With the intention of dedicating more place-based training to hands-on experience rather than lecture, GE Healthcare engaged with Web Courseworks to develop a technical Basic Training course to expose field engineers-in-training to ultrasound concepts and components.
Working with GE Healthcare Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Web Courseworks tailored the Basic-level course so as to be technical enough for the anticipated college-educated learner without treading into Advanced theory. Web Courseworks proposed and delivered the completed course series covering three major product families of GE Ultrasound machines and included:
- 26 modules and a glossary
- 22 separate videos
- 23 individual Captivates
- 86 different COL’s
- Glossary with 400+ terms
- Hotspots and other diagrams
Web Courseworks made leaps forward in the development of hotspots and interactive diagrams that were aimed at presenting complex information in a step-by-step, gradual fashion. The interactive diagrams laid out the different functional blocks of an ultrasound system. Users could click to reveal the different components within that block and how information was passed through it. Users could then click on each component for a more detailed description of what it does and how it interacts with other components of the ultrasound console. Interactive diagrams were used as the home page to divide a long and complex course into 8 different sections. When users hovered over the diagram, the mouse turned into mock ultrasound probe. Users could select the anatomical area they wished to explore. New layouts were created and repeated throughout the GE courses in order to logically present information in an intuitive, easy-to-navigate fashion. Basic process maps in which the substeps were not ordered were laid out with a correspondingly simple design, while advanced process maps involving multiple layers of steps, required a complex process map that still implied logical navigation and easy readability.
In what were probably the most elaborate and complex presentations of information in the course, simulations were created to mimic both the controls that a learner would use, as well as what he/she would be seeing on-screen as those controls are adjusted. In order to create detailed, smoothly flowing presentations, a large breadth of assets were needed. These included a replica of a baby to scan, images of the ultrasound console controls, screen captures from the console’s monitor, screen captures from the console’s touch-screen display, video taken from the system, and a narrator’s voiceover. These were all combined with Adobe Captivate to create a smoothly flowing, interactive simulation that required the user to simulate using the exact same controls that they will later use in the field.
Over a seven-month period, Web Courseworks developed 26 Basic-level learning modules that cover everything from the motion of sound waves to configuring the connectivity settings for three different ultrasound consoles. To overcome the difficulty of communicating the technical nature of the material, the modules utilize a multitude of instructional formats, including tutorials, user-driven simulations, and video demonstrations. The modules also feature interactive components, process maps, and check on learning activities to facilitate learner development.