Content Development (with Work Documentation)

  • Shalin Hai-Jew


Taking a concept, making a plan to actualize that concept, and building to that plan involve a lot of skill, resources, technologies, and hands-on work. This chapter focuses on what the actual work entails, through the typical development phases: collecting digital contents, creating digital contents, drafting a learning object by integrating raw contents and information, writing, illustrating, creating assignments, creating assessments, adding a style overlay, sequencing the learning, refining the work, and so on. There may be work building context-sensitive help, so those using the learning resources may access the cognitive scaffolding at various points in their learning. There may be downloadables created to enable learners to refresh on the subject matter long after their learning experiences. Finally, work documentation is commonly included in the development work, to enable learning from the development…and to report to grant funders…to enable project handoffs to others…and to leave a historical record for later reference. If there is a point where designer/developers hesitate, it is at this crucial implementation step because the work is hard, and the costs are high. This is where concepts actualize or fail to realize.


Content development Work documentation Designer/developer signature 


Key Terms and Definitions

Authoring tool

The software used to create digital contents

Data collection

The collating of relevant information and data

Data visualizations

The expression of concepts and data in image format


The finalized digital contents to be launched or distributed to the general public

Digital contents

Any of a number of digital format files (expressed as images, text, audio, video, and others; multimedia slideshows, games, simulations, and learning objects; others

Digital learning object (DLO)

A digital file or aggregation of files and functionalities to enable the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and abilities


A digital file that may be downloaded (and often printed)

Online learning sequence

The designed (and/or actual) experiential learning sequence for learners

Proof of concept

Evidence that shows that a design is feasible, usually applied to new inventions that are shown to work by research in a lab or in the field

Short course

A formal or informal online learning sequence of limited duration (usually an hour or two)


Including parts of one document to another through hypertext pointing (such as by automated or manual means)


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Additional Reading Section

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shalin Hai-Jew
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Technology Services (ITS)Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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