Calling all e-learning folks who work in higher education

I was reviewing Dave Anderson’s Word of Mouth Blog yesterday, and noticed Nita Venter’s post on E-learning in Healthcare.  It occurred to me (as it has many times in the past), that it would be great if there were similar discussions for folks who work in higher education.

While I have always benefitted from the general discussions in the forums, there are some issues that I’d love to discuss with others in academia, such as how other institutions are addressing universal design with the Articulate suite of tools and how to address issues regarding instructors who are great SMEs, but not so great when it comes to course design.

I’m hoping that there are others out there in higher education that are interested, and look forward to some great discussions.  Let me know what you think and maybe suggest some topics to get us started!

133 Replies
christine kent

Scott - answer to your comment about higher ed.  I have just done a "proof of concept" with a complex case study that is the "storyline" behind and entire module.  It has been written by an independent party who wants it published and i wanted to see if i could extract everything I needed out of Articulate to render everything he has asked the students to do in an on-line format.  I can.

It takes a combination of summary content, links to detailed information for research activities, attached forms with fields for data entry to collect input for those things that are just too hard to do in Studio (that can be submitted for assessment via an ePortfolio), Engage interactions and QuizMaker interactions. I have found that having things that Studio just cannot well do has been a good thing, not a bad thing.  I am using it as the "teacher" directing operations, and including non Studio activities as well as Studio activities simply adds variety and a welcome change of pace. 

The face to face hours question is an interesting one, because using it this way, with many hours of work being completed off-line, means that you can cover perhaps 10 hours training with 1 hour of Articulate interaction - making it quite cost effective.

I would be interested to know if anyone has developed any costing metrics for developing materials in Articulate.  Obviously there is no standard product but I imagine there might be metrics for how many hours it takes to develop, for example, 1 hour of face to face training. Has anyone come across these?

christine kent

I would be interested to know if anyone has developed any costing metrics for developing materials in Articulate.  Obviously there is no standard product but I imagine there might be metrics for how many hours it takes to develop, for example, 1 hour of face to face training. Has anyone come across these?

Karen Hambly

Thanks for raising the issue of costing Christine. This is definitely an area where I would like some guidance as well. Not only in costing metrics for developing materials but also a metric or some examples from the QA perspective for how Articulate e-materials have been equated to face-to-face delivery contact hours within module specifications. I appreciate that there won't be a precise equation and it will depend on the type of e-learning process used but even some examples would be useful. What have other people written into their module specifications?

christine kent

Yes, the face to face hours is another question I am trying to get some clarity about.  Let's say that I have a subject to teach that has, for example, 30 nominal teaching hours - that is, that is how long the college is expected to take to deliver it.  I can use Articulate to replace the teacher and direct the course of study, telling the students what to read, what to design, when to engage with their college for tutorial or discussion sessions etc, and what to deliver to their college in terms of completed assessment pieces.  

At first I thought it would take more face to face "Articulate" contact hours to do this for the higher level courses than the lower level courses, but in developing a proof of concept I have realized that the more advanced and independent the learner, the less I have to make them do on-screen and the more they can do off-screen. So now I am speculating that the ratio of screen contact hours to off screen study will be quite different between the different levels of course and student.

This also impacts on development metrics.  We need to be able to estimate how many hours it takes to develop each delivery hour for each different style and level of training.  Only then can we estimate cost.

In my particular instance, I have to be able to compare development and delivery products, and to do this I have to be able to estimate how much it costs for Articulate, Captivate and Lectora to produce the same thing and use that as one of the criteria by which we make a purchasing decision between the products (support, ease of use, reliability etc being other criteria). I WANT to use Articulate because of all the other criteria and I am guessing the development metrics will also show up really well, but I still have to mock up some figures for my management that this product is as or more cost effective than the alternatives in its own class and between product types.

Hoping someone from Articulate is reading this and knows of an in-house attempt to address this question.