve come to realize that a task analysis and concept analysis will be among the most important issues at hand. While I’ve developed what I believe to be a fairly solid outline for the project, I have yet to get any feedback from him on what he thinks of it.
I was very encouraged by last week’s group desk crit. The “prototype” that I presented met with very positive response, and I feel comfortable in proceeding with at least a very rough draft of an operable slideshow (either PowerPoint of Captivate) to show my client. Because of my existing business relationship with him (I’ve worked with him for over two and half years now), I believe that he trusts me enough to come up with something that will meet his needs. My plan – short of a meeting with him, which could be as much as a week away – is to construct this slideshow with a sample of content to see test the waters.
The desk crit revealed some other interesting points:
- Tell some funny stories about past band members examples of what not to do. This can be a very engaging point, and add value to the presentation.
- Perhaps describe how people can “get into character”, since this is an entertainment position. The idea of researching how Disney employees behave on the job was brought up.
Beyond this, I need to consult with my client about some specific questions that I thought of:
- What kind of things would you like people on your team know before you start working with them?
- What have been the biggest problems you’ve had with people you’ve hired in the past?
- How would you describe the ideal employee?
Some new development on the project. I developed a prototype (of sorts) the other day. It’s really more of a glorified advertisement for the orientation, though it does include an outline of topics to be covered. A few things I need to do:
- Interview Craig Meyer (client) for a comprehensive set of learning objectives for the program.
- Interview/videotape Craig giving a description of the organization. This will be included in the introduction to the orientation.
- Construct learning content, and determine the exact format for each piece of content. Some items would work better with video, while some may work better with simple text and graphics.
The prototype does represent to some degree the visual feel that I’d like to go for. I don’t want to overdo it with the photos I have on file, but they are quite striking and does make the presentation visually appealing.
Link to the prototype.
Below is a partial list of the Learning Objectives for the orientation:
BAND ORIENTATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES
- Read contract carefully and understand your obligations
- Stay informed and in-touch: always respond promptly to all correspondences with band management and other members. Some useful resources:
- Contacts: be sure to get the phone numbers and email addresses of other band members
- Dropbox: much of the resource management for the band will be handled through an online cloud-based file storage service like Dropbox. Here you will find audio files of the songs (MP3s or WAV files), sheet music (PDFs), and other documentation (schedules, contracts, travel itineraries, etc.). Be sure to download this for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device in order to have easy access to these assets.
- Acrobat Reader: for use in viewing contracts, sheet music, and other documentation.
- Delta App: This is extremely useful for flight check-in, boarding, flight arrival and departure times, and other activities involved with air travel.
• Show up prepared!
• Arrive 10 minutes early; 30 minutes if you require equipment setup
• Instruments and accessories
• Sheet Music
• Show up to baggage check-in 10 minutes early
• Luggage size/weight requirements
• Check-in (online or with iOS app), seat assignments
• Travel money
• Clothing – comfortable for air travel
• Performance attire – make sure it’s appropriate, and that you’ve packed it!
• Be prepared for security check
• Luggage requirements
• No liquids, knives, etc (checked luggage)
Load-In and Soundcheck
• Lobby Call – always be there 10 minutes early!
• Make sure you have all of your equipment (instrument, sheet music, etc.)
Day of the Show
• Show up to lobby call 10 minutes early
• Be prepared to be at the venue for an extended period of time (between 6 and 10 hours, depending on the engagement)
I’ve decided to go another direction for the 6200 project, as neither of my previous project ideas appear to have any instructional needs.
What follows is a proposal of my project. I’ve discussed it with my client already, and it seems very tenable:
Almost Elton John Orientation Program
Almost Elton John and the Rocket Band is an Atlanta-based, nationally-touring tribute band that performs the music of Elton John. The show covers material from Elton John’s entire 40-plus year career. Craig A. Meyer, owner of Meyer Entertainment Group, plays the part of “Almost Elton John”, putting on a musical-theatre style show, complete with costume changes, elaborate lighting effects, and audience participation.
Nature of Project:
The show is performed by a live band, including background singers, and travels all over the country.
It has been determined that management of the band, which is headed by Mr. Meyer, would benefit greatly from an Orientation Program for anyone hired into the band. The responsibilities of band members vary in terms of the musical roles they play. However, there are many other aspects of band membership that everyone is required to understand and follow.
The Orientation Program will acquaint members (current members and new to-be hired members) with all of the protocols complicit with band membership. These include (but are not limited):
- Membership contract
- Rehearsal schedules and expectations
- Travel guidelines and tips (air travel, road travel, lodging, etc.)
- Electronic correspondence expectations
- Day of the show (arrival, load-in, soundcheck, performance, load-out)
I currently have two potential clients for my 6200 IDD project: MoWerks, now ARWerks; and UGA Costa Rica.
I have been doing contract work with MoWerks since September doing Captivate development, so finding an instructional project with them would make a lot of sense. Most of that work has been fairly simple: essentially just creating slideshows that have a few quiz questions at the end for assessment. I am hoping that I can create a custom instructional scenario to develop with their program manager. We currently have no plan, but we’re working on ideas.
This week I landed another contract design job with UGA Costa Rica. They head up a study abroad program, and have hired me to layout an electronic version of their annual sustainability report. While this project has no true instructional component (it’s primarily informational), I’ve thought about seeing if they have any other instructional needs in their department. This client, too, is in the brainstorming stage.