Student Concern Mini-Scenario
E-Learning with Job Aid
Audience: Graduate staff instructors in Purdue University's English Department
Responsibilities: Instructional Design, E-learning Development, Graphic Design, Collaboration with SMEs
Tools Used: Articulate Storyline 360, Powerpoint, Canva
Problem & Solution
The client for this project was the Introductory Composition program at Purdue University (ICAP). The organization had a protocol for how graduate employees should respond to their students’ academic and well-being concerns, but the program lacked a robust training solution to help employees feel confident in the procedure.
The result was that graduate employees would feel the need to frequently email their mentors for guidance on how to respond to certain student concerns. The client’s problem was worsened by the recent introduction of a new reporting form for academic concerns that created confusion between it and the older “Student of Concern” report.
After analyzing the client’s problem and the skills gap of the target audience, I determined that a scenario-based e-learning training would be an effective solution to increase employees’ confidence in responding to student concerns.
Scoping & Storyboarding
AGILE-style Kanban board in Trello
Excerpt from training needs analysis document
Storyboard of slide from the task explanation section of the training
Having been greatly influenced by the ideas of Cathy Moore around the power of scenario-based training, I knew I wanted to pursue a format that would allow participants to practice making the same decisions they will need to make in their real roles. While I love branching scenarios and am excited to experiment with them more in the future, I knew that a series of mini-scenarios would make more sense for this project because:
The decision for how to handle one student’s situation will likely not affect options for handling another student’s situation.
A mini-scenario structure would be the most convenient way to allow learners to practice responding to several different types of student concerns.
I also firmly believe scenario-based trainings, when possible, provide the most organic learning experiences; just like in real life, the learner is able to learn from the logical consequences of their choices.
Consequences for an incorrect answer choice with a prompt to attempt the question again
An early version of the "I-Cap" character
Another major decision I made was making the user’s “friend,” and not the user themself, the instructor in the scenario. This also was inspired by the work of Cathy Moore. While this is slightly more convoluted, it creates some helpful emotional distance that could allow the user to receive feedback on their choices more easily.
The overall structure of the training is as follows:
Title and avatar selection
Introduction to the user’s task and information on how to get help while working
Eight mini-scenario questions, each one dealing with a different type of student concern. Users can correct their mistakes immediately after selecting an incorrect answer and viewing the consequences.
Results and review of each student concern
An example of the triggers used in the development of the training
Each avatar moves when hovered over
The "Help" layer available to users on each scenario slide
An example of the custom question slides
Custom review slide. Users can select each student "box" to reveal more information about how to respond to that type of student concern.
Custom focus order and alt-text
Decision tree job aid created in Canva
Text-only version of decision tree job aid
The published web version of the training includes lag time between the appearance of each of the white callouts