Work cycle and methodology for developing elearning courses

The production of electronic curricula for the elearning courses passes through many stages, and many roles and disciplines participate in it. The institution or entity that plans to produce electronic courses needs to know and understand these steps and disciplines.

developing elearning courses

Learning Objects represent the basic building block in building and developing electronic curricula for the e-learning system that are used in distance education projects, or elearning, due to its characteristics and capabilities.


Work cycle and methodology for developing elearning courses

In application of this trend, the process of developing electronic curricula, content management systems, goes through several stages according to the ADDIE model, which are:

  1. Analysis: It aims at dividing the curriculum into units, defining educational goals, determining learners' needs, and identifying their interests and surrounding circumstances.
  2. Designing: Writing the storyboards of the educational units.
  3. Developing: Building the contents of educational units.
  4. Implementation: The formation of the curriculum in its approved electronic form.
  5. Evaluation: The evaluation of the curriculum to ensure its quality and free from errors.


Staff

The institution or producing entity shall form the e-curriculum development team, which includes the following specializations:


elearning Project Manager

The project manager is the point of contact with the client during the development of the e-curriculum. The project manager works with the client to identify their needs and builds the development team to build the curriculum on time, on budget.


  • Experience: Experience in project management, especially information technology projects.
  • Skills: Microsoft Project.


Subject Matter Expert (SME)

The responsibility of the scientific material expert, who is chosen according to the field of the target scientific method, is to choose or write the scientific material for the syllabus, review it to ensure the correctness and completeness of the content, verify that it covers the target aspects, and works on setting the educational objectives of the curriculum, questions, and tests.


  • Experience: Extensive experience in the field of specialization (doctor, mentor, teacher).
  • Skills: Microsoft Office, Internet.


Instructional Designer

The educational designer sets the general lines of the electronic curriculum that makes it an attractive and educationally correct program or electronic curriculum for the user, in cooperation with and communication with the content / scientific material expert. 

The instructional designer performs the basic operations of instructional design, which is crystallized in writing the instructional script, which is the reference for the rest of the work team, in the production of the instructional curriculum.


  • Specialization: educational technologies, curricula, and teaching methods.


Graphic Designers

Graphic designers work on building the general design of curriculum screens, including the curriculum's graphic interface, buttons, fonts, images and illustrations, and flash files for animation. The spirit of the script.


  • Specialization: Fine Art, Graphics Professionals.
  • Skills: Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Sound Forge


Multimedia Developer

It creates and programs the interactive and simulation elements that may be present in the educational curriculum, according to the information it derives from the educational storyboards.


  • Specialization: Computers and Information Systems.
  • Skills: Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Action Script, HTML, HTML 5, CSS


e-Learning Developer

It collects the various elements of text, images, animation, and interactive files to create the educational units and build the electronic curriculum, according to the topic tree and the educational storyboard.


  • Specialization: Computers and Information Systems.
  • Skills: CMS tools, LMS, SCORM, JavaScript, HTML, .Net


Testers

They review the curriculum, discover software errors and operational errors in it, report them to fix them, and review them again.


  • Specialization: Computers and Information Systems.
  • Skills: Bug track, Test link


The work may need some auxiliary disciplines that can be used, such as: data entry, sound narrator, language reference.


Work methodology

The development team works to identify the client's needs and develop the electronic curriculum according to the ADDIE model, through the following steps:

Analysis

In this step, work is done to identify the client's educational or training needs, and this includes analyzing and reviewing the educational curriculum or the traditional training path, and also includes knowing the nature of the targeted learners, the expected educational goals, needs, and other aspects of the curriculum.

Accordingly, the educational designer obtains the educational curriculum from the SME, where he cooperates with him and analyzes the educational curriculum and divides it into units and lessons, resulting in a topic tree and a map of objectives for the elearning courses.


Design

After identifying the needs, the specifications of the required electronic curriculum are determined, and an educational strategy is developed that includes defining the educational goals, organizing the content, and determining the appropriate educational activities to achieve the goals. 

Strategies for evaluating and measuring the effectiveness of education and training are also determined. It was special education, training, and practice, games, simulation, or a mixture of all of these.


Development

At this stage, the team begins creating and developing educational resources and materials that will be used in the e-courses. The educational designer writes detailed storyboarding (scenario) for the educational units, including explanations, experiments, animation, interactive models, simulation elements, and exercises. Then he distributes the scenario files to the work team.

The rest of the work team deals with the scenario, and each member or specialty produces what is required of him according to the information of the scenario. The voice commentator records the sound, cut it, and encodes it according to the labels attached to the scenario. And graphic designers start producing still and moving images, and video clips that require screens, navigation buttons, and the user interface. This will be under the supervision of the project manager.


Implementation

The developer of the e-learning system is working at this stage to build the e-curriculum, according to the specifications specified in the design, and depending on the outputs of the development stage. It builds the curriculum using the CMS content management tool and outputs it in the form of SCORM, or as per the required specifications.


Evaluation

The testers evaluate and test the elearning courses in several ways and in several stages to ensure that it is free of operational errors, through internal testing of the curriculum (alpha test), which is done before the curriculum is presented to the end-user, and appropriate adjustments are made in light of the result of this evaluation. 

The elearning courses are also field-tested (beta testing) by real users after the syllabus is communicated to the customer, and appropriate adjustments are made in light of the result of this evaluation.


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