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Content Development Handbook

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toddtheintern Posted: Tue, Feb 16 2010 2:07 PM
I have been tasked to create a content development handbook for the Dept of Corrections in my state. Are there handbooks out there that are good to model one after? Todd The Intern
replied on Tue, Feb 16 2010 6:02 PM
I use this 3 step process in creating content for trainers.... but if someone assigned the task, they already know what they want so ask more question. Smart interns do. 1. Information The first step involves taking a step back and really looking at things, both externally and internally. Although this is only the first of three steps, you’ll find that so few content producers actually begin the process that you’ll develop an immediate advantage. From an external standpoint, let’s take the time to research and evaluate the possible future of our niche or industry. Where are things going? * How is technology affecting your niche? What about in 5 years? * Are there looming economic changes that will impact your topic? How? * These days, many established markets are being turned upside down. Yours? * What legal and political issues pose a threat or represent an opportunity? * What social trends will impact your niche, and what angles do they present? Next, you’ve got to evaluate where you’re currently at. Be brutally honest. Make a true assessment of your current audience and content so you’ll be able to determine where you can take things. * Who reads, listens to or watches your content? Are you sure? * Why do they read, listen or watch? Are you sure? * What are the boundaries of your topic? Why? * How does your current content measure up in terms of quality? * What knowledge do you have that gives you an untapped advantage? Now it’s time to collect the results of your external and internal audit, and see what you’ve got. * What do you now know based on where things are going and where you’re currently at? * What potential threats to growth and your current positioning did you identify? * What about opportunities? Write it all down and reflect. This is the basis of your upcoming ideas and action. 2. Ideas When it comes to developing ideas about future content, first do a “change nothing” analysis, which means you’ll stay on your current course for now. Change for the sake of change has doomed many a publication, so start your idea generation analysis by envisioning changing absolutely nothing about what you’ve been doing. * What happens if you change nothing? * What opportunities are you leaving unrealized? * Is your current course achieving your objectives? * What is the competition doing right? Wrong? * What is your audience asking for? Are you sure? Next, evaluate the conclusions and ideas you generated from your “change nothing” examination. Whether you change direction or not, what is the likelihood that your objectives will be met (or continue to be met)? In other words, where should you be going from a return on investment standpoint? * Who should be reading, listening to or watching your content? * What do they want, need or expect? * Should you be producing content in another format? * Where can you find more of the right readers, listeners or viewers? * Are you inspired and motivated? If not, what would change that? Finally, the end of the idea phase is a realistic assessment of the challenges you’ll face in implementing a new direction. What are the obstacles to moving in the direction you’ve determined you should be going? * Identify each obstacle that you face in achieving your new objectives * Which objective is threatened by which obstacle? * Can you overcome the obstacle? * If so, how? * If no, what’s your new objective?
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Horton's E-leanring by design is a good sourcebook to guide you into creating some effective designs.  Content devleopment is driven by objectives and expectations fopr return fromt he coruse, so let these thigns guide you.   Finding stuff is pretty easy easy.  Including the right stuff in the right way is what makes trainign valuable.

You can evern ask, "What are the outcomes, objctives, and value of your handbook?  Who are the auduiecnes and what do they want/need? 

"training for Imopact" (Robinson and Robinson) and "Training ion Trial" (Kirpatrick and Kirkpatrick) present approaches to the trainign function that improve its value to the organzation. 



Joe Brodnicki TN Dept of Correction

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Ed Yahnig replied on Thu, Feb 18 2010 7:51 PM
By far the best book on curriculum design that I've ever used is Mastering the Instructional Design Process, A Systematic Approach by William Rothwell and H.C.Kazanas (ISBN 0-7879-6052-7). While some may think it's a little too in-depth, I’ve found it to be spot-on when it comes to designing curriculum for the Adult Learner. The second edition includes a CD-ROM that provides application based activities. The best book on e-learning design that I’ve ever seen is Designing Successful E-learning – Forget What You Know about Instructional Design and Do Something Interesting by Michael Allen (ISBN 978-0-7879-8299-7). This is an exceptional book that shows you how to leave the boring and outdated “read a slide and take a test” e-learning behind. The focus is on creating e-learning that is meaningful, memorable and motivational. Go the extra mile and attend the American Society of Training and Development’s (ASTD) Advanced Instructional Design for E-learning training program. It’s a little pricey but its money well spent.
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