RE: videotaping interviews with SMEs - A checklist

Subject: RE: videotaping interviews with SMEs - A checklist
From: "TEA Lanham, Kevin" <Klanham -at- aus -dot- telusa -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 09:59:16 -0600


We use videotaping of SMEs too. We have not had problems with the
interviewers. In fact some of them appreciate that we are trying to save
their time. We even had a training session with our writers to share the
experiences some have had with those who have not had to videotape yet. The
consensus became a check list of sorts. The lessons learned were added under
each enabling objective from the training outline.

We document hardware and software, so some of this may not be applicable to
your situation. We were specifically training writers not experienced with
videotape. If you've done it alot, this won't help you much. I hope it is
helpful to someone.

Kevin Lanham
Technical Publications Department
Tokyo Electron America
Austin, Texas
Tel: 512-424-1394





Using Videotape for Documentation

Terminal Objective:
Document a procedure using a videotaped procedure as the primary source
material.
* Practice in a forgiving environment to build awareness of the challenges
(Individual)
* Learn from the experience of others (Individual)
* Record lessons learned for later reference/training (Department)

Conditions:
* Pre-recorded videotape about a Cleaning Systems machine procedure (poorest
version)
* Pre-recorded videotape about a Cleaning Systems machine procedure (better
version)
* Get access to SME for questions after transcription

Standard:
* Share experiences, Brainstorm considerations
* Record what we learn together for reference and future training

MODULES:
1. Transcription
2. Considerations for Taping
3. Group Review

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MODULE: Transcription

Enabling Objective:
View the first tape and write step-by-step instructions.

Scenario Conditions:
* You must travel to a remote site [Portland, Boston, or Japan]
* Little time is available with the SME
* (scenario A)You have a helper to operate the videotape camera
* (scenario B)You must operate the videotape camera personally
o No budget for a Media Support Specialist to go
o No qualified camera operator on-site
o Assumes basic proficiency with an analog videotape camera

Lab Exercise: View the poor training tape and write step-by-step
instructions on paper.

Standard:
* Write a title, a purpose statement, a resources table, and necessary
steps.
* Include necessary notes and hazard alerts.
* Sketch any still images you want taken from the videotape and write any
needed instructions for help from the Media Support Specialist.
* Ensure that screen shots include captions.
* Ensure the procedure is accurate, and complete.

Enabling Objective:
View the better tape and edit your step-by-step instructions.

Lab Exercise: View the training tape once.

Standard:
* Edit step-by-step instructions to add any content missed with the first
tape.
* Use different color ink for all edits.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MODULE: Considerations for Taping

Preparation ++++++++++++++++

Enabling Objective:
Estimate how much time you will need to deliver a complete written procedure
after the videotape recording is completed.
- How many replays are necessary to transcribe from videotape?
- How much information was not captured on videotape that must be gained
using SME interviews or background research?
- How long does it take to get screen shots directly from the controller?
Can a still camera photo of the screen be used instead?
- Are other SMEs needed for additional background information?

Enabling Objective:
Identify information needed.
- Review a similar procedure and identify visuals needed (screen shots,
still photos).
- Is this machine similar or the actual model?
- Is a digital high resolution still camera necessary or is the
low-resolution video image sufficient for the procedure?

Enabling Objective:
Identify actions that must be talked through and will not be on tape.
- Lockout/tagout may not be feasible on the production floor.
- Other standard actions may be more easily talked through than taped.

Enabling Objective:
Identify coaching you will want to give the SME before the videotape session
begins.
- Ask them to speak at a volume above the ambient noise level. Cleanroom
background noise is substantial and it often interferes with taped
instructions.
- Ask them to talk about what they are doing as they go, to provide a
running dialogue with tips, background information, or any other pertinent
information.

Enabling Objective:
Identify guidance for the video camera operator.
- Keep the line of sight clear. If the SME blocks the view, move or ask them
to move.
- Rehearse the taping on the actual procedure or some other action and
review the tape. Make adjustments based on the rehearsal experience.
- Rehearse on another machine in the training lab before traveling to the
remote site to get familiar with the tools TEA has available.
- Ensure sufficient blank tape
- Ensure sufficient power cords and charged batteries
- Think through camera position and angle of the shot
- Use a tripod or monopod for stability
- Preview tape in actual location to check ambient lighting and noise level
- Record the video frame number or time of all pause shots intended to be
used for still images.


Recording ++++++++++++++++

Enabling Objective:
Identify ways to find out if the SME performs well on videotape (if
possible).
- Test tape the person on something before the procedure (if possible)

Enabling Objective:
Identify points the writer needs to coach the SME during the videotape
session.
- Ask, "What are you doing?"
- Ask, "Why this material?"
- Will you please speak up, or get closer to the microphone before speaking?
- Will you clearly identify different actions?

Enabling Objective:
Identify needed information.
- Identify screens shots needed. Determine how to get them.
- Identify parts for close-up shots.
- Identify needed context scenes or zoom-in sequences that may help the user
determine "Where on the machine is this close-up located?"
- Identify still images needed so you can coach the SME to pause his motion
briefly. This prevents still video captures that are blurry.

Enabling Objective:
Identify additional challenges of operating the camera without help.
- You can get caught up in the mechanics of the camera and forget to prompt
the SME.
- You may not see things beyond the viewfinder that the SME is doing.
- More preparation may be required so you can respond quickly.



Follow-up ++++++++++++++++

Enabling Objective:
Identify benefits of transcribing the same day when possible.
- Reviewing the tape early helps identify missing information before it is
forgotten.
- Follow-up questions can be addressed during the trip.
- Still photos with flash reflections, too much lighting, too little
lighting, or blurry images can be taken again during the trip.
- The number the camera assigns to still photos can be associated with the
correct step before the association is forgotten.

Enabling Objective:
Develop questions for the SME that fill in information not captured on
videotape.

Exercise: Go to the lab with the SME and ask questions to get information
not captured on tape.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MODULE: Group Review

Enabling Objective:
Compare your estimate to the actual time needed to deliver a complete
written procedure after the videotape recording is completed.
- Was your project schedule realistic?
- How would you vary your estimate next time?
- How many replays are necessary to transcribe from videotape?
- How much information was not captured on videotape that must be gained
using SME interviews or background research?
- How long does it take to get screen shots directly from the controller?
Can a still camera photo of the screen be used instead?
- Are other SMEs needed for additional background information?

Enabling Objective:
Compare your work to what other participants did to see if you missed any
thing.

Exercise:
1. Pass your work to the person on your left.
2. As a group, go through the final procedure step by step.
3. Make editorial notes for the original author as necessary to ensure
accuracy and completeness.
4. Return to the author


-----Original Message-----
From: William Turner [mailto:whturner -at- earthlink -dot- net]
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2002 4:49 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Cc: lisa -dot- bronson -at- ipaper -dot- com
Subject: videotaping interviews with SMEs

TWhirlers,

In her post of 12/06, Lisa Bronson mentioned that she loves "taping
interviews with SME's and watching and/or listening to them over and over
to get the information I need." I had not previously heard of TWs
videotaping SMEs (although I have had valuable results doing so during
formal TOI presentations at beta releases). Videotaping SMEs earlier in
the project sounds like a good idea to me, especially if the trend
continues that I am seeing toward poorly maintained engineering specs.

However, I wonder if there might be some problems with early videotaping,
such as resistance on the part of the SMEs (the same kind of resistance
that engineers present to putting their half-formed ideas in their
engineering specs...or maybe just shyness?) or on a more formal level from
the company (potential exposure of intellectual property?). Have any of
you who have tried videotaping had negative feedback?

--- Will Turner

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