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First steps for managers producing an interactive training multimedia

Interactive training multimedia can help the training or safety manager to meet targets through innovation

- taking workforce engagement and education to a new level, beyond video, computer-based, or powerpoint training.

For distance learners there's no substitute to getting involved with graphics, animation, video, images, voiceover, music, quizzes & multiple choice tests to generate deeper levels of interactivity and learning.

Because it's all digital, the results of a training multimedia can be automatically linked into your Learning Management System (LMS).


Before you start

Speak to your IT department.

I know some managers deliberately avoid this as they feel a conversation with IT will only make things "more complicated".

Not so.

You'll need to know if:

  • Your PCs are multimedia-ready, or is there at least one multimedia ready PC at every branch or depot
  • The company bandwidth be able to deal with your online usage
  • You have an LMS. If you have, what is needed to link your training multimedia application with the LMS database
  • ¬†There is a preferred multimedia authoring system

IT will be your friend, answering all these questions.

And if you involve them early on, they'll help you navigate your way through.

My own suspicion is that managers who don't like involving IT are people who previously failed to involve them until it was too late.


In the early planning stages

Plan ahead how you wish to engage each individual group of learners. This can happen right from the get-go.

For example, the menus in your multimedia can be interactive

- so that managers logon as managers and only see training content related to them

- while colleagues logon as colleagues, to access only their content.

In this way, users are taken on a custom training route, only relevant to the specific material they need.

Extending this use of interactivity, you can start by developing a few ideas how you could use interactivity to facilitate better learning, ie, learning that sticks.

You can deploy quizzes, tests and games

- backing these up with images, animation or video

- where users can point & click and make choices.

You can simulate whole processes this way if you wish. The more realistic you can make it, the better the learning.

By contrast, many multimedias I've seen are really just an ebook lecture in an online disguise, something that doesn't really engage, and leads to users quickly clicking from page to page without really absorbing the content, aiming to finish as fast as possible and get back to work.

Because users are often at their desks when working through multimedia training, they have lots of distractions, emails, and colleagues calling them up. So a media-rich experience is important if you intend to keep their attention.

A point to keep in mind is that half of elearning packages get abandoned before completion, leaving their line manager or training manager with the chore of catching up with people who haven't completed.

Taking a fresh approach with a genuinely interactive multimedia production is the surest way to retain audience engagement.

You can build the stuff of dreams.


More on keeping users engaged

Does it surprise you that half or more of users fail to complete their elearning course?

This points to a failure to sufficiently motivate audiences, and keep them motivated.

So why not offer a prize on completion?

Or a penalty if they don't complete by a set deadline? This has been known to work with suppliers, and other more remote learners.

And overall, make the package look inviting and fun to do - from the first Intro menu to the final test.

Blended learning helps here. By blended learning I mean training that comprises a mix of online learning and a human tutor.

Motivation increases with blended learning, and stricter deadlines can usually be applied.


Getting started

The best advice when thinking about how to get started with a new interactive training multimedia is to start small and then test, wherever possible.

Build a model. Try it out on friendly users first.

This Model/Test approach will ensure you don't make big mistakes that are expensive to fix later on in the production cycle.



Speak to your IT department early.

Use everything that multimedia can offer. Don't feel limited or restricted in your vision.

Blended learning aids motivation

Be prepared to test small pilots and models to arrive at the optimal result, and avoid expensive late-stage headaches.

These first steps will help any manager get their interactive training multimedia production underway smoothly.


Further reading: How to assess whether you need an interactive multimedia video induction - or not

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