Below are four scenarios which illustrate realistic online training
projects, each with their own goals and objectives. Although the names and
facts here are fictitious, the underlying methods and techniques are
representative of how real-world training is developed and implemented.
Scenario 1: Software Training, Screen
Tom has been assigned the responsibility of developing training
material for the rollout of a new accounting software product.
The students will be spread across several locations and will
use a variety of computers with various software configurations.
Tom wants to be able to show his learners the actual screens, and
actual user activity, that this accounting software involves.
Tom has a limited budget and won't be able to hire outside
consultants to create his screen-based in-motion learning content.
Also, the fact that his online students have different computer
software on their desktops means that "plug-ins" for the users
machines would be undesirable.
- After doing some research, Tom decides that he will use Flash
movies to show his 'live action" software captures. Flash
streams well over the internet, and students will already have the
Flash player integrated into their web browsers.
- Tom chooses Adobe's Captivate product to perform the screen
captures and create the Flash movies (there are other products
available). He breaks his course outline into small, digestible
sections that each cover one activity that users perform in the
accounting system. He saves all the screen "movies" in Captivate
and uses a simple interface in Captivate to create the Flash movies.
- Tom likes the narration concept, and he records a set of narrations
on his multimedia-enabled computer and saves them in the efficient MP3 audio format. One narration
matches each of the movies he created earlier and turned into Flash.
Tom uploads the Flash movies and the MP3 audio narrations into the
FlexTraining Media Library.
- Finally, he builds learning screens in FlexAuthoring that include
the Flash movies and the appropriate audio narrations. He also
builds several learner exercises, using the provided templates, to
insure that his online students are engaged and learning.
Scenario 2: Soft Skills, Video Clips
Starting this year, Deborah's company has a new strict policy
against sexual harassment. She has been asked to prepare an
online course to help educate employees on the nature of, and ways to
recognize, behavior that may be inappropriate.
Deborah feels the best way to communicate simulated "soft skills"
interpersonal behavior is through the use of full-motion video.
She wants to record employees interacting with other staff and
customers in typical work
Deborah needs to have something ready to use in a couple of weeks,
without breaking her budget with high production costs.
- Since planning is essential, Deborah analyzes various ways to
capture video and present it over the internet. She has access
to a digital movie camera and a tripod, and connects a standard microphone.
She writes several scenarios and assembles her "actors" who
are actually co-workers.
- Videos are recorded and saved in the Windows AVI format. She
chooses a movie size of 480 pixels wide by 320 pixels high, which will fit on the screen
easily and allow some room for text below it. Some of the videos
have to be shot a few times before Deborah is content with the visual
and sound quality.
- Afterward, she edits the videos on her computer, adding transitions
(fade in and out) and on-screen captions for a more professional
look. When she has finished editing, she converts the videos to
Flash format, using the standard Flash development tool. She
could have chosen to convert the videos to the streaming WMV format,
which is also bandwidth-friendly. She knew she could not
actually use the videos while they were in the AVI format, because the
AVI files were very large.
- Once she has created all her Flash movies, Deborah uploads them
into the FlexTraining Media Library and incorporates them into her
- Deborah also has some PowerPoint presentations she wants to use.
She converts these to Flash as well (using the PowerConverter
software from PresentationPro, one of several tools available for
this purpose). From there she uploads them to the media library and
utilizes the flash movies as multimedia items in her course's
Scenario 3: Safety
Training, Simple Text and Images
Tony is in change of safety training at his manufacturing company.
He sees education costs rising as people are brought in from distant
locations to attend classroom training. He does not have a large
staff to support his mission - only one administrative assistant is
available to him.
After careful consideration, Tony decides that the best way to cut
costs and still offer effective training is to deploy an online
training system like FlexTraining. He wants to have a set of
courses up and running in three weeks.
Tony realizes that many of the staff who will utilize the online
training will be using dial-up lines to connect to the internet, and
some will not even have speakers attached to their computers.
Therefore the training material needs to be bandwidth-friendly and
should not include multimedia.
- Some of the handouts and PowerPoint presentations that were used
in classroom training contain images and text that will be useful in
online courses. Tony reviews these materials, and pulls out
many photographs, charts and text material related to safety rules
- Tony lays out each course in a simple Microsoft Word document,
placing images and text in a logical flow in order to get his ideas
across to the learner. These scripts will form the basis of
his individual learning screens within each course.
- To quickly add interactivity, Tony inserts a learner exercise
after every third learning screen. These are also part of the
course outline he creates in Word.
- Tony uses FlexAuthoring to create the actual learning screens
for his course, choosing various templates to add some variety.
He also edits and re-sequences the screens until he is content with
the final result. He builds a multiple-choice test at the end
of the course to assess the level of learning being accomplished.
- Finally, Tony uses the FlexTraining Scheduling Wizard to publish
the course and begins enrolling online students.
Scenario 4: Technical
Training, Extremely Tight Deadline
Lisa has a just been handed an online training project with a very
tight deadline. She is concerned that the quality of the
training material will suffer because of the super aggressive
Management has decided that online courses need to be available to
sales personnel in one week. The FlexTraining software just
arrived yesterday and was installed on the company web server this
morning, so no FlexTraining work has been done yet.
Lisa will not have any help in building her courses, and has other
responsibilities besides the online training project. She needs
to build her course content as quickly as possible.
- The built-in authoring tool provides excellent navigation,
bookmarks and flexible templates. However, it is not unusual
for customers to create courses outside of the authoring tool simply
by assembling existing files. Knowing this will allow her to
build courses almost instantly, Lisa begins to look for existing files
- Lisa finds a collection of documents that cover her desired
material. The documents are in PDF format and include text and
imbedded images. She knows that having pre-built documents
will save her the work of building learning screens, even though this
technique does not always produce the best learning experience.
- She confirms that her learners will all have the Adobe PDF reader
on their computers, so they will be able to view the material in the
online courses. She would have the same issue to deal with if
she had chosen to use PowerPoint files, Word documents or Excel
- Lisa uploads the documents to the FlexTraining Content Library and
assembles them into courses using the menu-driven Content Builder.
FlexTraining provides basic navigation, tracking, bookmarking, testing
and reporting, even for file-based courses like Lisa's.
- The courses are scheduled using the Scheduling Wizard and Lisa
meets her deadline. Management agrees that when time allows,
Lisa will go back and gradually revise her courses. She will re-create her material in
the authoring tool, lesson by lesson, for better navigation and interactivity. She
can work on one course at a time without shutting down her active