|The Lab Roadmap|
By Dan Vis
August 30, 2019
We just recently uploaded the third of four major changes to our site for the month of August--and it's a complete revamp of how the Lab structures our training curriculum. We're calling it our Roadmap. Read on to learn more...
This month, we've been focusing hard on making the last few big upgrades to our FAST site. We've had a clear destination in mind for the last two years, and have been working steadily toward it since transitioning to FAST full-time. And with this week's big change, I'm happy to say that finish line is now closer than ever.
In particular, we just uploaded a major redesign of how members access our online training by creating a recommended Lab Roadmap.
In the past we've basically offered a smorgasbord of courses, memos, and study guides, and simply encouraged members to look around and take whatever interests them. We also offer a revolving circle of featured training events, and many people just hop on to whatever is currently being promoted.
But neither of these are the ideal way to do training. Seeing a huge array of options can easily lead to overwhelm: Where do I start? And featured classes, while they narrow things down to a single option or two, can bring new students into an advanced class without important preparatory classes. Not ideal.
After extensively researching the question of how to make our online school as effective as possible at equipping workers, we've decided to change our smorgasbord into a crystal clear success path. We're calling it the Roadmap.
Basically, we've organized all our training into a series of nearly 20 modules organized into three main levels. These levels correspond to our core strategy of helping believers memorize Scripture effectively, apply it to their life practically, and then pass it on to others consistently.
We've carefully thought through the best order to complete these modules, carefully identified the most essential prerequisites and desired objectives of each module, thrown in specific missions for each module, and gathered the best supplemental resources from all over our site. And put it all together for you in a step by step guide.
To check it out, simply go to the Student Lab area and look for the Roadmap link. There you can see a full list of our modules. And if you are a Lab member, or part of a training team, you can click any of those modules to see a full list of the training objectives, missions, and supplemental resources included with that module.
We've also embellished it a bit by granting special "ranks" to members as they progress through the Roadmap. And special stars to acknowledge progress through individual modules. There will also be other awards, trophies, and certificates, including a final certificate of completion once you have finished your last module!
It's our hope this new approach will greatly enrich your experience at FAST, by walking you through every facet of our training, in just the right order!
How This Affects You
If you are not a member of the Lab, or part of a training team, things won't change much for you. You'll still see the same menu. You will still receive periodic announcements about featured classes and training events. And you can still join in anything that interests you.
But if you are a Lab member, your experience at FAST is about to get better. Instead of using our resource bar to find classes and study guides, your first step will be to go to the Student Lab each time you login and open your current module. There will be a button right at the top of the Lab welcome page.
The first time you log in, you will be asked to start at the beginning, to make sure you haven't missed any steps in our recommended training process. Just check off the objectives you have completed, and knock out the modules you have finished. If you have been a FAST member for a few years, this may take a bit, as you have probably taken several classes with us. But press through. Once you get to your first unfinished module, you'll know exactly what step to take next!
You are welcome to review the complete Roadmap by clicking the Our Roadmap link in the Lab menu area, and while you are there, take a peek at our two certification options. These documents will give you a clearer idea of how our Roadmap works, and where it will take you.
It has been a tremendous amount of work to organize this Roadmap, but we believe it will make it easier for every new member at FAST to get started on their training journey, and then encourage you to be steady and consistent in moving forward.
In many ways, the site will look very much like it did before. But the reality is, this is the biggest upgrade we’ve done in a long time, and you will soon find small changes all over the site with lots of big potential. It wasn't really just the addition of a roadmap--it was a complete overhaul of our entire training environment. Here's a list of just a few things you should note:
- Comments will begin to show member ranks and stars as they progress through the roadmap.
- You can now "like" comments with a thumbs up and give someone an extra heart.
- Now it's ok to put Bible references in Lab forum posts! :)
- Notice the new training link in the blue resource bar. It gives access to all your current classes as well as links to our online classes, study guides, and ebooks.
- There are now progress bars on all your current classes showing you how much of the class you have completed.
- I've opened up pretty much all of our closed classes. “Revive” has been renamed "Dry Bones".
- Our short classes now use our own internal messaging system, enabling us to send helpful prompts and reminders if you get behind.
- I've converted all our study guides into live classes you can sign up for at any time. Wow!
- These new study guide classes operate differently with new lessons unlocking only when you complete the preceding lesson. There are also prompts and reminders for these if you get behind.
- Our short classes and study guide classes now both show you exactly how long it's been since you've posted a comment, marked a reading as done, or completed a quiz. There's even a reset button to get more time!
- I've converted some of our resources into something of an ebook format. These are designed to make them easier to access.
- We've retained special shortcuts to our witnessing courses, to keep them accessible for easy printing as before.
- The Lab area now has sharing helps for all our short classes. Expect to see resources for our study guides courses soon!
- I've moved all our Leaders Resources into the Student Lab and made it easier to navigate.
- And this is HUGE: team leaders now have full access to printouts for all our short classes for use in their teams--just like our guides!
There are probably lots of other changes that went into this update--but that's all I can think of off the top of my head. And while I fixed many bugs, I'm pretty sure I've added a few more in the process! So please be patient as it may take a few days to iron out all the new wrinkles!
