Our current assignment in my IDTE 553 course is to create a pilot based on our final project. Or, rather, create a pilot to show how the final project will appear. This type of pilot is like an applied style sheet.
Another type of pilot is discussed in an article, “Prove and Improve Your Training Program with a Pilot Project,” by D. I. Lewis. The purpose of this type of pilot is usability testing. To my mind it fits in with the continuous evaluation portion of the ADDIE model, as well as the development stage. The author quotes Peep Laja, founder of ConversionXL, as saying: “You may have designed what you believe is the best possible experience in the world, but watching real people interact with your site is often a humbling experience. Because you are not your user.” Usability testing helps you get outside the project you've been intimately familiar with for the duration, and exposes it–and you and your thought processes–to the light of day.
These are the six steps the author recommends to test how well your pilot works in a testing environment. Read the article to find details about each step in the process.
- Identify your goals for the pilot.
- Decide what to measure.
- Recruit testers.
- Collect metrics.
- Use the pilot data to improve your training program and communication.
- Turn testers into evangelists.
I'm struck again and again by how much instructional design has in common with web design.