I don’t fully understand why, but starting seems more difficult this semester than in the fall.  I think I’m on track, but I probably wish I were deep into the project already.  I’m ready for the “flow” I experienced last semester.

I feel confident in the topic and client for my project this semester.  I will be developing a refresher course for altar servers at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.  My target audience is pre-teen and teen-aged Catholic boys in my parish community, specifically altar servers who have attended the face-to-face training but require a bit more support.  My admitted ulterior motive is to create interactive training that generates so much motivation that even the experienced and skilled altar servers want to check it out.

I struggled with Dr. Choi’s brief advice in the studio last week to stick with Captivate and focus on the components of the course instead of learning a new tool.  I spoke to several other classmate colleagues and have decided this is a good approach.  There is plenty for me to learn and strengthen in Captivate; I can focus more attention on how to develop a “serious game” for training purposes.  I would also love to work more with Photoshop filters to create interesting graphics for the project instead of relying on simple photographs.

I spoke to my contact at the parish and she directed me to the gentleman who runs altar server training, but have not yet heard back from him.  I also looked through Dr. Choi’s notes again and attempted to begin to sort out my thoughts for this project from an instructional design perspective.

Given my audience and content, I plan to refer back to Gagne’s instructional design concepts (Bostock, 1996) to ensure that what I design accomplishes to goal of improved altar server performance.  Within the scope of my training refresher course, students will need several types of learning outcomes:

  • Intellectual skills – concepts (identify the items used during Holy Mass)
  • Intellectual skills – rules (identify the procedures and rubrics for Holy Mass)
  • Intellectual skills – problem solving (address issues that may arise during Holy Mass and how to best resolve issues quickly with little or no disruption)
  • Motor skills – select correct ways to handle the items used as well as the correct gestures, movements, and positioning required throughout Holy Mass
  • Attitudes – some children may become altar servers at the prompting of their families; I would like to support the efforts of their primary trainer, the priest, and the families by building positive attitudes towards Holy Mass and service at the altar.  The most important area for attitudinal learning would relate to the reverence required for this important service to the Church.

On a more pragmatic note, I hope this week to identify and make contact with a couple of altar servers to, along with the primary trainer, act as subject matter experts.  They may also serve as models for the graphics I hope to develop for the project.  I would like to make contact with all the main parties to establish the purpose for this project and encourage collaboration so I am able to create an effective tool for my parish.


Bostock, S.  (1996).  Instructional Design – Robert Gagne, The Conditions of Learning.  Retrieved from http://www.keele.org.uk/docs/atid.htm.