Re: Estimating development hours for CBT

Subject: Re: Estimating development hours for CBT
From: ArtElser -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 09:08:16 -0400

Kip Dale asks:

>So, I guess what I am asking is how long does it take
>you (I know there are a few trainers on the list, but I'll
>take advise from _anyone_ about now) to come up with
>an hour's worth of training material?


ASTD gives a range of development time of from 40 to 60 yours of development
time for each hour of contact time in the classroom. Of course that's for
classroom instruction, not CBT.

In the paper world, we have averages of from 4 to 6 hours of development time
for each page developed. Again, that's not what you're looking for, but it
can help get started. If you plan out how many events you have in each
module, you can start to get a grip on how long it will take to develop each

What are events? An event is when the student clicks on something to move on
in the course. The somethings can be a next button, a hypertext link, the
answer to a test question, you name it. Figure out how many events you might
have per module. I know this takes a lot of figuring, but then so does trying
to come up with the development hours for a manual.

Then, you have to know what lies at the end of each click (event). Is it a
screen full of text? A graphic? A video? Add up the development times for
each of the screens the student will reach and you have the total development
time for the module. If you can estimate the time for a "typical" module,
you'll be able to come up with the total development time for the course.

One caution, however. You must plan the modules on the tasks the users want
to learn, not on the features the engineers and marketers want you to teach,
otherwise the course will fail for your users.

Hope this helps. Let us know how your planning works out.

Art Elser
Comtech Services, Inc.
Denver, Colorado
art -dot- elser -at- comtech-serv -dot- com

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