Resources for Computer and Web-Enhanced Training MGMT 432

The goal of computer or web-enhanced training is to ensure we have created an interface that communicates the relevant information, while also making the material interesting and fun!

We have a few questions we have to ask ourselves before we can create the training module.

1. What kind of training interface do we want to create?

2. How much collaboration and synchronous activities do you want or need to require? What are the best tools to arrange synchronous activities?

3. What tools are available for you and for your trainees to use to record audio/video, and to screen capture demonstrations?

4. How much discussion amongst trainees will be needed, both during and after the training session? What tools are available for that?

INTERFACE

The kind of interface we create can enhance the learning experience, resulting in greater retention of the training material, and a greater likelihood it will change workplace behaviors. We can use programs like Adobe Spark, Adobe Captivate, Microsoft Powerpoint, or basic HTML code to create user interfaces that are easy to use!

This presentation was created in Adobe Spark. It is very easy to learn and enables you to create an interface that is attractive and engaging. Go to spark.adobe.com to set up your free account
While Adobe Captivate is not free, if your company subscribes to this software, you can create lecture modules that have testing capabilities built into the module. For example, you can get trainees to answer questions before the training module proceeds, enabling you to get Level 1 and Level 2 assessment "in the moment" while the module is underway.
Microsoft Powerpoint can be a great tool to create visual interfaces for trainees. You can also upload audio, and create movies with each slide show for trainees to view in a seamless manner.
If you are skilled in designing web interfaces with HTML code (or any other web design language), you can create your own web-enhanced interface. There are many website hosts available that make coding for the web very easy. Wix, Weebly, Websitebuilder, and Wordpress are just a few of the sites available.

Collaboration and Synchronous Sessions

Most computer or web-enhanced training is not synchronous, but that doesn't mean it won't happen or won't be necessary in some circumstances. When resources are tight and time is of the essence, it may be beneficial to get everyone onboard quickly with training online, utilizing synchronous software to make it work. Some programs are free, some cost money.

Webex by Cisco, is Meeting Facilitation, Webinar, and Conference Call software. They have multiple levels of subscriptions, including a free subscription for up to two others, as well as the Webex Training Center for developing integrated synchronous training sessions online. If you plan to do a lot of web-enhanced training, purchasing the rights to use Webex is probably the best money you can invest to bring your synchronous sessions live. Go to www.webex.com for more information and pricing structures.
Blue Jeans is another conferencing interface that enables you to work with trainees in a synchronous environment. Prices range from $10/month for a personal account, to significantly more for an enterprise account. Go to www.bluejeans.com for more information.
Google Hangouts is a free conference call option that allows for group video calls and messaging options. While not ideal for synchronous lessons, it is a great place for trainees to work in groups to collaborate on work, then return to the training interface to report on their group interactions. Go to hangouts.google.com for more information.
Join.me is another great tool that enables you to conference in people and allow for screen/presenter sharing, and whiteboard use embedded in the program. The free version has limits, but for a reasonable fee, you can upgrade to the professional version which has more capabilities. As their saying goes, "Instant online meetings, ridiculously simple!"

Video Screen Capturing

The ability to demonstrate skills on-screen and capture it as a movie is an easy way to help trainees learn techniques for accessing on-line programs and other web-based requirements for the job. Apple products allow for screen captured movies and photos. The same with Microsoft products as well. If you want a more sophisticated way to capture, annotate and edit screen capturing, there are several good programs on the market either free, or with a low one-time cost.

TechSmith is host to a variety of programs that facilitate screen casting and video capture. Jing is a free option with limitations. Snagit, Camtasia Studios, and Screencast are all options with reasonable fees for downloading the software. All allow for varying degrees of video editing and annotation. Camtasia even allows you to embed quizzes and/or interactive tools to keep track of what people have viewed and how much they retained. This allows you to reinforce Level 1 and Level 2 evaluation "in the moment".
Capto is a Mac-based platform for screen capture and video editing. It is cheap and intuitive, but it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. It is straightforward, however, and enables you to capture and/or directly record whatever you want for integration into online training.

Screencast-o-matic is probably my personal favorite for editing and creating screen captures and movies. Like Capto, it is not as sophisticated as Camtasia Studios, but for easy screen casts, movies, and editing, it doesn't get much easier than this program for the price.

Audacity is wonderful...it is free and it easy to use. While it does not do video recordings, it enables you to create voiceovers for slides shows or create audio clips to be uploaded into other programs (like Powtoons, for example). I create .ogg files which can be converted to an .mp3 file in a program called Switch (also free).

Discussion

When we want trainees to collaborate, we can have them use the Collaboration software listed above for video conferencing, or we can simply have them engage in discussions through stand alone programs.

Although Edmodo is geared towards K-12 and higher education, if you need to keep costs down and encourage trainees to communicate post-training, Edmodo is a great tool at the right price...FREE!

ANIMATION SOFTWARE

Powtoons is just one of many animate programs that enable you to develop humorous interfaces for training purposes! Have fun exploring!

Credits:

Created with images by chrisblackwell - "Computers" • StartupStockPhotos - "children win success"

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