Meridian Cooperative is a niche software company. Their emerging flagship product is called Meridian and it is marketed to utility cooperatives. Meridian is enterprise software that allows cooperatives to run their business with solutions ranging from consumer billing and finance to IT, GIS, cybersecurity, and operations.
I was tasked with creating training on how to create Arrangements using the Meridian software. This training was part of a larger learning path that was to certify internal employees as "SMEs." The resulting e-learning course was comprised of six modules. After going through the preceding module and learning the basics of how to create an arrangement, learners' knowledge was tested using a hands-on simulation activity.
Meridian didn't have SMEs and was in the process of training internal employees to become certified in Meridian. I was fortunate to work with former cooperative employees in order to gather information regarding scenarios that could be used in the training.
Programs used: Storyline 360, Adobe Audition, Vyond
SMEs: Internal Meridian employees
To create SMEs who could assist Meridian customers when they needed help and assist with further development of the software internally. The primary audience for the training was internal employees.
Upon completing the learning module learners will be able to:
We followed a modified ADDIE process and began with a kickoff meeting to discuss the goals of the training, the learning objectives, and the scope of what needed to be trained. After, I researched how to do the tasks we needed to train in a sandbox environment so I could understand them first hand. Next, I spoke to some SMEs who were experts in the utility industry so I could get insight into how this feature would be used. When training software it is more relatable when you can come up with real-life scenarios.
The next step was to write a storyboard and script and after that came the peer review. Once edits were made and then approved, I moved on to developing the assets, such as Vyond animation and voiceover. Once those were finished, I assembled everything in Storyline and added any interactions.
We did peer reviewed alpha and beta testing. I advocated for using our target audience for testing but it never got incorporated into the process. I always try to test with real end users whenever possible as they will have a different point of view than a teammate will.
There are three characters in dire straits who call in to a fictional utility, all of who need a different type of arrangement. The activity is mostly unguided but I decided to add a Hint button if they get stuck. The learner can only use so many hints per character. If they use more than six hints they have to do it again until they get it right. If the learner is able to complete each character in under three hints each they are greeted with a positive message. (The hints are tracked using triggers and variables.) The intent was to reinforce the learning through both positive and negative feedback. This activity tests against the learning objectives.
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