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Creating an Efficient Workflow for MLFTC’s SDLL 1.5

In response to educational instruction having moved online, members from numerous departments of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) have worked to launch Sun Devil Learning Labs (SDLL) 1.5. Unlike the original Sun Devil Learning Labs, which were live streams of lessons taught by MLFTC teacher candidates, SDLL 1.5 utilizes pre-recorded lessons supplemented by learning guides, offered to learners via YouTube. Such a project involves a large number of people, with each playing a very specific role for every lesson. Prior to the official launch of SDLL 1.5, I worked as part of a team that created documentation to ensure that SDLL 1.5 would function as efficiently as possible. Along with two of my supervisors, we determined what kind of documents would be useful and what those would look like.

My background as a human systems engineering student made it so that the organization and physical appearance of the documents were designed with the users’ needs in mind. This meant an emphasis on clarity of information along with a consistent and familiar theme. With the help of IgnitED Labs’ Caitlin Jorgensen, who holds a degree in Graphic Information Technology (B.S.), we created each document with consistent text formats, language, and overall aesthetic.

The application of the aforementioned characteristics were used on an overall workflow document, sharing the “big picture” that all members play a role in. My team — which included Educational Technology Champion Lead, Ashley Geornitz — also worked on a Role Descriptions document, which lists more specific responsibilities for all members. Documentation was also created to describe training, familiarization, and editing standards for the IgnitED Labs’ very own Educational Technology Champions — the individuals who edit the video lessons for release. A number of other documents were created with the intention of thoroughly describing the expectations and workflow for all of the people involved in the project. This information begins with lesson planning and ends with posting the lesson on YouTube.

Implementing these documents meant that my team and I were able to see first-hand where any holes in the designs were. As members of the project shared their feedback and asked questions, we made changes that helped us build, what is now, a smooth system across the board. This is a sixteen-step process for each lesson, which includes collaboration with the Creighton School District, a Spanish translator, ASU student workers, doctoral students, teacher candidates, faculty site leads, and a web application developer. Communication and collaboration between these individuals, and aligned steps for those actions, is integrated throughout the documentation my team created. Together, 80 videos of instructional content tailored for Kindergarten to 8th grade are produced weekly.

Participating in the creation of these documents has undoubtedly made me a stronger designer, in that I was able to take note of the common patterns of feedback or problems that arose for individuals with varying roles. As an Educational Technology Champion myself, it is still exciting to see how the documents my team created help me do my job on a daily basis. As a whole, this process has been extremely motivating, in that I know my knowledge and experience played a vital role in such an important project. It makes me feel proud to have applied this knowledge and experience so that the SDLL lessons can be shared with the ASU community. These lessons can be viewed on the SDLL site for grades K-8.