Based on the information obtained from the analysis phase of the ADDIE process, you will need to design your course by creating a blue print. This lesson will walk you through the process of designing your course. The blue print is vital when developing your course. Much like building a house, the blue print includes all the details to construct every section of your course. Not only does it include a detailed outline, but it also includes specific information needed to develop the course.
Each organization has its own template of building a blue print. Some organizations refer to it as a Charter Document, an Approach Document, or a Detail Design Document. Also, based on the organization, certain preferences are required to include in the document such as audience analysis or tools required to develop the course. Whatever the format is within your organization, the purpose of the blue print is universal. The blue print is intended to keep everyone on the same page through the entire development process. From managers to those developing the course, the blue print should provide the necessary information to maintain the integrity of your design. Most blue print documents have the following components:
Purpose: This section focuses on why the course is being designed. This section of the document is important as it keeps everyone focused on goals and expectations of the course. This section should explain the reason for the course and include the course objectives and expectations.
Background Information: While this section is often omitted, it can provide some fundamental concepts that could assist you in the development process. Background information provides great detail about the reason for developing the course. Understanding why a training need exists for the course can help you maintain a better focus on the topics developed within the course.
Audience Analysis: This section provides critical information about the intended audience of the course. The information in this section should outline various characteristics of the audience that will assist in developing the course. This information may include age, skill levels, education, experience, size of the intended audience, or other information useful to develop the course.
Prerequisites: This section may or may not be required depending upon the subject of the course. However, it is always good practice to include this in the document to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. This section should explain requirements needed before taking the course. This information may include job skills, education requirements, or other specific considerations necessary to complete prior to taking your course.
Course Structure: This section outlines the main components of the course. The section should also include appropriate sub-topics and/or phases of the course. The intent of this section is to explain how the course is organized and what topics are included in the course.
Course Schedule: This section explains how the course is completed by the intended audience. The information should include times, dates, and topics. When creating a schedule, people often times forget to include such things as breaks and lunches. When you omit these items, you can cause problems in the implementation process by scheduling 8 hours of instructions that really takes about 10 hours due to lunch/dinner and really breaks.
Roles and Responsibilities: This section can save the development process many hours of frustration and arguments. This section outlines the responsibilities of all those involved in the project. Understanding who is responsible for what can help avoid many of the pit-falls that occur when working with groups and different organizations. For example, you should explain the role of the developer, the project manager, the graphic artist, or other individuals associated the design and development of the course.
Signature Block: While many organizations may omit the signature block or down play its importance, the signature block completes the contract. Signatures by decision makers help reduce "scope creep" or additional ideas later on in the process that bog down the project. An agreement between the designer/developer and client is a powerful resource that can be used when the project becomes too complex from its original intent.
Remember, the blue print saves time while providing necessary guidance in the development process. It is the one document that keeps everyone involved on the same page. Using the principles outlined in the blue print will make your project successful. Now, let's continue with developing that perfect blue print.