Learning Design Documentation

Bespoke eLearning Development

eLearning Developer

It would be remiss of me to go any further without mentioning some kind of learning design documentation – useful for the elearning developer / designer. A design document sets out what form the game will take, how learning will occur and generally gives you something to work from and refer to. As a serious games’ designer I like to mix the Learning Design with the game design document – how does the game meet the learning objectives – remember this is not just about Gamification, it’s about creating a game to help people learn – a Serious Game: differences between Gamification and Serious Games

You can call it what you like, I tend to call it a Learning Design Document.

If you’re developing a Serious Game for a client they will expect to know what you are going to produce and why you are producing it in that way. They will want to know how your game will meet their learning objectives. It should form something along the lines of:

Learning Design documentation

  • Concept document:
    Describes the idea of the game and proposed game genre, target audience; most compelling features; how it will meet the learning objectives; cost and time to develop. It defines the concept, scope, worthiness and feasibility; sells the idea to your client. You may need a prototype of some kind.
  • Design Document:
    Describes the nuts and bolts of the entire project, with all the details and the method by which each element will be implemented. It describes how learning will occur for each of the learning objectives – in detail. It ensures that what is produced is what you want to produce and what your client wants you to produce.
  • Production Documents:
    Project and time-management details; task database; budget spreadsheet; technical specifications; Q/A database. It implements the design document on time and within budget. This may be the job of the project manager (if you have one). But they will require your input  on the learning design aspect of the project so you will need to know this in some way or another.

Creating Learning Objectives

Bespoke eLearning Development

eLearning Developer

Let’s start by creating learning objectives – useful for the elearning developer / designer – well basically anyone that’s trying to create some kind of learning!. The objectives should be based on the problems the business is going to solve. For example let’s say that the Customer Support Team at Rob’s carpets are making the following common mistakes when logging new customers on the system over the phone:

  • The full name and address including postcode is not being recorded
  • A landline and mobile number are not being logged correctly
  • The ‘new customer’ tick box is not being ticked before saving
  • How the customer heard about the business is not being added
  • The details of ‘Rob’s Carpets’ website is not being given to customers over the phone

So our learning objectives should be something along the lines of:

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Enter the customer’s full name and address including postcode
  • Enter the customer’s landline and mobile telephone numbers
  • Ensure that the customer is logged as a ‘new customer’ before saving
  • Log how the customer heard about the business
  • Ensure that the details of ‘Rob’s Carpets’ website is given to customers over the phone

You can make your objectives ‘SMART’ objectives but I’m going to keep them ‘unsmart’ as not to over complicate the design at this stage. If you want to learn more about creating ‘SMART’ objectives and also download a handy PDF, try this: Creating SMART objectives

In the next post I’ll explain how the objectives will form the basis of the quest game.