If you've ever asked: "What is the difference between designing a software training course and developing it...and why does it matter?" The answer is simpler than it may appear. And it is important in helping you create a repeatable, scalable, and un-daunting approach to creating software training courses.
There comes a time in many enterprise software companies when customer education becomes a priority. Your product starts to gain traction, customers start asking for (demanding) training, and they begin to expect real training. What makes things even more scary is that these training requests seem to snowball. Now, multiple customers want training in the same week, you don't have any materials, and you are the only one doing training. Too late to say "No" because sales has already promised training.
In a recent LA Times column, featured high school calculus instructor Anthony Yom propelled his students to achieve a 95% pass rate for the AP calculus exam. The impressive part is he achieved this feat in an underpriviledged part of Los Angeles not known for high acadeic achievement.
If you work in the enterprise cloud space and have been asked to develop training for customers, you understand first hand how difficult it is to keep that training content current when the product you support is changing so quickly. Whether your company ships releases daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, enterprise software training can become outdated very quickly. It is therefore daunting to build customer training programs when you know content will be outdated in a matter of weeks.
"The growth in the internet, 24-hour television, and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986," states The Telegraph news correspondent Richard Alleyne in a report on the unique circumstances of the current information age."
There is a massive flow of content being churned out each day by the billions of people inhabiting this world, so it's no surprise we often feel the side effects of information overload. And with five times more material being poured into our streams of consciousness, we must now filter out the pertinent information from the rubble. While our post-modern brains have been hard-wired to process this excess amount of content, it may come to a surprise that people only remember 20% of what they read. On the other hand, we tend to recall at least 80% of what we see and do. So according to most medical journals, your vision trumps all other senses. Looks like there's a clear winner when it comes to intuitive information processing.
Whether we like it or not, powering up a laptop and signing into a course has become significantly easier than physically sitting through a lecture. While we often lose sleep over the pros and cons of traditional lectures versus online learning, we have to admit that the momentum is headed towards the latter. The truth is, we instinctively want what's better, faster, and cheaper. However, this trifecta can only be accomplished in very rare situations–therefore, we must adjust the variables accordingly to fit the needs of our audience. Here's where eLearning comes into play.