Wednesday, July 28, 2010

EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Submission

I hinted yesterday in my twitter and facebook feeds that I was working on a conference submission.

Below is approximately what I sent.

If this goes well, I may submit another version of this session elsewhere.

Title:Converting to eLearning: A Support and Training Structure

Session Format and Resources:
- Poster session (multiple presentations, same room. One on one format)
- Resources needed
o Standard slide deck
o Multimedia
o Software demo
o Participant access to explore online tools and resources
o Electronic handouts
- Rationale: To provide an opportunity to demonstrate our live setup and provide aids and resources to participants. Also to gain feedback from other experienced eLearning specialists and higher education institutions who are also going down this path.

Suggested Audience: Frontline Practictioners
The session I am proposing will most benefit people who: are new to the content area.

Session Tracks: Supporting the Enterprise through Innovative and Effective IT solutions, Teaching, Learning and Research

Abstract (100 word limit):George Washington University faces a reduction of physical classroom spaces for staff training. As a result, staff trainers and subject matter experts are turning to eLearning to support instructor-led learning or entirely replace instructor-led classes. This poster session will provide a model for helping clients convert their instructor-led materials to eLearning materials. The model includes: eLearning development tools, supportive training, file-sharing solutions, instructional design assistance and LMS scoring and tracking of the resulting solution.

Statement of Problem or Issue (250 word limit): This presentation will directly address how you assist educators and subject-matter experts unfamiliar with eLearning, and wanting to convert material into an eLearning-friendly format, in the conversion of their instructor-led courses. This session will also provide techniques for avoiding the production of click-to-death tutorials.

Description of Activity, Project or Solution(500 word limit):
We designed our eLearning conversion support structure to take advantage of tools and resources already available to the staff trainers at George Washington University. Since the 2 staff eLearning specialists cannot perform all of the eLearning development that needs to take place, we had to come up with a system that allowed other staff trainers and subject matter experts to create their own eLearning materials.

Training and support currently happens as needed by the clients. This allows the eLearning specialist to discuss the specific needs of the client groups as they convert their materials.

Our support structure for elearning conversion contains the following pieces:
- eLearning Blueprint (Instructional Design). Most of our clients are intimidated by the conversion of their materials into eLearning. Often, we are asked to convert huge PowerPoint slide decks. A third-party instructional design tool provides a template for helping clients design and organize their eLearning projects so the result is more effective and engaging.

- eLearning Matrix (Design Tool). This tool assists clients as they determine the appropriate method of delivery.

- Adobe Captivate (Development Tool). We use this as our baseline eLearning development tool. We provide training on Captivate for new users and specific considerations for George Washington University’s environment. We also provide pre-designed templates with the appropriate size settings, university-approved graphics and consistent behavior and appearance across the objects.

- eRooms (File Sharing) . We use this to permit sharing of the base Captivate file. This helps us troubleshoot the file directly and fix potential issues as needed. We also use this as notification for when the tutorial is ready to be ported into SkillPort, our LMS.

- Elluminate (Remote Access). We use this as a real-time troubleshooting and support tool if the client has a quick question or issue.

- SkillPort (LMS). This tool will be the primary content library and reporting mechanism for staff training at the University. Subject Matter Experts, Trainers and Management are provided with reports through this system. A future project will connect the output from SkillPort to a Data Warehouse, allowing reporting on the business impact of our educational initiatives.

Human resources:
- A staff eLearning specialist serves as the primary support person and Captivate expert. She performs the initial training on all of the resources available for eLearning conversion and ongoing support through their design and development processes.

- Each client group has at least one eLearning developer who serves as the primary point of contact between the staff eLearning specialist and the client group

- The Division of IT Help Desk assists with technical issues surrounding installation of any needed software, access to the various resources and PC issues.
Future plans

- A steering committee has been put together to discuss governance and quality assurance for tutorials posted on SkillPort. There are plans for a QA and approval process for all tutorials created for the LMS.

- There are discussions surrounding the creation of a more formal and regularly-scheduled series of classes on eLearning development as the demand for eLearning conversion increases.

Impact (250 word limit):
The Staff Leadership and Development team piloted our model. With their feedback, we have rolled out this support system to Financial Systems and Services, Payroll, Data Warehousing, University Compliance and Medical Center Research Compliance.

Importance or Relevance to Other Institutions (250 word limit)
This presentation will address some common challenges facing universities as they move towards blended and online staff learning solutions.

- Convincing clients that converting a PowerPoint used in their instructor-led class will not result in effective eLearning

- Keeping up with the increasing demand for eLearning creation, particularly at institutions where real estate is scarce.

- Supporting staff trainers and subject matter experts who are in the process of converting their classes to eLearning – either by choice or by circumstance (lack of availability of classroom space, executive initiatives, reduction in training staff, etc)

Session Interaction (250 word limit):
This poster session is specifically designed to accommodate questions and conversations. The presentation of the model, will only take 15-20 minutes at most. The presenter will be encouraging questions and comments at any time throughout the poster session. Demonstrations of any and all tools we use to help support our staff trainers and subject matter experts, will occur as requested by the attendees.
Job aids for implementing the model will be available during the session.

Session Outcomes (250 word limit):

At the end of this session, the attendee will be able to:
- Design and plan their own support and training system for converting instructor led training into a blended learning or eLearning solution

- Identify and assess tools they can use for implementing the model at their own institution

- Utilize various techniques for facilitating the creation of robust, interactive eLearning rather than click-to-death tutorials.


Michelle Folkman said...

I'm new to this field and I have to say this is really thorough. I'm going to save it as a resource for a way to evaluate - well any kind of educational technology.

Wendy said...

Glad you found the submission helpful. If we are accepted, I hope to post the presentation and materials to further help with evaluation. Will keep you posted.