Hannah's design narrative: fraud awareness
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4 April 2013
I work as an e-learning developer for a global organisation that deliver computer-based examinations for a number of different clients. My role is to support a global network of staff through the development and delivery of online training.
I was asked to produce an e-learning course on fraud to raise awareness among staff who administer the computer-based exams. The training was for the staff who worked in the test centres across the whole of Ireland, some of whom had already encountered and identified instances of fraud.
This training was initially requested by the head of Operations and Client Services. Our company has a number of procedures in place to ensure exams are delivered within a secure testing environment, and that we meet the contractual obligations with each client. Therefore, any training surrounding security is high priority and crucial in our relationships with our clients.
My colleague and I designed and developed the course and worked closely with the stakeholders throughout the whole project.
The goal of this training was to raise awareness among test centre staff of fraudulent activity committed by exam candidates. The course needed to introduce and identify the different types of fraud and highlight the procedures the company has in place for preventing this from occurring and how to deal with it if it should happen. The training needed to last for no longer than 30 minutes, and include some kind of assessment to check the learners’ understanding. It needed to be delivered within a relatively short timeframe to meet the Client’s needs, by which time 100% completion needed to have been achieved.
The first stage was the initial meeting with the head of Operations and Client Services, from which we established the goal of the training and the requirements from both the company and the client.
As an e-learning developer I base all of my projects on the ADDIE process (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation).
- Analysis: this is where we consider the audience (pre-existing knowledge / no. of users), the content (identify existing material / content gaps, and the structure (duration / assessment requirements). This provided an outline for the whole project.
- Design: this is effectively the ‘mapping out’ stage, where we establish the structure of the course, the look and feel, the interactions or activities, and the content. This provided a detailed storyboard from which we built the course.
- Development: using the storyboard we built the course in stages, which were all reviewed and signed-off by the stakeholders. Once a beta version was published one last review was carried out before the course was ready to go live.
- Implementation: this involved creating user accounts on our company’s LMS and providing access to the e-learning course. A roll-out plan was created with the stakeholders to determine the timings and communications. As administrators for the LMS we provided user support for the learners and created progress reports for management.
- Evaluation: completions were tracked and recorded within the allotted timeframe and fed back to management and the Client. We also worked with management to obtain user feedback on the course itself in order to address any issues going forward (i.e. accessibility issues / problems navigating through the course).
The obstacles faced during this project were time constraints and content gaps. Stakeholders do not always realise how lengthy the process can be when developing a brand new e-learning course, so expectations had to be managed fairly, whilst ensuring we met the company and client needs. When asked to produce a new course there is often little or no existing material so extra time needed to be allotted to generate the missing content.
The project was a success and we received some very positive feedback from the Client and learners alike. I feel we met the main objective which was to raise awareness of fraud and ensure the staff knew how to identify and deal with such cases. The course was structured like a game and placed the learner in real-life scenarios, which formed the assessment part of the training. This was the first time we had used this type of structure and it was received well.
Common issues do seem to reoccur with many of our projects, as they did with this one; namely time constraints, content gaps, and the review process. I now have a clearer understanding of the sort of realistic timeframe we need to work to when developing a course, including allowances for writing our own content. The review process needs to be managed better in future, with a limited number of drafts published to cut down the development time and prevent stakeholders from constantly requesting changes.