In 2012, Maher & Maher worked with the Grants Office of the US Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), to simultaneously create two web-based training courses on the topics of Intellectual Property and Procurement. These courses were developed to be used by ETA staff and grantees, and were developed in accordance with the Department of Labor, Office of the Assistance Secretary for Administration and Management policies.
The Intellectual Property course, a first of its kind for ETA, focused on intellectual property basics, including an explanation of Creative Commons licenses and Open Source software, and how they apply to products developed with DOL ETA Federal funds. The course was designed to be interactive in nature, and run for 30-45 minutes of seat time.
The Procurement course, by contrast, built off an already existing “Introduction to Procurement” course available on Workforce3One, and provided a more detailed look at procurement policies and processes within DOL. The 30-45 minute course was designed to be highly interactive, allowing learners to explore several real-life procurement situations commonly encountered by DOL ETA grantees as well as their sub-recipients.
To construct both courses, Maher & Maher consulted with ETA staff on their desired content and delivery methods for both courses, and based on these requirements we recommended a highly innovative approach to develop both courses in html, similar to a website, instead of using typical flash-based course authoring software. The benefits of this innovative approach were numerous: Producing courses as an open-design, standalone website means that the courses would be easy to update, would not require an expensive learning management system (LMS) to host the courses and track participant data, and could include many Web 2.0 features such as collaborative in-lesson discussions with peers across the globe; live asynchronous learning polls; and the ability to intermix new & preexisting learning objects such as audio, video, and previously developed courses.
In the end, ETA was extremely pleased with the outcomes of both courses, as they represent a new and cutting-edge way to design web-based training.