Re: Reality check

Subject: Re: Reality check
From: Tkritr -at- aol -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 19:18:04 EST

Hi Sharon ---

If this were only a document set, I'd agree with Andrew and encourage you to
take the business. However, having designed, developed, and produced a CBT
(albeit larger than the one you described), I'm thinking that it would be
very difficult to complete a useful CBT in 4 weeks. Please note that I used
the word "useful" in my previous sentence. :) This post focuses on the CBT
portion of your Reality Check.

Depending on what the client expects from the CBT, it could simply be a
matter of presenting information you're creating for the user guide anyway,
or it could turn into a complex presentation that requires your team to put
more time and expertise into it than they may be able to provide.

For example: Does the client want to include any kind of testing? If so, do
they want test questions throughout the CBT or one test at the end? Does
the testing need to be scored and recorded? Any or all of these additions,
not to mention many others, can add many unexpected hours to the CBT

As I remember, the industry standard for CBT creation is:
75 development hours = 1 hour of basic CBT (that is, no audio, no video, no
animation). That's almost two weeks to create the CBT if it is only an hour;
however, I believe that number assumes that the content already exists, and
that you have an experienced CBT team of about 10 people working on it. I
don't have the resource for that calculation right offhand, but I'll try to
find it if someone wants to debate it with me. :)

If you can do it, developing the documentation while simultaneously designing
and creating a CBT prototype might be feasible (if hectic). Prototypes give
the client something to review and critique, while still being flexible
enough to change to fit the client's vision. A prototype will also give you
and your team an idea of how long it will take to complete the CBT from that

Just my perspective from having been there, done that. Good luck!

Kirsten Petersen
technical writing consultant

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