- Let the vendor host the CBT.
- Put the CBT on a CD.
- Install the CBT on one computer.
- Incorporate the CBT into an existing instructor-led training program.
If you are planning to use a learning management system to launch your CBT module, then it has to be able to talk to your LMS. Without going into a lot of detail here, this means your module must adhere to certain industry standards and specifications that define communication between the module and the host system. This is typically referred to as sharable content object reference model (SCORM) compliance. If you are seriously thinking about CBT development, then I suggest you do some additional research on this topic.
• Hold a stakeholder kick-off meeting.
Bring all of the players together at the start of the project and discuss their roles and responsibilities. Explain how your plan is going to work. If you’re using an outside vendor, they’ve probably done this before, so let them discuss their CBT development process. Make sure everybody knows what’s expected of them and gain their commitment for the time and resources involved. Some of the typical collaborative activities include:
- Gathering content from client departments, subject matter experts and other sources.
- Capturing equipment, work processes and locations on video and digital photography.
- Reviewing, reviewing, reviewing.
- QA testing the beta modules in an actual IT environment.
- Roll-out and piloting modules with end users.
• Storyboard CBT content in its native environment.
The traditional CBT storyboard is usually a table that lists how the text, digital assets, special effects, links, etc. are going to appear and interact on a particular screen. The storyboard can be a little confusing or even intimidating for reviewers who are unfamiliar with the development process.
I’ve been dealing with them for years and I still have trouble visualizing what the finished screen will look like. In response to this we now ask our vendors to provide us with a mock-up of the screen that identifies the assets that are required and where everything will go in the final version. It helps us to plan what is needed, while giving us a better feel for the look of the finished product.
•Hold regular update/milestone meetings with stakeholders.
If you want to keep production moving, stakeholders have to know what’s going on. This is especially important for key individuals in the client departments who are on the periphery of the development process and have other jobs and responsibilities.
In my experience, very few CBT projects go as originally planned. Requirements change, resources become unavailable and production schedules stretch, to name just a few of the problems you’re likely to face. And of course, if you’re working with a vendor, you have to hold regular meetings to ensure that they are achieving all of the required project milestones.
Nigel Lindsey-King is an instructional designer with more than 25 years of experience developing and delivering training programs for a transit environment.