Videos are always available; they never tire of answering the same questions, or making the same points over and over again. They can be used online or downloaded, or sent on disc or key. They can be used in many different ways or combinations of circumstances, including those below.
Demonstrations of products (not just software) used in real situations. These can include live video, narration, extra information slides, information call-outs, highlights, zoom and pan, roll-over, and other devices. Generally, though, the simpler they are, the better the result.
Can be used for sales or marketing, as tutorial/help modules for existing customers or for internal company-wide training. Company templates or watermarks can maintain brand image throughout.
Here, users navigate their way through a software application or a series of situations, following instructions in various levels of detail. Different actions can produce different, tailored responses. The actions can also be scored and timed.
Quizzes and question scenarios can be interspersed throughout a simulation, and different responses can lead into different modules or further, amplifying questions.
This type of module can also take the weight off a Help department, by answering the most widely asked questions.
These modules should also be usable in an LMS, subject to the usual problems apparently inherent in the use of an LMS, and the level of knowledge of those supporting the LMS system.
Training & Testing
A combination of demonstration and simulation, or of information and a range of question-types, can provide a solid knowledge and skills base.
Soft skills can also be trained to a surprising degree with these methods.
The types of question available, depending on the software used, can include multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, short answer, matching, drag and drop, hot spot, sequence, and a Likert scale input. Some types of question can be pictorial, rather than written.
Different requirements can be best matched by different software applications. Those used so far have included Captivate, Camtasia and Flair, with support from SnagIt, Fireworks, Illustrator, Photoshop Elements, Sony Vegas Pro, Flash Pro 8, Wave Pad Sound Editor, Audition, NG Wave and Sonar.