Lessons Learned Series: Lesson 1

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I can't believe it has been 6 months since I last blogged! I've been a little busy developing the new alcohol awareness module which monopolized (in a good way) my time. In my 10 years as an instructional designer, I have never only worked on one project all day every day for any length of time. Multitasking is kind of my thing.  The whole idea of focusing on one project was exciting, but at the same time a bit overwhelming in a weird way. I am happy to say that the module is rolling out tomorrow to incoming summer students.  I think that the entire team is holding their collective breath until that happens. With something this size (over 15,000 students hitting it between Friday and the end of the first week of fall classes), you just never know what might happen that is out of your control.  We've tested and tested, so we are confident (cautiously) that the students won't experience any problems in the coming months. 

On a personal level, I learned a lot in the last 6 months working on this project.  I will be writing a series of blog posts over the next several weeks outlining what I learned and what I intend to do about it. Lessons aren't worth learning if you don't do anything with them, right?  

Lesson 1-The BIG One

One of the most important lessons that I learned was that a more formal process for instructional design in my division is needed.  The biggest part of this is the need to more clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the individuals involved in developing the module.  I started developing the module thinking that these were fairly well defined.  After all, this wasn't the first module that I developed in the Division. It was, however, the first very high profile module that I developed.  I believe that difference between the two types of modules caused a lot of issues along the way.  We managed to come up with a solution, but unfortunately not before both time and effort were lost. I'm sure other IDs and multimedia folks can relate.   

Applying What I Learned

Since the development of the module ended, I started working on a new ID model and Memo of Understanding to help guide how the Division will develop modules in the future. I'm optimistic that the new documents will help inform everyone involved about the processes, roles, and responsibilities of developing modules to make the process a much more enjoyable and less stress provoking experience for everyone involved. Once they are done, I'll share what I came up with if anyone is interested.

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