Del's Drills and Wells Course
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31 March 2014
Del's Drills and Wellheads
I was the learning designer
I was commissioned to build a sequence of 5 elearning modules for a specialist Oil and Gas inspection community. There were international contributors in the US and in the middle East as well as the slightly closer to home contributor in Hamilton, Scotland.
Interestingly, the design was not explicit at the design phase – which was reflected late on in the programme when there was a significant interface re-design....
The tension between Hamilton (subject matter expert) and Houston (holding the purse strings) was noted at the first conference call where each clearly thought the other was an idiot. The intended audience was experienced technicians and engineers with deep specialist knowledge of detailed tests and measurement principles (hardness testing, tolerances and materials analysis) but with limited exposure to the Oil and Gas Industry.
Develop 5 discrete modules as a single deployable eLearning element via an archaic LMS to provide an introduction to key components, supporting paperwork and reporting responsibilities for the benefit of junior inspection engineers.
Success would be judged by acceptance from a team of subject matter experts (both eLearning specialists and Oil and Gas Inspection Engineers).
Develop an outline narrative for module 1 and produce an Alpha release for sign off by the subject matter expert. I expected feedback from the SME group to agree / submit corrections regarding interface, colour palette and content delivery style.
Not a lot happened – after a week a short email was received from Hamilton to say 'yes that looks fine'.
Develop modules 2 to 4 to the same style and standard, submitting each module for SME review. Content was not mature so an unexpectedly long time was spent to-ing and fro-ing with Internet searches and SME questioning to ensure content was correct before submission.
Module 5 – essentially a scenario in which an inspector must trace paperwork requirements against industry standards to describe what tests will be conducted and what reporting must be made. Reports to be submitted for external moderation by SME group. A module of considerable complexity but which ensured the user was tested in the synthesis of information from modules 1-4 as well as genuine examination and interaction with international standards documents to identify the types of test and report required for each item described.
Beta review – passed without comment.
Once the Beta was produced, I was expecting some minor amends to result in Gold edition publication and for Gold to be accepted with little or no comment. What actually happened is that the SME group rejected the product on the basis of a non-approved interface.
However, (at a cost) the interface was amended, SME group passed product at second time of asking and the training released into a waiting world.
Feedback is very positive. Users are complimentary and success rates for Module 5 are approximately as anticipated (around 65% at first attempt – climbing to 100% after revision and re-submission).
Objectives met at the second time of asking.
Asked to produce two more modules for the company.
Don't begin development until the content is all brigaded and understood. Three months in we were still battling with SME's to sign off on content in the narratives produced in week 2....
Ensure you have a single point of content. The failure to appropriately agree the design was the result of 'too many cooks' and no-one being quite sure who was authorised to sign off.