I really liked the activity of creating an empathy map. It was useful to help bring the perspective of my audience to the front of my mind. I think when you work in an ID role and are so familiar with the process, the terminology, and the end goal of your course design process, that it can be easy to get wrapped up in your own tasks. It's useful to take a step back every once in a while and look through the lens of someone who is just starting this process for the first time. How can we improve their experience? (Which will ultimately improve ours!)
In my case, I deal mainly with course authors who are developing and revising online courses. I defined a course author for the purpose of this activity as someone who is developing a brand new course with us. Here's what I came up with initially:
I think this was a great way to really think about some of the feedback that we've been getting and highlighting the pros and cons of this information, as well as some next steps. It really allows for some reflection of where we are right now and where we might want to go, given how our course authors feel during the process and based on some of the behaviours, comments, and hurdles we face during a course development.
My final reflection? While doing this activity, I'm thinking about the first course that I helped develop when I started in this role and how challenging I found that experience. Now I take that feeling and multiply it by 5 (give or take) - that might be how a course author feels.
There is so much information out there and someone who is a subject matter expert is walking into a whole new playing field when developing a course for online. Part of this process relies on the course author trusting that I'll be able to help guide them in the right direction, that I'll be providing the resources they need at the right time, and that I'll be honest with them about what they've produced. Part of this process is also linked to how we provide information, what type of information a given course author needs, and what their experience has been in the past with online courses.
There are so many variables with each development and each course author, but I think taking this step back every once in a while and considering the process through someone else's eyes can be beneficial to both me and them.