Project Reflections

SCRIBUS Website Training (2010)

Summary:

For a final project for a masters class, Joshua Pope and I teamed up to create a guide for your lay-graphic-design person to be able to download, install, and use a free, Adobe-InDesign-alternative called SCRIBUS.  In order to reach our target audience, we created a searchable, multi-leveled webpage to host our content.

Reflection:

Pope and I initially set out to teach novice bloggers how to customize their posts by writing their own HTML.  We didn’t nail down the scope of the project and it eventually grew out of control.  We were perfectionists (mostly Pope) and felt that if we couldn’t do the topic the justice it deserved in the time provided, that we ought to do something else that we could do well.  We decided that it would be better to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch with a different objective and content only days before the assignment was due.

With great focus and effort, we delivered on time and received a A+ for our training product.  Although this project is a testament to our ability to deliver a high-quality product in a rush, I’d like explore how we could have better managed our initial project so we wouldn’t have had to trash it.

As students, we had no budget.  So the only remaining project contraints were the self-defined scope and the instructor-imposed schedule.  We did a great job analyzing a need and translating that into an objective.  However, I suspect trouble entered the project because we were creating the scope as we went and didn’t fully think through the sub-objectives.  We never came to a conclusion on which functions our HTML instruction would be limited to.  In order to meet a main objective, it required prerequisite knowledge that also needed to be included in the training, which we hadn’t prepared for.  Before we set the project aside, it was looking like a main section from W3 School’s website. Some of the objectives were just plain, too complex for our audience and it would have taken us much more time than anticipated to develop those solutions.

Looking at the situation in hindsight, I see two solutions:

  1. Plan out the entire scope ahead of time.  Decide if we can do it or not.  (Project scoping requires experience, which we didn’t have at the time.  All we had were our development and ID skills and our passion.)
  2. Allow for a flexible scope, but prioritize the instruction’s objectives and prerequisite skills based on project restraints. Draw the line based on project constraints (time). Design the learning experience to be easily upgraded to a v2.

Family History Federal Census Overview Course

Summary:

This course was developed for the family history department in order help genealogists leverage the power of national censuses. The course was particularly exciting for me to work on because I was asked to develop a solution to a problem that hasn’t been asked of me before.  The designer shot a large video and wanted to have a scrubber bar to control video playback.  This was before we adopted Brightcove, so I first tried compressing the video as much as I could into an .FLV file and embedding it into the module directly.  It was too big.  The page took 30 seconds to load.  So I tried hosting the video on a web server and calling it through an iFrame.  This significantly cut down the load time, however, I was unable so sync the video with the course controls.  I ended up dropping the FLV into flash and adding video-specific controls and then feeding that all through an iFrame.  It wasn’t ideal—but it worked.

(Live Site, Backup Site)

Reflection:

If at all possible, design the module to be created in one piece of software.  Interfacing is a pain!

Reusable Learning Object Classroom Internship

Summary:

Reflection:

Example of Proof of Concept for Adoption Info for New Parents

Summary:

(Live siteBackup Site)

Reflection:

After this project, I learned the importance of optimizing media for web publishing.  Although this proof of concept was only 3MB on the server, the image load time was obviously lagging.  Also, I decided that if I were to code the course to resize dynamically, it would be better to allow the assets to stretch.

Risk Management COSO Model eLearning Course

Summary:

(Live site, Backup site)

Reflection:

Youth Art Competition eLearning Course

Summary:

(Live site, Backup site)

Reflection:

HR 2012 Information Security Mandatory Training Course

Version 1: (Live siteBackup SiteSpanishPortugueseItalianFrenchGerman)

Version 2: (Live site, Backup site)

HR Assessing Performance Potential

(Live Site, Backup)

Office of General Counsel, US Visa and Consular Program

(Live site, Backup site)

(Similar course: Expatriate)

Perpetual Education Fun eLearning Course

Summary:

(Live, Backup)

Reflection:

*Another Project

Summary:

Reflection:

Youth Safety eLearning Course

Summary:

I was pulled onto this project as a consultant/lead developer eight weeks before the deadline.  We also had a full-time graphic artist, and part-time designer.  (Semi-Absent: Producer and Product Manager.)  Project sponsorship had changed departments and no one knew for certain who would be paying for bills, and thus calling the shots.  Three weeks before the deadline, our development team of three was still receiving conflicting messages regarding the scope of the project.  In a flurry, we essentially scraped everything we had up to that point in favor of what ultimately delivered three weeks later—on time and on budget.  (Live website, Backup Site)

Reflection:

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