But all in all it is a really important upgrade! Couldn't be more excited...
What do you think of our new Roadmap? How important is it to have a guide like this so you always know what to do next? Eager to get started? Are any of the other changes especially exciting to you? Which? Share your thoughts below...
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 09/20/19||MEMBER|
|Thank you, Dan.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/17/19||MEMBER|
|Good job Fiona! Knew you would get there eventually... Let me know if you notice anything that doesn't work quite right. Looking forward to seeing you move up the ranks!|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 09/17/19||MEMBER|
|I don't know where I was looking before, Dan, but I have found the big blue button! Hurray! Thank you for your patience with me. I appreciate it! :-)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/15/19||MEMBER|
|You don't see the big blue START HERE button at the top of the Student Lab home page Fiona? Once you get started on the first module it will change to whatever module you are on. You don't have to click the Roadmap link in the menu. That's just if you want to see all the modules to come...|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 09/15/19||MEMBER|
|Well, I clicked on the Roadmap heading under the Student Lab menu. Still no button as such, and no number as to which Module I am in. What am I still missing, Dan? All the modules show below the word "Module". This button is blue, but no number is mentioned.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/13/19||MEMBER|
The button that starts you out on the roadmap says "Start Here" the first time you click it. After that, it shows the module number for whatever module you are on! Let me know if you still have trouble finding that Fiona.
Always love your enthusiasm about finding new things to explore at FAST! :)
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 09/13/19||MEMBER|
|I have clicked on the Student Lab spot at the top of the page, Dan. The next page, on my desktop computer screen, does not have a Roadmap button at the top of the page. The Roadmap link is under the Student Lab menu a bit down the page. Maybe it is different on different devices? And there is no button as such. Let me know what I am missing ...|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 09/13/19||MEMBER|
|It all sounds very exciting, Dan! I will have a look around. I have before recently, but it seems there are some more new things to investigate! Thank you for all your hard work. Blessings to you and your family. :-)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/04/19||MEMBER|
Glad to see everyone seems to be excited about this! :)
Let's keep pressing forward!
|Posted by Karen Williams on 09/04/19||MEMBER|
|Thank you, I’m excited to be able to take any class rather than waiting for it and hoping I’m not busy during that portion of the year.|
|Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 09/04/19||MEMBER|
|WOW! Thank you for your hard work. I am very appreciative of all you do for us. May God bless you and your family. Thank you for helping me to get closer to the Lord, through FAST! Colossians 3:23-2423 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ..|
|Posted by Carole Bliss on 09/04/19||MEMBER|
|It sounds more user friendly, and this is very good. Thank you for all the hard work getting this worked out.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/04/19||MEMBER|
My pleasure Floride. Happy to be an encouragement if I can!
It's easy to get started Erica. Just click the Student Lab and look for the Roadmap button at the top of the page. It's all pretty self explanatory I think. :)
|Posted by Erica Cameron on 09/04/19||MEMBER|
|Thanks Dan, it sounds good, as I am not the best navigator of the Internet! Looking forward to looking at it, but I have my hands full studying "Revival Keys" for the moment. Blessings Erica|
|Posted by Floride Leonce on 09/03/19||MEMBER|
Thank you, Dan! I will make sure to check in as regularly as I should.
And thanks for all you do to help us climb higher in our walk with God.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/03/19||MEMBER|
|Thanks for the encouragement Paul, Jamie. We're pretty excited about it too! Let us know if you notice anything that doesn't quite work just right. Always striving for the best, for Him!|
|Posted by Jamie-Leigh Timoti on 09/03/19||MEMBER|
|Wow sounds amazing!!!|
|Posted by Paul Carson on 09/02/19||MEMBER|
|Random is fine, but sequential is necessary to meet objectives in a timely manner.|
I really like this approach and I am so pleased that I have the privilege to participate in it and grow with it. And to encourage others to GROW FAST in Christ.
Thank you Dan & Vi for sharing the blessing.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 09/02/19||MEMBER|
Yep Floride, we've got every class on the roadmap open to lab members year round. The only exception, which I hope to change at some point, is our Breakout Memory Challenge.
We'll still do periodic live events, but the classes will also be open for you to study at your own pace.
|Posted by Floride Leonce on 09/02/19||MEMBER|
Thank you, Dan, for a job well done as always!
I think this will be very helpful to me personally as it will make me a little more organized and stay consistent in my classes. I hope I will be able to check in every day so I can stay on top of things.
There are a few classes that I never completed in the past. Will I be able to do that now as this feature will show them as incomplete, if I understand perfectly?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/30/19||MEMBER|
|Great Qing! Thanks for the feedback! I think you hit on some of the most important points: having a clear roadmap to organize our content, being able to take any of our study guides classes at any time, and being able to print our short online classes for use in your team. All pretty big things! And the ability to like comments is just icing on the cake!|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 08/30/19||MEMBER|
this is fantastic Dan!
All the other changes are great too. I look forward to testing it all out and watching it in action (comment 👍💓’s) 😊
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