This past week’s e-learning challenge asked the community to come up with an example showcasing a science demo and/or interaction.   Click on the link above to check out all the great submissions, and then click the image below to take a look at what I came up with.

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 10.59.55 AM

My focus for this week’s challenge – aside from the overall theme of the challenge –  was on efficiency.  Time is money, and it’s a rare occurrence for either’s limits to be open-ended when building courses for a client.  So I set about identifying my parameters and steps for the activity:

  1. Design it (1.5 hours)
  2. Build it (1 hour)
  3. Test it and blog it (.5 hours)

There’s nothing particularly elegant or special about this process, but identifying the parameters and creating the steps is helpful in realizing the constraints of an activity and staying accountable to the timeline.  As a developer, calling out the major constraint(s) (time) is helpful when planning what is feasible, while identifying the purpose, context, and interactive elements provides a really simple framework for designing the activity (What’s the purpose of the activity?  What/where is the “stage” for the activity?  What interactive elements will be involved?).

It’s a simple and worthwhile process that scales quite well depending on the size of the activity.  If you’re looking for ways to streamline your development process, I recommend giving it a shot.  Saving time is money in your pocket!

(Psst! If you’re interested, take a look at the source file)

—Blog post written by Ian McConnell. Ian is an e-learning developer and consultant working with TLS Learning. When he isn’t working on e-learning projects, he’s raising his three spirited and vocal young children with his lovely wife just outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.