What is and when to use rapid prototyping in eLearning?
What is Rapid Prototyping in eLearning instructional design?
Rapid Prototyping is an instructional design approach that focuses on quickly creating a functional, scaled-down version of an eLearning resource.
It combines the Design, Development and Evaluation stages of an eLearning project, which means the instructional designer does not need to create a screenplan or storyboard.
How Does it Work?
A Rapid Prototype allows stakeholders and subject matter experts to see what the course will look like, what it feels like to navigate and explore, what the proposed course structure is, and what the activities might be.
Stakeholders can then share feedback regarding the instructional design, content, visual design and user experience all in one place – instead of spreading feedback across screenplans, storyboards, prototypes and alpha/beta development.
This can help stakeholders and budget holders understand what the instructional designer is trying to achieve, as they are actually seeing and experiencing the eLearning course early on in the project.
It’s important to remember that Rapid Prototypes don’t require the actual content and on-screen text to be present, just placeholders.
Placeholders for text, videos and images are all that’s needed – otherwise, you’ll lose the ‘Rapid’ part of your Rapid Prototyping plan! The finalised content can be added as you go once the Rapid Prototype is sent out for feedback.
When is it Needed?
Rapid Prototyping is an appropriate approach when the visual design and experience (the “look & feel”) of the course is important, or when the course is heavily populated with video and activities – as screenplans and storyboards may not convey this clearly.