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Interactive Museums: Date Attended

ElementK : March 25, 2004

presented by Dr. Mike Orey

Home Depot : April 1, 2004

presented by Dr. Mike Orey

Interactive Museum #1 - March 25, 2004

As I tried out the ElementK tutorial, all I could think was who designed this stuff and why didn't they ask our department for any help?!! It appears that ElementK was created using Authorware and jsp. There are probably over a thousand courses divided into almost fifteen different categories. Fortunately there is a search button to try to locate a topic rather than manually looking for it.

Each course has a description, learning objectives, and estimated time to complete. Some courses have prerequisites and post tests. It is a little overwhelming that all of the courses I looked at would take several hours to complete. Also, the learning objectives and their format are terrible. Once inside the course, it appears that you have the option to resume where you left off. However, every time I tried and I was sent back to the beginning of the course.

The course is taught using a demonstration-slide method with accompanying content in a text box. The text box moves around based on what is going happening on the screen. There is also a narrator reading the content to you. The audio is a little annoying, especially since the default is audio on. The courses seem to follow the tell me, (sometimes) show me, and then let me practice method of instruction. It attempts to keep the learner interacting with the course. This seems to work well for learning, but it takes forever to complete a course.

Overall, it does not seem like a very good self-paced learning environment. I guess it's not any wonder that people in the Studio do not use it to learn their tools.


Interactive Museum #2 - April 1, 2004

Home Depot has created computer-based training for their associates using Flash. This software has the ability to be nonlinear, but mostly has a linear flow to it. All of the content is presented orally. This software was originally estimated at 800 hours of development for 1 hour of training. However, now that several courses have been created, they can serve has templates and the amount of development hours have dropped.

The animation in the software has a video-like quality and feel to it. There is one main narrator - an elderly man who serves as the head trainer, other Home Depot employees who offer knowledge and guidance, and customers to practice customer service on. Basically, the software simulates your first few days of work: you are escorted around the store by your trainer who is giving you valuable information and you occasionally stop to help customers. If you need help, all you need to do is pick up the Home Depot pamphlet to learn more information. Positive customer interactions are also demonstrated, as well as encouraging cross selling.

There is multiple-choice assessment at the end of each section and then a big post test at the end of the module. The post test at the end is contextualized into a grand opening challenge which is a competition with 'Slowes' over customers.