Thursday, November 4, 2010

Push Your Virtual Training to the Edge: Enhance the Experience with Sharepoint (C. Skifstad/R. Russell)

Let's Play a Game...

Sets the session up with a Role Play – We are all Designers and Developers for the ABC Corporation. Leaders have come to us with a request. They are starting to make places to hold their annual planning conference for 400 employees. Without compromising any aspect, how do we build something that addresses these objectives?


It’s a solution that seems to be helpful when storyboards won’t cut it (too linear). Allows more for the ‘what-ifs’, as opposed to the more ‘Point A/Point B’ storyboard. There’s a lot of software that offers Wireframe capacity (including Micorosoft Publisher). Basically, a Wireframe is nothing more than a very high level, rough design that allows for the plotting of elements visually.

30 Days Later...and beyond

Speaker goes from Wireframe to real-world Sharepoint site which looks pretty slick. End-users receive a welcome letter via email with a URL to the Sharepoint site. Comes complete with a ‘teaser video’ (Note: a la pre-release demo vid, this would be a good way to engage the learners before we engage the learners…shirt before the shirt, if you will).

“If it’s not mandatory, you still want them to be there…”

What I'm Noticing...

I think we use it well enough for what we need to do in and among our own team, but we could do so much more. From Flash to Captivate, the navigation and feel alone could engage learners more instantly and, what's more, more informally. Engage, engage, engage...the word of the day.

Note: These folks are using Sharepoint straight out of the box and an older version...even more reassuring. Speakers admitted that this model they are showing was a bit 'pumped up' for presentation's sake. Still doesn't deter me from getting more goodness into our SP usage...

Make The Shift From Live to Virtual

- Encourage users to explore, check out other learners' profiles, and so forth.
- Practice navigating the site and allow your learners to do so, as well. Give them rehearsal time to get in their and get their virtual hands virtually dirty.
- Be prepared for the Event. Make sure all relevant documents were downloaded and made available so there's no "I didn't get the memo" moment.
- Group leaders, segmented chats (breakout groups), and conference calls can further simulate the virtual experience.
- The breakout groups and monitored feedback is, essentially, a way to take attendance without taking attendance.
- Encourage learners to think outside the box and futuristically. Develop your training accordingly.

In Closing

Not a whole lot that surprised or amazed me, just simply based off of my usage already. With that said, there were some cosmetic/aesthetic elements that caught my eye and it truly felt immersive, even for having just been housed in Sharepoint. I am encouraged by seeing this and would like to push the envelope a bit more upon returning home...

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