When we announce that a new course is being created for our continuing education program, we state “coming soon” because we aren’t exactly sure of the release date. Members have asked what the process is (why it takes so long) to develop a course and make it available. Simply put, they wonder why we can’t give a specific date.
There are many steps, and people, involved when developing an online, self-directed course and exams.
We thought you might be interested in learning the steps taken to ensure quality material, as well as ensuring that it is a smooth process when you take a course in the continuing education program:
- A person who has experience and credentials in the subject area is chosen to write the content.
- A conversation assures that they have the time to devote to this project and can meet the deadline. Other topics discussed are 1) the educational goal of the course, 2) the desired length of the course, and 3) general topics to cover.
- Once the course and the exam questions are written, a minimum of two copy editors and/or education professionals review, edit, and proofread the content.
- Any suggested content changes are submitted to the creator of the course to ensure that the edits do not alter the intent of the subject matter.
- Upon approval of the edits, the course is returned to the NICA office for one last proofreading.
- The course content, questions, and answers are entered into the online software.
- The NICA webmaster is notified that the course it ready to be integrated into the website, and our work order is placed into their queue. They integrate the courseware into the website by connecting the links and completing the other technical steps required for the online purchasing and testing to work seamlessly.
- When notified that this is completed, the final step is for the webmaster and a member of the NICA staff to take the course and exam. This is to help ensure there are no glitches when the course is released.
As you can see, there are a lot of steps and time involved when developing a course and making it available for easy, online access. This process is to verify that members and non-members alike will have an issue-free experience when you take the courses of your choice. Though this is a long process, with many details to be addressed, we have chosen to take every step possible to ensure a smooth experience for our members and others interested in taking the courses.