Content Design Process at GreyAtom

. 4 min read

We at GreyAtom understand that there is an overload of information in the real world and the virtual world. While it is good to have information on our fingertips, studies have proven that the human brain is less attentive than ever. We skim through articles, get distracted during lectures and multi-task when we watch videos or listen to podcasts.

At the same time, we are in a knowledge economy, and we need to learn constantly. GA has researched and found that, though content is important, the context of content and delivery of content play significant parts in effective learning.

We design the curriculum such that the program material, activities and assignments enable a person who knows nothing about web development, for example, to be potentially employable as a web developer. The program is optimally sequenced for maximum understanding.

Program characteristics

The key characteristics of our programs are as follows:

Working with real business problems

We integrate real scenarios in the program. Learners can apply the skills they learned to solve those scenarios to get an understanding of how their knowledge can be used in the corporate world. It enables them to understand and experiment, thereby build an impressive portfolio.

Keeping content OpenSource

Our program is complete, and thus has all the relevant material and lessons to learn the subject. But if any learner or mentor comes across a resource that is better than what is currently included in our lessons, they can add it to the existing material. This improves our curriculum and facilitates ownership among people involved. The curriculum also remains up to date as a result and benefits from perspectives other than our own.

Learning with the tribe

We have incorporated different ways of learning. There is mentor-based learning, peer learning, and self-learning. Mentors guide learners through the program. Peer learning builds competence and fosters teamwork, through interaction and discussion with a community. It also improves communication and self-esteem. Through self-learning, learners have the freedom to manage their learning as per their schedule. A blend of these three ways enhances learning outcomes.

Guidance from mentors

Mentors guide learners to upskill to new technologies. Good mentors who understand the subject matter and have hands-on experience in it will bridge the knowledge gap effectively.

Mentor goals are:

  • To encourage learners to be accountable for their learning goals.
  • To share their practical knowledge with learners so that they can accumulate skills for problem-solving when they are working on real projects.
  • To help learners build an impressive portfolio.

We have previously detailed our remote mentorship process, and how it works in today's global world.

Content Design

There are two aspects to content design at GreyAtom: content hierarchy and the content creation process.

Content hierarchy

The content hierarchy consists of: Program -> Sprint -> Concept -> Learning Units

Content creation process

At this point, after establishing the content hierarchy, we now know what the content needs to be and how the program has to be crafted.

The creation process is how we ensure that the content delivers successful learning outcomes.

Research

Before starting out, there are a set of questions that precede the actual content:

  • What is the problem statement?
  • What is the high-level goal of the concept?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What are the learning objectives of the program?
  • What kind of updates should be made to the program?

Once the research for these questions is complete, and the answers are in place, the next step is to outline a high-level plan.

Build an outline

The outline takes the shape of a concept tree with key topics to be integrated. We then evaluate the topics on the basis of how critical they are for the overall concept, and whether they will help learners gain mastery of the concept.

Suitable problems are then added, in order to teach learners how to apply concepts, and communicate the reasons for which they should solve these problems. Once the outline is built, the rest of the team discusses its minutiae and freezes it for further development.

Review

The review is a two-step process: first, an internal review, and then an external expert review.

If the content creator has been contracted by GreyAtom, then the first review round would be feedback on program outline via bitbucket issues. If the content creator incorporates the feedback, the issue is marked as resolved along with an acknowledgment that the feedback has been locked in. If the content creator feels that the feedback cannot be incorporated, the content creator adds a suitable counter-comment on the issue.

After the team’s review, the concept is sent to an external expert to get feedback. This ensures a balanced view from outside the content creation process. The logging and resolution of issues follow the same procedure as the internal review.

Deploy

The GreyAtom team then deploys the content onto the platform, GLabs. The content creator will have access to this final version.

Beta test

It is important to get feedback from the actual users i.e. learners. So the content is shared with 25 learners. They consume the content and send in their feedback, which is incorporated accordingly. The program goes globally live after this process is completed.

Summary

Content is vitally important, but cannot stand on its own in an academic program. To facilitate a true learning experience, we have adapted — and continue to adapt — our learning methodology. A program should enable meaningful connections between learners and mentors and build a community that supports continuous and real learning.

In addition, in order to be comprehensive, we have learned that we should create and curate content. And thus we continue to evolve.

Interested to hear more? Write to us, and tell us what you would like to read next. As always, we love to hear your thoughts.



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