FAQs - Module Development

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  1. What is the development process for ITEMS modules?
  2. Can I develop an ITEMS module by myself or do I need to work with colleagues?
  3. Do I need to purchase specialized software to develop the module?
  4. Do you ensure accessibility of the materials for learners with special needs?
  5. How do I update information for a module I have created?

1. What is the development process for ITEMS modules?

We are thrilled that you would like to contribute! As a first step, please fill out the Module Outline form on the Engagement page and submit it to the current ITEMS editor. The editor and selected members of the ITEMS advisory board will review it for suitability of content, coverage, and composition; they will also provide suggestions for development. You are then asked to develop your materials in coordination with the ITEMS editor and support staff unless the consensus at the review stage was that the module idea would not be suitable for ITEMS. In general, we work with you to find a way for you to share content and will then help you integrate the content into our digital shell. This may include that you could use the software we are using directly via a temporary license we assign to you or that you share artifacts such as PowerPoint slides, Word documents, code sets, or the like for integration. In general, this process is easier if you are have some basic level of comfort with modern technology but we certainly do our best to help you along the way no matter what your skill set is!

2. Can I develop an ITEMS module by myself or do I need to work with colleagues?

You should feel free to use the collaboration model that works best for you! In fact, we have found that a model where a more senior colleague works together with a more junior colleague is a great way for dividing up the labor, using the complementary skill sets of each person for different components of the module, and for using the experience as a professional development experience for everyone involved.

3. Do I need to purchase specialized software to develop the module?

At the moment we are able to perform the key design and integration activities in-house using our team licenses and we work with colleagues to find a collaboration model that works best for them. In some cases, we have taken PowerPoint slides, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, R code, and other like resources and have integrated them on our end into the design shell. In other cases, we have asked developers to use the 30-day trial version of the software we are using or we have assigned them a full team seat on a temporary basis. We currently use the software Articulate 360 (https://articulate.com/360).

4. Do you ensure accessibility of the materials for learners with special needs?

We are aware of the need to maximize the accessibility of ITEMS modules for various learner populations. Unfortunately, we currently do not yet have the resources to provide equal access to all special needs populations in a comprehensive manner.

5. How do I update information for a module I have created?

This depends a bit on the kind of update you are looking for. You can update personal information easily through your login access, which gives you admin rights for your module. If you would like to add additional documents such as Word files, Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations, data files, or code please just send them to the editor with an explanation. If you would like to update the actual content of your module please contact the editor as we would have to manage that process separately.