Our specialists offer a range of services to analyze organizations' training and evaluation needs.
Teaching tools come in all forms. They may be printed documents; audio, video, or multimedia materials; or online courses.
Teaching tools are created based on students' skills and employ appropriate teaching strategies. These tools not only encourage student autonomy, but also establish specific objectives to be attained.
The materials may be used in various ways: individual, autonomous distance learning, under the supervision of tutor or trainers, collaboratively, or in groups.
SOFAD meets the needs of school boards and the labour market by producing printed and digital learning and evaluation materials that can be adapted for individual learning, and for classroom and distance education. The self-supporting course materials include correction keys. The teaching guides help instructors master the subject matter by suggesting teaching techniques, intervention strategies and competency evaluation methods.
SOFAD takes into account several key factors when designing learning resources: motivation, individual learning pace, participation and interaction with learners, learner perception, the organization of messages, content structure, choice of instructional methods, resource organization strategies, guidance and support, repetitive elements, adaptability of the exercises, and the transfer and application of acquired knowledge.
The specialists at SOFAD feel that the design of educational resources should begin with the production of a functional model with technical specifications relating to ergonomics, corporate and visual identity, marketing, interactivity, etc.
The creation of interactive scenarios involves generating ideas and conducting preliminary research, leading first to the development of a fictional environment or one that is based on real life, and then to the development of a dramatic structure taking the form of a more or less complex network that the learner must navigate. This creates a meaningful context that helps learners become immersed in the learning experience and actively participate in the world they are presented with.
SOFAD’s online courses promote learning by using a broad range of technologies that facilitate access to resources and services as well as distance communication and collaboration. The online courses are centred on competency development and their organization promotes interaction with the tutor and other learners.
SOFAD has developed dozens of online courses in a multitude of fields, notably mathematics, science, languages, vocational training and social sciences. Our course development methodology is inspired by the work of J.-P. Pernin, R. C. Clark, R. Mayer and the Michigan Virtual University (MVU).
SOFAD’s interactive digital resources consist of a combination of dynamic elements (text, sound, images, animation) in digital format that are integrated and intended to be operated together. These elements are all part of a puzzle called the “learning situation,” which is desiged to enlist the learner’s active participation. These resources take the form of interactives, videos, simulations, quizzes, etc.
An educational kit is a set of multimedia teaching materials designed using instructional technology. They may contain instructional notebooks, exploration notebooks, glossaries, atlases, icon legends, videos, activity sheets, technique demonstration and application sheets to support learning, IWB (interactive whiteboards) activities, etc. Educational kits foster a dynamic and multimedia approach, enabling learners to discover places and people by exploring themes that promote a better understanding of and contextualize historical, social, economic and cultural events.
SOFAD produces its guides in interactive digital format files (ePub3, PDF, Motto) that can be downloaded and read on different devices (computers, tablets, e-readers, smartphones). The digital versions of the learning guides are enhanced with internal links, visual and audio elements, interactive activities, search tools, note-taking features and indexes.
Certain types of training require the use of different types of animation such as characters, moving sets and images in 2 or 3 dimensions, notably for simulation environments, medical or scientific applications, or to simulate production runs in industry.
VideoScribe is software for creating explainer video on witeboard animation (“videotelling”). In general, a story is created by an artist’s hand that draws and animates the illustrations and text. This technique makes it possible to introduce text into animated messages that can serve as an introduction to a training module, for instance, or provide an overview of what was learned.
Depending on the learning needs and the importance of providing a real-life environment, SOFAD’s educational resources also include the possibility for learners to enter an interactive, virtual world. Learning can be enhanced with a virtual representation of the real world in which learners can participate without taking any risks. For example, they can visit places that not easily accessed, remote places, factories in operation, etc.
Certain training programs can be made more effective through the use of interactive videos: videos enriched by supplementary content and those that use adaptable scenarios. SOFAD produces videos that allow viewers to click and choose the direction they want the story to take.
SOFAD uses digital comic strips to deal with sensitive topics, to put a distance between the user and the presentation of the content, to represent fictional worlds, etc. Interactivity draws the user into the story told by the comic strip. In this sense, the comic strip is not merely a support for content, but becomes a veritable simulator that immerses the learner in an audiovisual environment.
SOFAD’s line of products for young people includes interactive activities for interactive digital boards (IDB) or interactive whiteboards (IWB) using SMART and ActivInspire software. These activities bring lessons to life and pose challenges that foster competency development and knowledge acquisition. They can be led by the teacher or by a student or group of students.
In its immersive learning environments, SOFAD makes it possible for learners to create avatars that will represent them in the virtual world they are about to enter. The avatar is also a way for learners to master content, amass game artifacts, challenge other players in knowledge battles, etc. Each learner can use the same avatar throughout all the activities.
