18 Replies
Emily Dinkines

I use both of those approaches too, super great!! How do you all display them? The majority of the training I create is software training. Do you have any tips on how to creatively display them rather than just having the screenshot fill the screen? I have done computer mockups before, but what have you all done?

Nikole Dalton

I have struggled with this as well because often times there is so much on one screen that hotspots became confusing for the user.

I have found that I don't need to explain/point out everything on the screen, an e-learning course is going to give them the basics, not make them an expert. 

I have been using a narrated video of the basic procedure followed by a DIY course where they fill in the "important" or fields that might need a little more explanation and are not necessarily self explanatory.

Jason Tilley

Thank you everyone,

I have used the same as above and I have also had the same issues as some with loads of HotSpots, content etc.

Video / Software simulation and Naration goes well, but my added problem is my e-learning is for external customers and not all have speakers / headphones and there IT department switches the sound off which then add's to the problem as I need to create subtitles too.

Tracy Parish

We did one where we used the screen recording feature to walk through a series of steps and annotated along the way.  Then let them try the same steps filling in various fields, clicking areas they needed to access, "clicking buttons", etc.  Then on to the next series of steps until the full training was complete.  Breaking it into small chunks helped with the uptake, and easier to re-access when needed.

Todd Wheeler

I agree with earlier posters that Screencasting and hotspots are great ways for the learners to practice.

For our organisation, I broke the course up in sub-modules, each only dealing with a particular aspect of the software. The sub-modules could be done in any order in a "just in time" format.

Chunkifying it like that meant that our time-poor lawyers could focus on a particular function they needed to use, rather than learn the entirety of the software application.

So, using your Excel example, if someone only wanted to learn how to create a basic table, there would be a module just for that, then another for entering formulas etc. If a sub module required knowledge of other functions, the learner would be advised that doing a prior sub module would be of benefit to them.

I have attached a picture of how I pitched the course to users on the LMS.

I hope this helps.

Michael Jones

I think an important thing to remember with systems training is the variation in the learner's ability levels with the software, prior to taking your training. Generally speaking, we follow a "Show Me, Try It, Test Me" approach where we use Storyline's screen recording capabilities, and sometimes augment it's capabilities with Camtasia.

First, record a demo with a sample situation that shows the learner the process in the context of how they might use it in their actual day-to-day job. This first part is great as just an mp4 video, it doesn't need to be interactive, unless you want to augment the recording with additional information/context. If you want to enhance the video, use timed markers and triggers to pause/play the video.

The "Try It" and "Test Me" steps are entirely done in Storyline's screen recording wizard—just customize your captions and fine-tune the action of the screen recording as necessary.

Give the learners the choice of whether or not to watch the "Show Me" or to jump right into the "Try It" or "Test Me" portions—if they can demonstrate they are already able to use the system/tool, there's likely nothing to be gained in forcing them through the rest.

For something that's more lightweight, and less formal, check out A360's Replay, Peek, or Presso. Each have slightly different use cases, but one would definitely meet your needs for a quick and dirty screencast—it just depends on how much polish you want/need.

Scott Kaye

I follow a similar process to Michael's above.  I try to do a demo (which I usually find much easier in Camtasia as well).  Then after the demo I use the try and test modes of Storyline.  It usually does a very good job of capturing the details that I like.  Might have to rename a few actions or retry a few takes, but I have done some really interactive software training using the same recipe.

nicole rye

Borrowing from an ILT method I used many years ago, create a quiz, ask them where they 'think' they might locate a function on the menu, and give them 3 choices. Use good feedback screens if they get it wrong. Even if they click 'wrong' or guess wrong, it still gives them an opportunity to see what is around and builds on their memory of where functions are located.

Also, I'd suggest go back to the use cases developed for the user acceptance and build out case studies to preface the show/do scenarios.

Brett Rockwood

I find if you can tell a story, even with software training, it really helps. You can use all the different bells and whistles, e.g., screen animations, hotspots, narration, captions, etc., but if you can show how the software is actually used it'll be stickier. Think, a day in the life of your user...

David Glow

One of the tricks I use to vary the training is to actually remove screenshots of data and replace them with text boxes, and export the text for translation. Then SMEs can vary scenarios simply for a wide variety of scenarios without having to build it in the source software, which in many cases, can be very challenging, and in some contexts, it can compromise the data integrity of the client's system.