Prototyping tools

In the MOOC delivered by the Open Learning Design Studio focusing on 21st Century Curriculum we explored tools to design a prototype of a technology-based element to learning, such as activity, LMS, etc.

The main reason to produce a prototype is to display to your team and stakeholders the intent and layout of the future technical and interactive product. It was emphasized that small mistakes in the beginning of a development could be quite costly later on. As well, it is hard to share ideas about the experience in a media-rich setting without visual explanation of the layered functions of an interactive piece.

I played with a PowerPoint to represent an interactive activity for learners to discover the best way to configure IV pumps on an IV pole, considering the weight of the equipment and design of its functions. See below.

Note: Now that I’ve made the interactive piece, I could have added more to this prototype as I did not have the configurations correctly outlined. However, my team (content providers and client) understood what I was going to build.

Other prototype tools that looked promising are balsamiq and guidance from elearning blueprint

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Team approach to online development

Knowles and Kalata (2008) in their article a Model for Enhancing Online Course Development  provide a faculty development model that is collaborative and is used at Park University.

This model sees the instructor as a course developer. But, instead of providing workshops and supplementary support, each instructor is assigned an instructional designer responsible for creating the online course. The designer is responsible to collaborate with the instructor, load the course, develop a schedule, and to suggest online services and resources, technology requirements, and multimedia. The instructor provides the content as the subject expert, and creates the course outline, outcomes, assessment requirements, etc.

The designer manages 5 online courses over a 8 week term, and the instructor is responsible for maintaining and updating the course. This is encouraged through compensation.  

The instructional designer follows an institutional checklist for online development to ensure quality, consistency, creativity and a professional look. The final product is peer reviewed using the checklist which addresses cognitive levels, critical thinking skills, and breath/depth/currency of the subject matter.

To encourage instructors partake in online teaching and design, the university has promoted this type of instruction in its tenure and promotion system as a key part versus extracurricular.