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Engineer’s and Technical Writer’s View
Here are some tips and ideas to help you convert technical content into engaging eLearning programs.
Unbundling Content – From Technical View to Learner View
To make technical training engaging, we need to re-think the content and switch from the technical view (engineer, technical writer or subject matter expert (SME) point of view) to the learner or user point of view. Below is an illustration showing the comparison between the Technical View and the Learner View. The unbundling process allows us to successfully identify elements or parts of the content that help the learners gain knowledge and apply the content to different situations and delivery methods.
Content on Certification of Systems Administrators in Networking
Click here to view example of 15 Minute Slideshow (partial pages only)
Weaving technical content with cases/scenarios
These are suggested steps to weave technical content with cases and scenarios.
Gather cases, scenarios and stories of how the content actually helps in real-work situations. See Instant Learning: How it works and how to make it happen
This is done by identifying the 20% of the content and the related cases in real-life work situations and their impacts on performance. For example, though login information is important, it is probably less significant compared to the consequence when users of the software fail to enter the right data for patient diagnostics or an employee classification (hourly or exempt). The effect of wrong data entry has potential catastrophic repercussions in billing, compliance, and others. So, instead of instructing learners on the features of the right data entry, we start with the cases and scenarios that heighten the positive or negative values and impacts of the specific feature and function.
In this example, when do we get to use the detailed guide or instruction? The detailed content becomes a reference, guide or resource. This serves as a valuable on-the-job learning and quick reference.
The number of cases and scenarios to be used depends on the amount of must-learn content you want learners to focus on, immediately. Should the learner need to connect a case or scenario to a detailed reference for a better comprehension of the case and content, it will be wise to provide a link to such reference.
This is a software demo (compliments of Articulate.com) demonstrating how it combines a case / scenario and story to connect the technical content with a specific story by the narrator.
Instant Learning: How it works and how to make it happen
eLearning Design for Short Attention Span and Overloaded Learners