15 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Sam,

  • Start by deciding what is required learning, and what is supporting data.
  • Would it be quicker to use Studio '13 - as it is better suited to existing PowerPoint content?
  • Decide whether you want a linear experience, and if not, how you would/could add interactivity.
  • What is the PURPOSE of the learning - and how will you measure it?
  • Do you want voiceover or not?
  • Do all your audience need the same experience, and how are you going to deploy, (PC, iPad etc.)
  • How will you test success and learning?
  • Can the content be re-built in another style - i.e. can it be taken and repurposed in a non-PowerPoint style?]
  • What is your budget?
  • Can you afford to hire me?

OK - I snuck that last one in, ("Who Dares Wins"), but that's a decent list to get started with

I am sure people will chime in with other suggestions.

Bruce - http://www.pperf.co.uk

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the detailed reply. Really got me thinking. However, the good news is that I have answers to most of them (except the one whether I can afford you!). 

I have been evaluating various products and I don't want to just 'convert' ppts. I would like to add interactivity and simulations too. Hence, I was thinking of going the studio way. Yes, I will need voice over too. I also intend having videos in the courses. You had a good question regarding measurement. I plan to host this on a WordPress platform and I intend using a LMS plugin for grading and measurement (as the target audience is University students and an element of grading is to be present). This also follows your other question on testing success and learning. Plan to implement some tests in the course. Typically, a 'before' and 'after' course test, which can then give the student  a feel of how much he/she has learnt.

Yes - I intend having the same experience across multiple platforms - PC, iPad, Android, Windows mobile, etc

The target audience is students across developing Asian countries where there is a dearth of soft skills in the tertiary education market and hence the offering will be a very low cost training (as it has to be affordable to students)

Do I have the budget - Yes. I am a small company owner and yes, without a budget, I cant embark on a project like this. 

Can I afford you? Not really sure. I am going on the assumption that only expensive people pose such a question. Also, this is also due to your experience and expertise. I have seen your website - must say it is pretty impressive. For somebody who is doing work for the likes of Pepsico and other big names, it looks like you may be expensive, but one does not know unless he tries. So, why not?

Regards,

Sam

Holly MacDonald

Sam - my two cents - regardless of whether you can afford Bruce, or any other developer, you'll need to know what your budget is and what kind of developer you want. You can engage someone/a firm who is more tool-focused (can make the interactions) but you can also engage someone/a firm who is going to help you determine the most effective way to approach your project to meet your needs, and may bring ideas or options you hadn't considered. It may cost you more, it may end up costing you less, but I would suggest you don't focus on price as your single decision point for selection. Focus on what you want to achieve and who can help you achieve that. If you find during discussions on price that it is more than you can afford, you should have a conversation with your chosen supplier about what you can afford and they may find a creative way to work with you within your budget. 

Hope that helps,

Holly

Nancy Woinoski

Holly MacDonald said:

Sam - my two cents - regardless of whether you can afford Bruce, or any other developer, you'll need to know what your budget is and what kind of developer you want. You can engage someone/a firm who is more tool-focused (can make the interactions) but you can also engage someone/a firm who is going to help you determine the most effective way to approach your project to meet your needs, and may bring ideas or options you hadn't considered. It may cost you more, it may end up costing you less, but I would suggest you don't focus on price as your single decision point for selection. Focus on what you want to achieve and who can help you achieve that. If you find during discussions on price that it is more than you can afford, you should have a conversation with your chosen supplier about what you can afford and they may find a creative way to work with you within your budget. 

Hope that helps,

Holly


This is really good advice. 

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil

Hi Holly,

Thanks for the brilliant advice. I am looking for somebody who can help get the project to achieve what it intends. I like to 'begin with the end in mind' and hence would like the person/company to show me the path to get there. So, I am not just limiting myself to a budget. In fact, some friends advised me to get on elance and odesk and look for a suitable freelancer, but I thought I'd rather get into a forum where experts with specific knowledge congregate and are willing to help one another. My experience so far on this forum has been fantastic. Thanks to you folks!!

Sam.

Joshua Roberts

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil said:

Also folks - I think I will need to buy a copy of the storyline software even though I intend to get my project outsourced. Any thoughts/advice on this? There is some offer going on currently. 

Sam


I'd leave this up to you.

Most testing can be done on an LMS so you'll have various versions to test and comment on.

I would recommend storyline but only through someone who could get you a reduced price. In your current position you won't need access to the majority of features. If you think about the cost, it could instead be used to put towards more development for your project. But it's a personal decision on whether you'd like the ability to view the layers of creation.

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil

Thanks for the advice. Yes, cost is certainly a concern. It does not come very cheap and I am not going to create much myself. However, the only reason I wanted to get a copy was to get some real quick changes done. For eg, there could be a spelling error in a developed module and rather than send feedback to the developer who may be in another continent, 16hr behind me and lose a lot of time in getting the change done, I may as well just make the changes. However, spending 1.5k on software just to do that is not justifiable I guess. 

Nancy Woinoski

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil said:

Thanks for the advice. Yes, cost is certainly a concern. It does not come very cheap and I am not going to create much myself. However, the only reason I wanted to get a copy was to get some real quick changes done. For eg, there could be a spelling error in a developed module and rather than send feedback to the developer who may be in another continent, 16hr behind me and lose a lot of time in getting the change done, I may as well just make the changes. However, spending 1.5k on software just to do that is not justifiable I guess. 


Hi Sam, one of the benefits of purchasing Storyline yourself is so that you can gain a better understanding of what can and cannot be done with the software. This always helps when working with an instructional designer and developer. But this also means some commitment on your part to actually learn how to use it.

As for buying it just to fix typos etc., - I have clients who have purchased software for just such purposes but end up being too intimidated to actually use it so I guess that is something to think about as well.

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil

Thanks Nancy. Having some s/w development knowledge and background, I tend to agree with what you said. In fact, I am testing out Articulate and I think it is cool. Due to the fact I am testing it, I was able to convert one of my sample courses (just did the basic ppt conversion) and put it up on the articulate online site (which I am trying out too). This way, developers vying for the project are able to get an idea of what my courses look like. 

Your second point is also valid. I purchased Camtasia a while ago. Whilst I do know how to use the s/w, I really get the serious bits outsourced. So, the s/w has ended up on my desktop not doing much. That is not as expensive as Storyline. However, putting up 1.5k for a s/w that may end up in a retirement village (my desktop!) is something I really need to think about. Thanks for the thoughts. 

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil

Hi Helena,

Thanks for your reply. I have downloaded both trial versions. Storyline is awesome and I am liking it. I created a sample course and posted it using articulate online, but thats when i did not understand the value of paying $200 per month. I was wondering if others could throw some light on this.