RE: Software Training: Video only -v- Blended

Subject: RE: Software Training: Video only -v- Blended
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'TechWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2016 12:38:22 -0400

The big plus for video is that it engages multiple senses and that it can
show physical actions in a way that is hard to describe in words or even
show in static diagrams. The big minus is that it is linear and has a forced
pace.

These basic properties define the boundaries of its applicability. It works
superlatively for physical processes that do not involve a rewiring of the
reader's view of how processes work or how they apply to business problems.
That is a substantial piece of turf, and it if your entire documentation
problem fits into that turf, video only training is a good choice.

Where the reader is struggling with a concept or when their view of the
world is at odds with the way a product or a process works, the reader's
path through content is typically no linear and self-paced. The linear
forced-pace of video works less well here. And if what you need to
communicate is more abstract rather than physical, video loses its edge over
text.

This should not be a discussion about which is best, therefore, but about
what you are trying to communicate, who your audience is, and where their
heads are now.

I have read the case for video argued many times. Every time it has been
argued in text. I think that speaks volumes. Text is our most flexible, most
universal form of communication. Every other form of communication has a
narrower range of applicability than text. Each can outperform text in its
sweet spot, sometimes by a wide margin. None can replace text across the
board.

If all your communication needs fit into video's sweet spot, then using only
video makes sense. But no one should fall into the trap of assuming that if
video proves more effective than text for one communication task it must be
more effective for all of them.

Text is water. Video is wine. Wine is better than water for some occasions,
but water is the universal beverage.

Mark



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Tony Chung
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2016 12:14 PM
To: Stuckey, Ginger
Cc: TechWR-L (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)
Subject: Re: Software Training: Video only -v- Blended

Ginger,

Excellent topic, and pertinent to my current work. Here's an story that may
demonstrate my preference:

I was helping a colleague remotely to edit a video using Camtasia. When I
didn't know something, I searched for it. Camtasia training is provided only
through video. I found the topic I needed for the version we used, and
watched it while on a screen sharing session with my colleague. I paused at
points, found the part that looked right, then shared the knowledge.

To me, it was effective that the video content matched the topic title. If
the title were one thing but the video showed another, it wouldn't have
worked so well. On the downside, I didn't like having to scan the video to
find the specific content I wanted. I would have preferred to see a summary
below the video that explained what the video contained.

However, knowing how difficult it is to create videos of a consistent
quality on a repeatable basis, and the fact Camtasia is first and foremost a
video editing software, I don't hold it against them. I still manage to
solve my problems because of their excellent content strategy.

My two sense. (Or is that horse scents? LOL)

Cheers,
-Tony

On Thursday, 17 March 2016, Stuckey, Ginger <X2BVSHEW -at- southernco -dot- com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I'm back with another question. My company is switching some
> engineering software so they can get better metrics and make 3D and 2D
> models more intelligent. It is a major philosophy shift. Key team
> members from each engineering discipline are going through different
> types of training. Out of that, we need to train the rest of the
employees.
>
> The person who is supposed to oversee training thinks video only is
> the way to go. You can find all kinds of documentation to support that
> but not much specific to software training (so far).
>
> My position, as an experienced writer, is that you need a blended
> approach. Video is fine but have some written documentation to go
> along with it so that users have something to refer to later if they
> don't want to find or watch a video. Documentation can be in any
> format so don't get hung up on that. I also think videos should be no
> longer than 5 to 7 minutes not 15 or longer. Users also need someone
> available to ask questions and that should be part of the mix.
>
> Based on your experience in the real world, what works for software
> training.
>
> Ginger Stuckey
> Technical Publications - Design
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
> and content development | http://techwhirl.com
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca
> <javascript:;>.
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <javascript:;>
>
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com <javascript:;>.
> Visit http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more
> resources and info.
>
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
>
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


Follow-Ups:

References:
Software Training: Video only -v- Blended: From: Stuckey, Ginger
Re: Software Training: Video only -v- Blended: From: Tony Chung

Previous by Author: Re: OT: "Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubbleâ
Next by Author: RE: "Surviving the Dying Career of Technical Writing"
Previous by Thread: Re: Software Training: Video only -v- Blended
Next by Thread: Re: Software Training: Video only -v- Blended


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads