Re: Best tools for producing training material?

Subject: Re: Best tools for producing training material?
From: TGREER <tgreer -at- bowvalleyc -dot- ab -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2001 10:19:22 -0700


In my experience as a course designer (or instructional designer as the
"official" title goes), the best tools depend on the task. Is all of the
training conducted by a person lecturing at the front of the room (sage on
the stage)? If so, then I think Powerpoint will do the trick. Using
Authorware for simple, lecture style content delivery is a bit of overkill,
IMHO. I can't speak to the business world, but in academia, CBT is on the
wane and Web-based training is what's becoming popular.

There's a lot of benefits to using the Web, but only if it fits your
audience's needs. There are lots of Web-based courseware products, some
designed for "any time, any place" delivery and others focused on meeting at
the same time, different places. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Our
institution uses WebCT for study guides and testing primarily. We use Flash
(Macromedia) for interactive Web-based content. Dabble a bit with Authorware
and Director, but it's a small piece of the web-based puzzle.

If I were hiring someone to design instructor-lead, classroom-based
instruction, I'd want them to be proficient in a word processor, publishing
package and a presentation package. I'd also expect that they could create
web pages (I don't really care what HTML editor they use, but they should
know some basic code for "tweaking"). It would be nice if they could use a
piece of software that create animations such as Flash or something similar.
The need for animations depends on your content, of course. For us it's very
beneficial, for other settings it may be less so.

Hope that helps. If you want more specifics about WebCT, I'd be happy to
oblige. We're not affiliated, just reasonably satisfied customers.


Tasha Greer, Instructional Designer
Bow Valley College, Calgary, Alberta
tgreer -at- bowvalleyc -dot- ab -dot- ca

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ian -dot- saunders -at- vf -dot- vodafone -dot- co -dot- uk
> [mailto:ian -dot- saunders -at- vf -dot- vodafone -dot- co -dot- uk]
> Sent: Friday, February 09, 2001 3:36 AM
> Subject: Best tools for producing training material?

> Apart from them requiring the
> skills of a
> training course designer, what tools should they be competent
> at using? We
> have toyed with PDF files and Powerpoint occasionally in the
> past, but are
> they the pinnacle of the presenter's art? What tools should a
> modern course
> designer be using, and what ones do they want to adopt in the
> near future?

> Thanks!
> Ian Saunders
> Vodafone Ltd.

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