Liafail, Inc. was founded in 1990 to meet the educational needs of people at home, work, and school by bringing together the most promising educational materials and the emerging multimedia technology.
Development of the Lifetime Library An experienced team of content experts, instructional designers, computer programmers, and writers designed the Library series as a comprehensive, stand-alone educational program where instruction is delivered through video, text, narration, graphics, and interactive exercises. The development goals were simple:
- make use of several media, selecting those that best serve the subject at hand
- make the mixing of the media transparent, so that the learner's attention is on the subject, not on how to operate the software
- make the programs learner-driven, so that the choices of what to hear or see, when to move on or move back, and when to stop are the learner's
- make the product affordable and accessible
A team from the University of Minnesota, including content specialists and experts in instructional design designed the overall instruction.Math 3, Pre-algebra, Reading 2 and Writing were the first developed, using the core of Kentucky Educational Television's (KET) Basic Skills curriculum. Working with the objectives, the team developed the instruction, pre and post tests, and practice exercises with instructional "hints". Graphics, both original and from other sources, were added to enhance instruction. An experienced writer of training and broadcast materials prepared the final on-line text and audio narration. A team of experienced programmers developed the system for blending the media and ensuring ease of use.
Two more KET series were selected to broaden the base of the Library. Another Page was used as the core of Reading 1 and Math Basics provides the video material for Math 1 and 2. LIAFAIL adopted the core of the basic skills curriculum knowing it was a curriculum with proven success. Formal studies and data substantiate its effectiveness. Lifetime Library was built upon that curriculum and enhanced its delivery. Users, content specialists, and experts from community colleges, workplace literacy programs, and vocational institutions have provided input as the Library was being developed. They provided very positive feedback upon its completion.
To ensure ease of use and verify content, a highly qualified review team critiqued the user's options and the instructional components in all of the programs. The team included practitioners from colleges, vocational institutions, and adult learning centers with expertise in content and in technology.
The final modules of the Library are Algebra Parts 1 and 2 which incorporate video produced by COMAP (Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications). This video has been successfully used as a complete telecourse by hundreds of two- and four-year institutions. Master Instructor Dr. Sol Garfunkel hosts the interesting, well-produced video. The video series is a winner of the Columbus International Film Festival Award. COMAP, which has several successful broadcast series in conjunction with the Annenberg Foundation, is a nationally recognized resource for teachers of mathematics around the country. For over a decade COMAP has created award-winning materials that are rigorous and fun, challenging and motivational.
The program not only helps students grasp the elusive problem-solving concepts of algebra, it also shows them why these concepts are important. Dr. Garfunkel walks students step-by-step through problems that highlight common trouble spots.The Network Records Manager become an enhancement to the Library for institutional customers. The NRM provides comprehensive recordkeeping for customers in the educational and training segments of the market.
The Lifetime Library is currently available in a Local Area Network (LAN) version and an Internet version. Elsewhere on this site, these versions are described in greater detail.