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D1005 - What is a good methodology for creating courseware?

by - Joseph Ganci

My project entails developing a multimedia training package for a hospital Intranet. The package must demonstrate and teach junior doctors to fill in cardiology forms successfuly. Authorware and Director will be used.

The package will contain:

-a secure user login
-a tutorial with animations
-a form filling exercise which will be assessed and stored
-a test which will be marked and stored
-a glossary of terms
-a bookmark
-random case notes for form filling exercise
-a displaying of previous marks
-a database of user performance, login times etc to be viewed by an administartor. Once any of this data is a month old it should expire and be deleted automatically

Basically I would like advice as to what would be the best methodology, methods, techniques to use, or what combination would be the best. Any further advice would be well appreciated.

All of these things can be accomplished in Authorware without a problem. You may also want to consider:

1. The use of Flash for the animations, if they are of a complex nature.
2. The use of ActiveX for the form, thought this could be mimicked within Authorware as well.
3. The use of ODBC calls to a database (perhaps Access) for your data tracking if they are not simple.

The normal steps are to:

1. Create an Analysis document which determines the audience, the lowest machine to deliver on, etc.
2. A Design document which stipulates everything about the project's design: screen layouts, navigation button behavior, etc.
3. A set of complete storyboards, which stipulate how the project will be programmed, with all i's dotted. No questions should remain in the programmer's mind. This is where many projects fail: the storyboards leave too many design decisions in the programmer's hands.
4. A set of Authoware lesson files, which have been checked and double-checked by the programmer.
5. A set of signed-off Quality Assurance check lists, compiled by a set of qualified QAers.

There are obviously many more details to the above and much can be found on the web or in other circles. I hope what I have been able to tell you in the limited time I have available has helped.

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