Part 2: An Alternative Method for System E-Learning Development

Blog By Simon Humby, System e-Learning Developer

In my last blog I spoke about HPSDMB. If you have no idea what that means you can read or re-read part 1 by clicking here.

To recap part 1. Content Developers don’t need to become SMEs. The organisation already has SMEs so developers don’t need to also amass that knowledge. Why take the time to create a ‘middle person’ whose understanding of the target software is more likely to be faulty?

Those are the benefits of this method but there are still issues that can trip you up. The workflow is a great time-saver but as is often the case, the devil is in the detail. So in part 2 we look at what we can do to avoid production delays that could be created by this methodology.

One pass recording to save time

If we can make the recording process itself as robust as possible we can minimise the need to call in the SME again to re-record.

Remember the option to fix problems yourself is going to be limited because you are trying to avoid becoming an SME.

The SME’s time is valuable and it is amazing how often they seem to take holidays just when you need them most. Use another SME? Perhaps but remember from part 1 you purposefully chose the top SME. The one with the most perfect understanding of the target software and the current operating procedures.

Fixing a single slide later sounds easy but what if that slide was part of a recording of an involved ordering process that only the SEO knows how to recreate accurately and efficiently?

Worse case scenario but it’s still a delay.

Steps you can take

1. Pre-recording check-list

Is everything as it should be? Recording resolution correct? Target software running with the correct stage of its process set up? Email notifications off? Zoom level correct?

I won’t go into more details but in my experience there are often close to a dozen items that need to be checked before recording to help ensure a reliable outcome.

2. Capture everything

Your e-learning application will probably have a camera-shutter sound.  During the recording process this will tell you that a new slide has been generate. Make sure it is turned on.

In my experience some target software (ie. the software that you are recording) may not reliably trigger a screen capture.

I have found this issue is more prevalent in capturing bespoke software applications than off-the-shelf.

So if you don’t hear the shutter sound when you think you should create a manual capture. Even if you are not quite sure – take a manual capture – better too many (that you can later delete) rather than too few.

In both Captivate and Storyline manual captures can be created by hitting the PrtSc / PrintScreen key.

3. Fixing issues when they occur

What if your perfect SME makes a mistake? Miss-clicks? Takes the wrong path through a process?

Stop the recording. Delete those ‘bad’ slides and start the recording again from that point. Saying that you’ll ‘fix that later’ is fine but can you (as a non-SME) guarantee that you’ll correctly identify which slides are bad? Taking a little extra time at this stage can save a whole lot of time later and again reduce the risk of having to call in the SME again.

Nothing can guarantee that you won’t sometimes need to call in the SME again to redo part of a recording but you can limit that risk and keep production delays to a minimum.

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