KAB (Know About Business) A (re)design Journey
My ( corporate ) digital learning experience is a very long one, and it started in the mid 80's with the design of CAI courseware, ... to cut short a long story, I'll focus on a single project which includes a few intercultural considerations I find interesting to share.
The challenge: to design an e-learning / blended-learning version of a successful Training programme to promote Entrepreneurship, by giving educators a tool to train their pupils / students in the skills required by entrepreneurship. KAB was the name of the programme. The team in charge of the e-learning project was partly in Switzerland, and partly in north Africa, for the designers team in 3 countries (Tunisia, Algeria and Marocco); The project owner was the International Learning Organization (ILO) represented by the project Manager, a German person. The Swiss team in charge of the project included people with different backgrounds and from different cultures (Swiss born, South-American born, Marocoo born. i was myself born and based in France
The Design challenge was to come up with some kind of efficient and homogenous "product" designed by 7 different designers working in teams of 2 or 3. Another challenge, was meeting the deadlines with a team of designers we didn't manage directly. They were paid by their respective universities.
- completing the project on time (roughly one year of development time to develop about 80 to 100 hours of training),
- The interactive training of about 60 e-tutors in the use of the "Blended Learning" Version of the KAB Training
- Managing at a distance a team of people who NEVER met, and nevertheless getting the results expected by the client.
- Taking into account (and using) cultural differences inside of the team and among learners' groups (it was a revelation to be training, Tunisian e-tutors, and then Marocan one's, a quite different experience from training Anglo-saxon e-moderators or French e-tutors, which I had done before
=> invest time early in understanding your clients needs and expectations
=> provide your team with FULL time technical and pedagogical support
=> invest time in the construction of a shared vision of the final product
=> follow a strong design method, and make sure it is respected
=> invest (a lot of) time in ongoing and final quality control