United States Federal Agency Case Study

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Challenge
After utilizing several custom development shops to create eLearning content which cost $100,000 or more per course, a well known federal agency realized that moving course creation in-house was a better, more cost effective solution. Not only were courses developed by contractors costly, but the federal agency was experiencing several technology issues such as AICC and SCORM compliance roadblocks and courses with little interactivity. With the advent of a new initiative known as HR Academy, the federal agency made the move to in-house eLearning development.

To support this move, they would need an experienced project manager (PM) to lay the groundwork and an easy-to-use authoring tool.

“Captivate is used for software simulations and is very limited in eLearning functionality. We needed true authoring software that could create a broad range of eLearning geared toward various learning styles.”

The federal agency’s PM had experience developing online courses and mainly utilized Adobe Captivate for simulations at his previous position. He considered using the same tool to develop content at the federal agency, but quickly realized that it wasn’t the tool for the job. “Captivate is used for software simulations and is very limited in eLearning functionality,” said the federal agency’s PM. “We needed true authoring software that could create a broad range of eLearning geared toward various learning styles.”

Solution
The federal agency was then introduced to Lectora through a live demonstration and they were quite impressed. It did not take them long to realize that Lectora was the well-rounded authoring tool that they were looking for to create courses for their new HR Academy. To begin, they tapped into Trivantis to create a template with a standard look and feel. This template enables the federal agency to easily plug in necessary content and get a head start on course development.

Next, the federal agency devoted time upfront to setting up an internal eLearning development process so they could get the most out of Lectora. The project manager and his team created the framework for each course in Lectora and then developed PDF documents out of the course layout in which Subject Matter Experts (SME) could easily add in the necessary content. They would then import the content from the SME into Lectora and quickly and easily develop a final version of the course. “We spent our initial time laying out the framework and then enabled our SMEs to easily add content. From there, it was a simple and fast process to develop our courses” added the federal agency’s PM.

Results
The federal agency soon realized that there were many benefits to using Lectora. They cut out the cost of external vendors and were able to create interactive eLearning all in-house with a small team of 2 1⁄2 people. Lectora’s features allowed the federal agency to create engaging and fun courses while still teaching the basic information.

“We enjoy using the Flash and Games Library in Lectora Version 9. By utilizing Lectora’s many features, we are able to produce courses that offer different types of learning scenarios, whether it’s through playing games or watching a video clip,” said the federal agency’s PM. “We can bring in our own audio, video and other content or use the library of images and media directly within Lectora.”

By choosing Lectora over the previous tool, Adobe Captivate, the federal agency was able to create more advanced eLearning that adhered to all learning styles. “I found that Lectora could do so much more than Adobe Captivate,” said the federal agency’s PM. “Lectora’s flexibility and ability to neatly package all elements of a course into one is amazing.”

“With contractors, we were only completing 2 courses a year and paying more than $100,000 per course. Now we’ve saved thousands and have over 27 courses finished in less than a year.”

The federal agency creates 2-3 courses a month on such subjects as policy information, procedures and Judiciary information that are published to Blackboard. According to the Chief of Training Staff at the federal agency, the switch to Lectora saved both time and money. “With contractors, we were only completing two courses a year and paying more than $100,000 per course. Now we’ve saved thousands and have over 27 courses finished in a year.”

The Training Analyst at the federal agency believes the launch of HR Academy has been a huge success. “Our employees and constituents used to fear web-based learning. Now, they’re looking forward to the release of more courses.”