SOFAD uses video in its digital learning environments. This can involve video captures (on green screen) by a specialist giving an explanation or the demonstration of a procedure or an intervention strategy, which can then be incorporated into the training module. Other learning situations could involve a scripted scene with actors shot in an appropriate setting. SOFAD’s project managers work with professionals to capture, shoot and edit audio and video.
SOFAD’s learning materials feature learning and evaluation situations (LES) that enable students to draw upon the resources they need to exercise their competencies and aquire knowledge. The LES’s are rich, integrated and contextualized. They include a variety of meaningful subject-specific and cross-curricular activities that spark students’ interest and motivate them to learn.
Many training situations require the use of simulators and simulations. SOFAD uses simulation to help learners understand, create and acquire knowledge. Learners’ understanding of a real-world phenomenon can be facilitated by the use of a simulated model. Simulation and assisted-design software is used in vocational training. Simulation activities are also used to foster learning in science and mathematics. The use of simulators and simulations has several advantages, namely, it appeals to learners, enhances their motivation, fosters a better understanding of processes and events, increases learners’ aptitude for adapting similar solutions to different situations, etc.
SOFAD uses educational games to make the serious aspect of certain types of content or training more appealing. A serious aim – to instruct, inform, communicate or market a product – is combined with a playful approach. The form, interactivity and rules of gameplay all contribute to the ultimate goals of fostering learning by providing enjoyment. Educational games are designed to help people learn about certain subjects (e.g. logic) or acquire certain skills (e.g. intellectual skills).
Many of SOFAD’s training programs involve learning through problem solving, which consists in having learners work with real or fictional problems that are meaningful and stimulating. The goal of this approach is to help learners develop their autonomy and encourage them to reuse, as much as possible, their newly acquired skills in all new situations that involve a problem, be it personal, social or educational in nature.
SOFAD favours the use of concrete and realistic work environments in its vocational education and worker training materials. According to this approach, the learner is regarded as an active participant who must complete tasks related to the occupation or trade in question. This work is carried out in the most realistic context possible by taking into account the related sociocultural and sociovocational factors and by using a variety of authentic documents, practices and examples.
SOFAD produces most of its courses in French and English with strict quality standards. This involves content revision (pedagogical and linguistic), field testing, ensuring that the final products meets the client’s requirements, using design standards so that learning objects can be reused, validating the product with clients and users and evaluating projects at each production stage.
SOFAD also offers its clients and partners translation services into English and other languages. SOFAD’s translation work represents several million words annually, as well as many hours in the studio for narration and video recording.
SOFAD has developed a testing platform based on the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS). The platform is used to manage registration and testing, monitor the test administration process, provide automatic test correction, manage learner records, produce statistics, and develop additional tests and different versions of these tests.
SOFAD designs, develops and offers auto correcting competency evaluation tests as well as pretests and post-tests in a variety of subject areas: languages, management, office automation, health, medical terminology, etc. These online tests may or may not be supervised and are used to determine the extent to which the candidate has mastered the competency being evaluated. Different versions of the same test are developed so that they are equivalent in content and difficulty level.
SOFAD issues certificates of achievement for the qualification exams it administers. These certificates are issued when a candidate has obtained the pass mark for the exam in question. Certificates of achievement take the form of an original document sent by regular mail or email, and allow the recipients to obtain their work permit or license.
Together with content experts and measurement and evaluation specialists, SOFAD designs and develops qualification examinations for workers in several occupations and trades.
The purpose of these examinations is to certify that the candidate possesses all the knowledge and skills needed for the trade in question. SOFAD has developed qualification exams in the fields of pesticides, drinking water treatment, verification of natural gas distribution systems, natural gas pipeline installation, propane, health, electricity and heating.
Together with Quebec’s school boards, SOFAD ensures that examinations are administered province-wide. Services include candidate registration, exam scheduling, the provision and reception of exam papers, invigilation, grading by authorized persons and the communication of results to candidates.
SOFAD enlists the help of experts in docimology to develop its measurement and evaluation instruments. These experts participate in planning, designing, validating (by means of statistical analysis tools) and applying competency measurement and evaluation instruments. SOFAD develops specification tables (e.g. criteria, difficulty level), weighting tables (e.g. tasks, evaluation focuses) and question entry forms.
SOFAD has developed several training portals for its own needs and those of its clients and partners. These portals are used to manage enrollments, learner records, current courses, activities being carried out, progress reports, communications with instructors or tutors, financial transactions (e.g. purchase of courses or resources), etc.
SOFAD designs and develops digital learning environments for its clients and partners. These platforms, often designed with Moodle, serve to develop, manage and support a significant part of the training activities for both ongoing and upcoming projects. The Learning Management System (LMS) component is used to manage and track online training resources and learners, whereas the Content Management System (CMS) component is used to manage training content, learning activities and interactions with learners.