Monday, May 4, 2009

CBT Monkey Thought of the Day

(Yes, I know...I am a slacker of a sorry...)

Here's a little nugget of knowledge I've found to be true when working in the realm of CBT for internal clients - Want to have these clients be more understanding of your timelines and how the review process works w/r/t CBT? Let them develop the source material for you!

As we work predominantly with Adobe Captivate, our niche training market is to recreate the user experience of using an Electronic Medical Record. We've gotten away from Captivate's innate functionality which is to captuare motion and interaction on a screen and, instead, create more of a 'simulation' than a 'demonstration' by utilizing static images and required actions. So, that's what we (the deisgners/developers) do...

Part of working with Electronic Medical Records is realizing that there's not just one EMR...there's many subdivisions beneath this umbrella and, as such, many areas of specialty. Examples include, but are certainly not limited to: Outpatient, Inpatient, Surgery, Emergency, and so on. For us (the team of two) to go in, navigate around whatever specialty area is requesting CBT to be developed, and capture not only screenshots, but accurate screenshots would require functionla knowledge that only the 'subdivision' analysts and users would have.

Solution? We created a PowerPoint based template that directly mirrors our Captivate template both in form and function. In the PowerPoint version, though, all fields are editable, so that the SMEs can insert their approved (and, what's more, CORRECT) verbiage/explanations. The SMEs can also Alt+PrntScrn for each 'click of the mouse', as we tell them, and paste each screen into PowerPoint. Highlight the area you want focused on with the pre-made highlight box, add your text...and you're done! Not only is the subject material accurate, but it's in a format that allows the client the chance to see what it looks like as a CBT, rather than just having a figurative picture in their head until 2 or 3 weeks later.

The first question I get asked about this method is usually, "How do you get your SMEs to do this?" Quite simple, really - If you explain to a SME that (a) Allowing me (the developer) to go through and attempt to capture screens/action correctly will only end up in endless edits/corrections, (b) This method will allow you to more easily translate updates/changes to the developer (instead of having to recreate the source doc over and over again), and (c) Preparing the source document like this will cut the time it takes for your course to go-live AT LEAST in half....well, if you explain these things, they tend to like the idea.

Does it take the SME more time? Up front, yes - but when it comes off, Version 1.0, looking like it's been through a couple of rounds of edits, the benefits of this method of Subject Matter Documentation are pretty clear.

If any of you (the three people that might read this) have any questions, just let me know. Let's hear it for monthly updates!