Webex and application simulations

To train a set of users on an application, which is a better option - a recorded WebEx session or an application simulation (created using simulation tools such as Captivate?)

Though a WebEx session can be completed in one sitting, some of the disadvantages that I can think of in a recorded WebEx session are:

  • Quality of the recorded session
  • Lack of interactivity
  • Multiple WebEx sessions for each cycle of product enhancement (whereas in an application simulation, you can plug in the new screens seamlessly rather than revisiting the course all over again.)

What are your thoughts? Which is better- a WebEx or an e-learning course?

6 Replies
Robert Kennedy

A lot of variables here.  Your users, the time they have, how critical it is that they have specific understand of any changes, etc, etc.  I always prefer an interactive learning experience if possible.  But, I can also see that if a product is being periodically updated, using a WebEx tutorial to explain or show those changes versus reskinning and re-producing a CAptivate or Articulate file might be more efficient.

So we are back to the question, is your concern efficiency of development, or efficiency of learning?

Gerry Wasiluk

WebEx sessions, depending on how recorded, can also be converted to Flash or WMV--or linked to directly as web objects.  If chat or questions are enabled, seeing how other people react can be a plus or minus.

If you need to capture a remote presenter, they may often be one way to go.  The disadvantages you've got listed, along with the audio quality can sometimes be an issue, especially when other parts of the course are recorded in AP.

Indu Gopinath

Robert, Gerry, many thanks for your inputs.

@Robert - From an instructional designers perspective, my concern is about the learning bit itself  - how effective/efficient is a WebEx session going to be sans interactions, sans a test of understanding.

My client's concern is about the speed of development. Her concern is, while I would take x hours to create a 30 minute learning module, the WebEx session would demonstrate the entire functionality and the course is out there, ready for the learner in much lesser time.

I feel a mix of both these approaches would be better - create the course the first time as an e-learning module, with interactions, etc. Whenever there are enhancements to the product, cover those as WebEx sessions.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Christopher Cummins

If there was a way to validate that they had indeed watched the webex presentation and not gotten up to make themselves a sandwich or do laundry, then the webex video could work. If the learner knew before watching the video that they would be tested following the presentation, perhaps they wouldn't be so inclined to leave their work area and go fold socks. Also the longer the video, the more likely you are to loose your viewer's focus since there is no interaction.