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How To Design a Course in Seven Days

We designed and produced a course on a soft skill area in a total of seven days. This is how we did it:

Days 1 and 2: A team of facilitators, participants, subject-matter experts, and instructional designers selected the training objectives for the course. The instructional designer took the group through activities related to these objectives. For example, one of the objectives required teamwork. The designer conducted a game that emphasized trust in teams. While everyone was playing the game, the second instructional designer took copious notes on a notebook computer. The players made real-time suggestions for improving the game and its debrief.

Days 3 and 4: The second instructional designer expanded the notes in her computer into a prototype facilitator guide. She also created a prototype workbook for the participants. A project manager assembled the materials required for the activities.

Days 5 and 6: We assembled 12 typical participants. The first instructional designer conducted the workshop using the facilitator guide for the basic structure, but improvising as needed. The facilitators observed the workshop and took copious notes. The second instructional designer made appropriate changes in the notebook computer's copy of the facilitator's guide. She also incorporated suggestions from the facilitator/observers.

Day 7: The facilitators and the instructional designers reviewed the course and made final changes. One of the facilitators was selected to conduct the next offering of the course in a different location.

Our productivity was due to prior familiarity with the topic, the use of various templates for the activities, and effective collaboration among the team members. The fact that we were dealing with a soft skill area and primarily using experiential activities also helped.

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