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EDTEC 795A: Seminar
Context and Project Description
For this class, we were given the opportunity to demonstrate our mastery of EDTEC standards by serving as instructional design consultants to real clients. My project was with the County of San Diego. I consulted with the Department of Public Works Watershed Protection Program (DPW-WPP) on the development of an online training for the administrators of their stormwater management program.
The stormwater management program is a permit program mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which required the County of San Diego to develop and implement a plan to regulate the discharge of pollutants to its waterways. One of the components of the plan required three groups of county employees to be trained on stormwater requirements and practices: program administrators, program implementers and pollution awareness group. They were also required to conduct this training at least twice during a 5-year period at specified dates.
I consulted on developing an online training program for the administrators group which is composed of upper management.
How The Artifact Demonstrates The Standard
This project typifies a systems strategy in practice. The interaction and interdependency among the different elements of the training program --content, technology, learning environment, communications, policy, management – illustrates how a design or development decision on one element affects the other components. For example, the choice of elearning authoring tool (technology) was dependent upon its compatibility with the County’s learning management system (communications, delivery). The design of the tutorial program itself was influenced by conditions that were either EPA-mandated or County-required. The topics (content) to be included came from a specific list of subjects required by the EPA (policy). The pre- and post- assessment questions had to be carefully drafted to comply with sensitive union policies. The length of the tutorial was restricted to no more than 30 minutes to allow for the needs (schedules) of the learners (upper management). And because this training program was one of the three required, the overall look and feel (aesthetics) must be similar if not exactly the same as the others tutorials.
Challenges and Opportunities
From the beginning, the County had reservations as to whether I can finish the tutorial on time not only because the overall extensive project required at least two people to complete but also because of the “drop dead” implementation deadline date they had to comply with (as per EPA requirements) to avoid penalties. I also had to travel overseas for a month during the duration of the project which caused some worries with regards to deliverables being submitted on time. The evaluation of the prototype took longer because some upper management who attended the presentation at different times wanted their comments and changes implemented in the revisions. However, we were able to resolve these issues through open communications, careful planning and scheduling and plenty of patience and perseverance.
What I Learned
This project represented the culmination of my EDTEC experience. Everything I learned in the past EDTEC courses were put into practice during the months of working with my client. I was able to apply my technical and theoretical knowledge during the design and development process. My interpersonal skills were put to the test during the evaluation period of my prototype. But the one thing I will never forget is being able to deliver a top-notch finished project with pride in spite of the challenges I faced in the beginning.
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