Suggested methods for delivering Software Simulation Training?

Hi everyone

As the title says I am am after suggestions on what training method to use to delivery software simulation training via eLearning while ensuring it is engaging.

In traditional classroom skills based lessons I was originally taught to use Explain, Demonstate, Imitate and Pracitice. A bit long winded for eLearning.

I see alot of the eLearning tools now promote Show Me, Try Me (some use Guide Me), Test Me. I still think this is long winded as well. I know if I was the student I would probably jump to the Try Me/Guide Me phase.

Many companies are very successful with just using Show Me (ie Lynda.com) but their training is not engaging / interactive.

So what I am curious with is, What are others doing?

Cheers

Craig

18 Replies
Robert Kennedy

Craig,

Like you, I personally jump right into the Try Me.  I suppose there are different methods.  I personally try to use a mix.  I try to have the student as engaged as possible, but there might be little sections where its more pertinent to show examples instead of having the student/learner fiddle around.  Or, you just build it both ways and give them the option of which way to go.

Craig Gauci

Thanks for the reply Robert.

I have been thinking more about this matter and was leaning towards offering both options. That way accommodating different learning styles.

One thing I am troubled about is Testing a user in the use of the software. Many software courses I have attending in the past have had no assessment element. Purely assessement via participation in practicals.  

So what are others views on assessment for Software training especially delivery via eLearning?

Cheers

Craig

Mark Brown

If you're up to the challenge. I would make replica interfaces in Photoshop. Next drag each one into swish (swishzone.com) and make them individual scenes. I'm not fan of flash and prefer swish they do the same thing.

Next hotspot and weight each area I wanted clicked with a number. (e.g. the back button = 1, forward = 2 etc).

Next was math coding and comparing.

 If I wanted 3 buttons clicked in a certain order I would just keep adding the weights up.

When the math was wrong the program would interact with pop ups, sounds, narrations and so on. If it was right it could branch to any scene. So if the clicks were out of order and the math was 4 (1+3) not 3 (1+2) I knew they skipped over the button weighted as a 2 and the program would tutor them specifically for that infraction in a fun way.

Joe Deegan

Not what the Articulate gurus want to hear but Captivate is a great tool for this.  They have an "Interactive Simulation" feature that makes it easy to create a hot spot assessment.  You can also simply use screen shots and the hot spot question in Quizmaker for similar results.  Having the learner simulate the procedure with some kind of hot spot simulation is the way to go.  I also give them the option of the "Show Me" and "Try Me" options.  I'm sure a lot of people skip straight to the "Try Me" unless it is challenging then they will use the "Show Me" option.

Kim Hannan

For some of my software training, I blend Articulate and Captivate.  Engage interactions can be very handy for providing an overview of the page or pure instruction, and I've done entire simulations using screenshots, hyperlinking, and hidden slides in Articulate.  In cases where I want to offer a "Show Me", you can insert a Captivate file into articulate.

Quizmaker has some great options for hotspots if it's a fairly straightforward assessment you're after.

Joe Deegan

Hi Helena,

What I mean by "Show Me" is a screencast demonstrating the process and "Try Me" is more of a simulation where they actually have to do the work in a simulation by clicking on the correct spots or filling in the correct field.  See it then do it.  Articulate doesn't have a built in screen recording tool but Screenr is a great option as well as Camtasia/Jing or Captivate.  Hope this helps clear things up.

Julie H.

Hello, I'm new here! We are looking for eLearning authoring tools that will allow us to do interactive software simulation. For example, our trainees will need to right-click items to navigate around the software or access menu items. Trainees also need to drag and drop items. Does Articulate have this capacity? I've seen Captivate mentioned -are there any other tools we should look at? I appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Ashley Chiasson

I've been doing software simulations in Storyline, and my clients have been quite happy. I agree with some of the 'beat it to death' feelings of the Show Me, Guide Me, Try Me, Assess Me models, and I really think you can merge the guide me and try me together (depending on project requirements). For example, you can provide minimal guidance (instruction as to what they need to do - e.g. Open the palette containing the Excel node.) and then provide feedback that progressively guides the user to the right selection; I've done this in three steps: 1 for instruction, 2 for feedback; the last feedback highlights the relevant area and 'gives away' the answer. When combined with the Assess Me, this can prove quite effective.

Erik Vinke

Exactly the approach I have been thinking about would be most effective.... it's better to let the user think himself, instead of just showing him the right answer right away...

It would be really great if you would be willing to share an example of this approach

Thanks!

Erik

Ashley Chiasson said:

I've been doing software simulations in Storyline, and my clients have been quite happy. I agree with some of the 'beat it to death' feelings of the Show Me, Guide Me, Try Me, Assess Me models, and I really think you can merge the guide me and try me together (depending on project requirements). For example, you can provide minimal guidance (instruction as to what they need to do - e.g. Open the palette containing the Excel node.) and then provide feedback that progressively guides the user to the right selection; I've done this in three steps: 1 for instruction, 2 for feedback; the last feedback highlights the relevant area and 'gives away' the answer. When combined with the Assess Me, this can prove quite effective.

Sean Ryan

I use Captivate to create all 3 simultaneously, then combine all 3 simulations into 1 with a opening slide. This Menu slide give the option to Show, Try or Test. In the show section I add narration explaining exactly what's going on. In the try me I just have call-outs instructing the user where to go (to activate the hot spots or text fields) and in the test me I use hints on screen so the user has an Idea what they're supposed to do next. The test me has a limit of 3 fails before you have to restart the sequence over.