One of the challenges when working with Rapid e-Learning Development Tools is collaborating with team members who are not physically co-located with you. While virtual collaboration is difficult in any situation, it can be especially difficult when developing an e-learning course. For example, it is not unusual for source filesto exceed 20MB in size – far exceeding the maximum allowable file size of most e-mail servers and are too large to share via intranets. This posts identifies two ways virtual teams can address this challenge.
1. YOU SEND IT allows users to share files up to 100MB between members of a virtual team. This free service places files (which must be zipped before loading) on their FTP server for two weeks, during which time you can send links to team members that will allow them to access the files via a download (rather than as e-mail attachments.) When I collaborate with a co-developer on the look and feel of a course, or troubleshoot with an expert on the SCORM code in a course, the YouSendIt service allows me to share the files quickly and easily.
2. On-line course development software programs like OutStart Evolution and Udutu allow course developers to share files, work on the same application, and publish courses regardless of where they are located in the world. The Nature Conservancy has adopted this approach to course development over the past two years – largely reflecting the fact that their course developers are seldom located in the same office. LINGOs is just starting to experiment with this approach and I will blog further on this topic over the coming month. If this is an area of particularly interest to your learning team, consider attending the July 31 webinar by Rose Jorgensen which will explore the features and functionality of OutStart Evolution. More information on that webinar is available through this link.