Words you hate to hear...

I am a new ISD at a fairly large technology based company who's training history revolves mainly around software-based simulations. Recently some government regulations have led to some compliance-based acknwoledgement courses that had to be thrown together rather quickly as you could probably understand. When the hammers down, get it done sorta thing. The compliance-based courses were built in Captivate and have some problems associated with them but served their purpose for the quick turnaround.

As the new guy on the block, I was creating a req to purchase the software I wanted to use to create new courses/content. The software included Adobe eLearning Suite, Articulate, and SnagIT. I already have Office 2010. My supervisor asked me what Articulate was for and what it does. I explained to her the difference between Captivate and Articulate. Mainly the fact that Articulate works so well with PowerPoint when she said some words that made me cringe. "I want to get away from PowerPoint and focus on the video aspect of software simulation for courses like "XXX" and "YYY" (which are software-based but there may be more softskills training in the future)." That's fine, however, my first project is a soft-skills course and I'm creating it in PowerPoint! The standard for the company is eLearning Suite however, the department the standard is based off of only creates software-based simulations. I want to talk to my supervisor about this but I don't want to sound like a know-it all, especially since I'm new.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? How did you handle it?

2 Replies
Natalia Mueller

Hey James- I primarily create courses for software training and have found myself moving farther and farther away from straight simulations. No doubt there are times when they are the most effective, but from a development standpoint I can get the same (if not better) results FASTER by using PPT and Articulate. When I really need a screencast, I can still insert it. This keeps the file size WAY down versus creating the whole thing as a screencast. My bosses have been more interested in the speed factor than anything else since time is $$$. 

If you didn't catch it, Tom K posted an article a while back that discusses the pros and cons of each, as well as some alternative options. Here's a direct link if you would like to see it. There are some great demos in there as well that may give you some ideas of how to plead your case. Or you could just show her Tom's demos. Check out the Guru list for awesome examples of compliance and soft skill training using the same tools.  

I'm willing to bet that your supervisor is shying away from PowerPoint because she's thinking of it as a presentation tool. What better way to change her mind than to show her something created in PPT that looks nothing like what she's expecting? 

If you come at it from the angle that you've been doing some research to come up with the most time and cost effective options for your department, your supervisor will probably be willing to listen. And since you're showing options, it doesn't look like you're being a know-it-all.

Good luck to you! Let us know how it turns out.