Thursday, January 29, 2009

Integrated testing.

This week at work we have been going through a process called integrated testing. Another, more popular, term for this is shakedown cruise. Various subject matter experts are testing the content they developed trying to see what works and what doesn't.

Testing is always a part of any instructional design process, but this is being done before the instruction has been developed. This is a great idea because with 600 or so individual scripts, which will eventually be turned into training materials by a team of instructional designers that includes me, testing the training and the scripts at the same time would be a nightmare.

My part in all of this is getting the scripts together by business process. As with other parts of the shakedown cruise this also got better as we went along. The initial script pull did not go smoothly. One major reason for that is people do not follow naming conventions.

Even though all the scripts are stored in one place, manually searching through hundreds of them is pretty tedious if the search function does not return any results. It gets even worse if people tell you that the script is there and it turns out that a single misplaced digit kept you from finding it.

Tomorrow we will conclude the first week of integrated testing. The first cycle of testing won't be done for another week or so, but I am very curious to see the results. I especially can't wait to see how the training materials turn out, but that's another post entirely.