Stage 3: Prototyping
Once you have your storyboard you can start to develop your activities. The storyboarding process should have identified existing and yet to be created activities and content. As stated earlier, learning outcomes not technology should be driving the design process. Knowing what you want to do is more important than knowing what technology you can use.
As with our campus based programmes, online learning at GCU will be delivered through GCU Learn, our virtual learning environment.
The storyboard should provide a guide to activities and resources and allow you to identify what activities/ resources/content you already have access to and what needs to be created. This is the point where you can have meaningful discussions with your school Learning Technologists about what are the most appropriate technologies to use to meet your intended learning outcomes.
Use Coursesites, the openly available version of Blackboard, or a community area within GCULearn to create a demo area (or sandpit) and build up a prototype of your module. In this way you can (peer) review and test out your learning design and module structure. As you build your activities remember accessibility issues and ensure that resources are available in accessible formats.
Use this space to experiment and play with ideas and tools. Encourage yourself and colleagues to review and try activities from both learner and staff perspectives. Consider having a colleague (internal or external) and/or student(s) act as a critical friend to your developments. An outside, objective perspective can be a really helpful way to help ensure the clarity and consistency of your overall design. It can also be a useful way to test your design on a range of devices and operating systems, as well as sharing effective and innovative practice.
The checklist in our Developing Online Modules Guide is a good starting point for reviewing what you have done. Our module design rubric is a more detailed resource and can be useful to use with critical friends/and or external reviewers.
Using Coursesites gives you more control over access to any potential external reviewers and it provides a clear delineation between developing and existing modules. Using a community keeps your development within the GCU environment. There is no right or wrong option, and the choice is largely down to personal preferences and you own context.
Once you are happy with with your prototype you can export your module from Coursesites directly into Blackboard, or move your content, activities and structure from a community into your module in GCU Learn.