I was pleased to be able to work recently with the BC SPCA to create a short e-learning course to help their staff and volunteers learn the basics of using “Shelter Buddy”. Shelter Buddy is an online management software system that BC SPCA uses to keep track of people and animals interacting with any of their BC locations.

First I created a master design template based on BC SPCA brand guidelines (colour schemes and fonts etc.) so that the course has a consistent look and feel. The design is mostly based on their primary yellow and blue colour scheme with occasional red accents along the way.

Since this course will train people how to use a computer system we knew it would be filled with a lot of screenshots and we wanted to give the learner extra Shelter Buddy tips along the way. So I came up with these two “tip” icons – a cat and a dog – that would pop up from the bottom on certain slides. This slide tells the learner about them:

Speaking of screenshots, sometimes it was difficult to get them to show up clearly because of the size they needed to be taken at so I added a magnifying glass “zoom” icon feature to some of the slides – shown on this next image. When the learner clicks on the magnifying glass it shows them an additional layer featuring the screenshot at a larger size so they can see it better:

At the end of the 25-minute course we included a short learning check consisting of five quiz questions. We have a couple of true/false questions, a drag and drop question, a multiple choice question, and a hotspot question where the learner has to click on a certain part of a screenshot to indicate where they’d click in Shelter Buddy to perform a certain function. These quiz questions were not meant to stump anyone completely so we set them to have two or three tries per question and the learner can retake the course or learning check at any time.

It was fun to work on a course where I got to insert cat and dog photos! But more importantly, I feel we were able to design and build a visually appealing and straightforward introductory course to help people at BC SPCA learn a very necessary computer system. I’m happy to report that this course is also accompanied by a Shelter Buddy “development site” where the learner can gain experiential practice in a simulation of the system to continue their learning.

It was a pleasure to work with the BC SPCA on this project and I look forward to showcasing more e-learning course development projects here in the future.

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