Summary

A fluid communication with a team from a leading intergovernmental organization allowed me to develop a course in Spanish in a very few weeks. The end product was visually-appealing, functional and learner-centered.

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Learn how data visualization and interactive resources helped an organization empower its audience with knowledge

The context

A leading intergovernmental organization needed to create an eLearning course in Spanish. The course, consisting of four modules, should be developed in Articulate 360 to facilitate future updates by the internal team and the output should be a SCORM-package compatible with the organization’s Learning Management System.

Each module should include: on-screen text; audio narration and transcript; customized vector graphics to avoid the use of images of real people as the topic was very sensitive; interactive exercises; reference documents; access to a discussion forum; and embedded videos.

Also, the look and feel of the course should be based on the organization’s brand manual and I should follow the instructional design guidelines provided. I was also provided with a list of recommended terms associated with the course topic and I should ensure the consistent use of this terminology throughout the course.

My role

eLearning design and developmentinstructional designbrand identity

Important note: To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information and recreated all the images associated with deliverables in this case study. For further information, you can read Testimonials.

The Challenges

The timeframe

The greatest challenge of the project was the tight deadline. Creating an eLearning course with all the requirements listed above usually takes between 3 to 4 months from the initial documentation review and content analysis to the development and test of the final product.

I had only 6 weeks to create the course so a well-planned work schedule was fundamental from the very beginning of the project.

Week 1

Aside from the guidelines provided, I had to review Word documents to create the modules. I started reviewing all the content at once to be able to design the first visual ideas that would define the look and feel, the main functionalities and content organization and presentation of the complete course.

To organize the content and come up with the structure of the course, I ask myself: what is the best way to present this information? and that depends mainly on the purpose and the audience. For this specific project, data visualizations would help me draw the leaners’ attention to the important facts that they needed to remember. This information was particularly relevant as they could use it in real-life situations to prove their point and/or to understand the magnitude of the problem.

I also added layers of interactivity to some of the infographics and resources so all the information was presented in more digestible chunks. This is the reason why it is so important for me to do a thorough analysis of all the content at the beginning of each project because that gives me a clear idea of how I have to present, transform, or adapt the content for educational purposes.

The goal of my designs is not only to create visually compelling interfaces but also a meaningful interface where all the visual elements work together to support the main purpose of the product.

By the end of the week 1, I came up with the first working prototype. And as I was working on the prototype, I found samples of Spanish voice-over talents and sent the samples to the team for revision and approval.

After getting feedback, I started developing a module per week and implementing revisions with a short turnaround.

Examples of customised iconography designed for this project: 

The most effective way to access external resources

After creating Module 1, I realized that the list of references and resources was too long to be included in Storyline. This would hinder the learner’s experience rather than providing more opportunities for further topic exploration.

I communicated this to the project team and we decided to include a PDF icon only on the screens where the external resources were absolutely necessary; for example, they could be used to complete an exercise. When the learner needed to see a link, a link icon appeared on the screen and directed the learner to the external resources. For the rest of the resources and references, the project team created a PDF that was uploaded to the Learning Management System so learners could review this document and complete the readings after finishing each module.

Seamless performance in the Learning Management System

The third challenge came up during the testing phase. Each Learning Management System comes with their own set of internal rules. I encountered a few issues during my first testing attempts but a thorough revision of the all the settings in the system as well as in the authoring tool and output helped me quickly fix the issues.

The Result

The fluid communication with the project team led to a successful completion of the project in the timeline specified. The end product was visually-appealing, functional and learner-centered.


Key Takeaway

Good instructional design brings content to life: using different techniques such as data visualization you can create more engaging content and make the information more appealing to your learners.

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