Do you have what it takes to be an e-learning guru? That’s the question Tom Kuhlmann and other staff members at Articulate ask the e-learning community each year.
This year, I finally submitted an entry to the Guru Awards. I’ve been using Articulate’s suite of e-learning software since early 2007. I’ve sat on the sidelines and watched as previous entries earned an honorable mention as well as those who win the top three awards each year.
However, as I submitted my entry, I knew in my heart that others would have more bells and whistles, more whiz-bangs, more wow-factor than the project I submitted. And yet, that didn’t bother me because I submitted an entry for a particular reason. (See my entry at the end of this post.)
LINGOs and the e-Learning Community
Earlier this year, through The eLearning Guild, I learned about LINGOs. The Guild and LINGOs promoted the first-annual Global Giveback Contest. They challenged e-learning instructional designers and developers to donate time and talents to help Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with their online learning initiatives. (Tom Kuhlmann and David Anderson of Articulate also created a course through LINGOs.)
Mauricio Gutierrez, Leadership Development at World Vision International (WVI), had listed a project request for designing and developing an online orientation for World Vision International’s Global Leader Orientation (GLO) program.
I partnered with Mauricio, and over a couple of months, we created a brief and fairly simple Orientation, or overview, of WVI’s eCampus, its online learning activities, and the three phases of the GLO program.
About the Course
The learner audience consists of newly hired and existing WVI leadership staff. And, many of these staff members work in very remote locations in countries with limited Internet access. Bandwidth, a key issue, played a huge role in the course’s simple design. In addition, WVI’s standard PowerPoint template provided the required framework for our design elements.
Mauricio wanted the course to tell the GLO story, so I created a basic look-and-feel of an open book for most of the screens. The Engage Flipbook interaction didn’t provide the screen real estate we needed, so I used an image of an open book from my image library.
As the learners “turn” each “page” of the story, they discover more about the three phases of the GLO program.
Oh, and Mauricio had previewed some of my voice over demo reels, and he asked me to record, edit, and produce the audio narration for the course. As Murphy’s Law would have it, I was scheduled to record the narration the day after I was down three days with an nasty, summer flu bug. The show must go on, and it did.
How We Worked
Mauricio and I both have Skype accounts, and we communicated constantly either via Chat or Skype voice calls. We also used email messages, my DropBox account, and WVI’s CMS for larger messages, the transfer of files, and communication with Mauricio’s colleagues in Australia and other countries.
We also began with a written storyboard in Microsoft Word so we could establish and refine the design with his colleagues in other countries before I began the rapid development of the course itself.
Mauricio was great to work with! And, in June, we met in person at The Guild’s mobile learning conference, mLearnCon, in San Diego, California.
When I think about the GLO program, and the WVI staff members in remote locations around the world who may view this Orientation, I feel connected to a larger purpose, one far beyond my own client work and my billable projects.
I submitted my Guru Awards entry for two reasons: (1) to thank Mauricio and World Vision International for the privilege of assisting them with their initiatives, and (2) to encourage my e-learning colleagues to visit the LINGOs site and then do the same for another NGO. I hope they don’t wait for another Global Giveback Contest. NGOs are waiting for help now, and people can begin at any time.
And now, the course! Just select the image on the left, or this link (not yet HTML5-compatible; may not display on mobile devices):