Shortly after completing my eLearning Instructional Design certificate program, I visited the new LinkedIn Learning Portal. Captivate 9 came up as one of the courses for me (not surprising, since this is a tool I use).
I knew the course instructor was an Adobe Captivate employee, because I had watched several lessons and webinars by the same instructor over the past few years. The striking observation about this course was that the curriculum of the course closely followed the functionality of the software.
While focusing on software function isn't necessarily a bad thing (it's obviously better than nothing), it fell short of the mark for me as a learner, especially for such a complicated tool, because learning focused on the software function doesn't always address what the user really needs to learn how to do (or why, or when).
In the last two posts, I've taken you through the process of creating a tutorial video and an online interactive lesson. The examples I've provided contrast a video focused on a software feature/function with a lesson focused on a specific task including context for the task. Of course a tutorial video COULD be more task oriented. And just adding some clicks to a lesson might not necessarily redeem it, if it is focused on a software feature.
The point I'd like to make is that these are two different types of products with two different goals.
Videos are a great way to introduce prospective customers to your product. At that point, it's not necessary to train them on the nuances of how or why or when to use the feature, you are just showing what is possible. And if the budget is tight, maybe that video is enough to cover your bases on customer training, even though it may not be perfect.
I had hoped in preparing these examples that I could gain some efficiencies in covering the same feature or task in two different ways. However, what I found was that I couldn't really reuse any of the video clip in creating my interactive lesson. When I wrote the script for the video, I had software function in mind rather than user task. The interactive lesson was designed from the perspective of the user task instead.
While videos are well-suited to prospective customers, interactive training provides a great customer experience for new customers who need to learn how to use the tool they just invested in. It can also be great for just-in-time training when customers progress with the tool and want to accomplish something that they don't yet know how to do.