A Practical Example
Let’s create a new course called “PBJ101: How To Make A Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich” and see how Usher works.
A restaurant customer calls and describes to us the new “Course” (PBJ101) they’d like to offer to their employees. We meet with the customer and get the specifics of the course. We create a Project Plan and return to the customer with our Editor and Subject Matter Expert (SME) to “storyboard” the material and finalize the Project Plan.
Once the storyboard is complete we now know what the components of the course are and how they will flow. Assignments are generated based on the various pieces of content. Graphics of dancing peanuts, rivers of jelly, amber waves of grain, and video snippets of various steps in the process of assembling our masterpiece are created and reviewed for accuracy by the SME and quality by the Editor. In our example, we’ll have ten “instructional” components and three “test” components, for a total of 13 “Learning Objects”.
When all of the parts are finished they will be assembled into a piece of “Courseware” and reviewed once more by the Editor and SME. If passed, the customer will then review it. If the customer approves, the new piece of Courseware will be loaded onto the customer’s Usher for use by the employees.
John Doe starts as a new employee at the customer’s restaurant. His first job is going to be making sandwiches. One of the courses he’s going to take is our newly created “PBJ101”.
John sits down at his desk and invokes Usher -- authenticating to identify himself to the learning system. Usher recognizes John and retrieves his “Learner Profile” to see what course material he should be working on. He’s listed for two courses he must complete before he’s allowed to work in the sandwich area. Since there are no prerequisites (neither course is dependent on the other) John gets to select which one he’ll do first. He already knows how to make a Ham & Cheese sandwich so he decides to bypass “HAC101” for right now and dig in to “PBJ101”.
When he selects “PBJ101”, Usher sends an inquiry to the “Courseware Database” to identify the components of “PBJ101” and assembles them into a stream of Learning Content from the “Learning Object Database”. This content is then delivered to the workstation for John to begin his learning. In this example, we’ll assume John is getting his content delivered into his Web Browser rather than via a piece of management software on the workstation.
John works his way thru PBJ101, passes all three tests, and the Usher now records John as having completed PBJ101 and his score.
Since John still hasn’t completed HAC101 the Usher offers John the opportunity to take that course. John accepts and the process of inquiry to “Courseware Database” and “Learning Object Database” is repeated for the new components. This time, John has a feeling of déjà vu. He remembers seeing the video of amber waves of grain because that content was also used in PBJ101. Bread is bread. John passes HAC101 and this fact is also reported to Usher.
Usher tells John he has no more courses he’s required to take so he tells his boss he’s ready to start making sandwiches. The boss (our customer) checks the Usher and sees that John has indeed completed all his coursework and is ready to start being a productive member of the restaurant staff.
If the restaurant is part of a chain of restaurants, the local Usher may report to a global Usher so that the parent organization has a complete record of employee training.
Now, this example may seem a trifle silly but it does illustrate the steps necessary to produce content and how that content would be used. In this context, there’s not much difference between building a sandwich and building an airplane. One just has a lot more steps.
SamTek Software, Inc