Breaking Down My Entry for Trivantis Community Contest 15

trivantis-community-blog-2016

Do you ever struggle with creating a course? All that planning, developing, reviewing, and testing might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the program you’re developing in or trying to create a sample on the fly. Don’t worry! With the Trivantis® Community Contests, it’s easy. We provide you with a basis to develop from, and all you have to do is let your imagination and fingertips run wild at your computer. Then you can share it with other users via your blog, resume, LinkedIn, or other preferred method (see this blog post for help).

Contest 15 is all about creating a course on sports using Responsive Course Design™ in Lectora®. Some of the suggestions included a resource page for new fans on how scoring works, lyrics guide to the team fight song, and healthy tailgating recipes. When I was thinking about creating an example, I went through four stages: planning, development, and review and revision. For the newbies out there, I wanted to quickly share my experience as a sort of guide for you to follow.

Planning

The first step in creating a Trivantis Community Contest submission for me is figuring out where I want to take the topic. I always consider the suggestions because they include various ways to take the topic into different directions. If it’s easier, I’ll create a list of ideas or a mind map. When it came to creating Contest 15, I thought to myself: “What is my favorite sport to watch?” I decided to move forward from there and create a Beginner’s Guide to ATV Racing.

Be sure to do enough research to either have a resource or two to reference or write out the content completely. I’ve found that since the contest submissions are meant to be mini courses, I don’t need to write everything out since I only plan on sharing content for 3-5 pages (sometimes more if I can’t restrain myself).

Developing

Once I have a general plan in place, I like to start by creating a base for my course. I usually use a theme provided within Lectora to reduce the stress of having to create a template/interface from scratch. Since themes include images, navigation, and other elements, it makes the process quite a bit faster. I also like to take a look at the eLearning Brothers templates and course starter in my Inspire Tools provided with my Lectora Inspire license (start your free trial today).

When choosing my base, I keep design and functionality in mind. For my Contest 15 example, I was originally going to go with a “dirt” theme of browns and tans. But when searching for copyright free images, I instead chose to go with something colorful to make the pictures pop.

From there I like the figure out the structure of my course. Will I include an introduction page? Do I need to use a chapter? I’ll build the content out by adding my chapters, sections, or pages. I make sure to name them, so I have an outline view of my structure and flow.

Beginner's Guide to ATV Racing

Contest 15 course with theme, structure, and the introduction page completed.

The last thing I do when developing is gather my resources and insert the necessary text, images, audio, video, questions, or other objects. If I’m creating content that will be shared across multiple devices (like with this example), I keep the placement in mind while making decisions. In my head, I figure out how the layout will work on desktops, tablets, and phones.

For responsive courses I wait until all of my pages are complete (because it’s usually very short) and then start working on each page until I’m ready to move forward. Since I used a system provided theme, I only have to focus on the objects I added to the course. I start by going through the phone orientations like suggested. Then, I work my way through the tablet orientations. Once I’m done with each page, I test it using the Modes in Lectora.

 

Entry on Mobile, Widescreen, and Laptop

 

Contest 15 entry on mobile, widescreen, and a laptop.

Review and Revision

After I’m done creating a base for my content, I start looking at what I did critically. I ask myself questions like “Did I provide enough visual interest?” and “Is the information provided a complete picture?” and “Can I improve my content in anyway?” Then, I make changes to the content until I’m comfortable. I also check for incorrect spelling and double spaces, which are my known nemeses when it comes to creating eLearning content.

At this point it’s time to publish the course and make sure everything is looking and working how I expected. Since the Trivantis Community Contests and Share sections run on HTML output, I publish my file and check it that way. I’ll also use ReviewLink™, which is a great tool for both developers and reviewers to check published content. Be sure to go back into Lectora to make any changes. It isn’t until I’m proud and ready to share the content that I go onto the site and upload my example.

Now it’s your turn! Submit a sample for Contest 15. With each contest you’ll gain experience, samples, and most importantly, confidence. Be sure to let us know about your own development strategy when sharing a contest entry in the description. It helps others understand your process and provide suggestions.

If you’re not a Trivantis Community member yet, register today so that you can enter the contest too.