How do you get started when designing a course?

Nov 16, 2017

Do you use pencil/paper sketch, create an outline in word or excel, develop top of mind directly into Storyline, use mind mapping tool or other? 

1 Reply
Bob S

Hi Julie,

Assumed in your question is that we have already done some level of analysis and/or understand the needs and objectives before we start actually designing.  If so, then I often start with something I refer to as a "detailed draft".

Basically a glorified outline done in Word table format with a twist...   The left 2/3 of the table is a classic outline but interspersed with specific or key phrases in quotes only as needed. In the right 1/3 column I toss down general ideas for how I might get that same content across (eg "matching game???"  or "narrated by bullet?").

This loose structure allows me to easily lift and shift content pieces, reorganize or add on the fly, and record specific visions for wording or delivery ideas right there as they might come to me.

This also allows me to view the overall design from different angles. For example if I visibly cover the left 2/3 and only look at the right column, I can see how I am varying the instruction (or not!) and have a very general sense of the resource types/effort involved with the approach.   Conversely, if I look only at the content headers (top layer of each outline topic) I can quickly get a sense of the general course structure without being pulled into the content specifics.

Finally this this approach allows for extremely rapid changes/updates and the opportunity to gain approval from stakeholders without them being distracted by stylistic elements that are not their area of expertise.

Good question and hope this helps! 

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