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Q: We have a library of training DVDs which I’d like to make interactive. Is this possible?

Training Design Manager
National Retail Group

A: The short answer is “yes”.

But to be sure I understand this correctly, please let me describe:

You’d like to take an existing DVD (say, 10-15 mins runtime) and break it up into its component sections or modules.

At the start of each module you’d like to add a short title so the topic is clear to the audience.

Then at the end of each module, you add a series of multiple choice questions and answer sections to validate the learning.

If the trainee gets the right answers they are automatically directed to the next section.

If they get the wrong answer they’re redirected to view the module again, and then redo the validation questions, until they get it right.

Each module works in the same way, until all the modules and all the questions have been completed, and the trainee is considered to be competent in the learning received.

The whole operation is operated by the viewer using a standard DVD remote button box.

The process of producing an interactive training DVD is carried out in three stages:

>Developing a flow chart that shows all the different sections/modules and the question and answer screens as a series of pathways – exactly like a flow chart.

>Editing the original DVD down to its component modules or sections

>Authoring the question and answer screens, and the edited modules to match the flow chart.

We can see that developing an accurate flow chart of the flow of events is the first and most important part of the production, as it represents the specification for the work.

Once this has been produced then only the editing and authoring remain.

A graphic style will also need to be developed for the Q&A screens so the graphics match the overall look and feel of the modules, and the overall corporate style.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach:


>The big plus is that where training DVDs were simply viewed, and competence assumed, there is now a validation process that ensures competency.

> The multiple choice Q&A approach is engaging for the viewer. It’s more interesting than simply watching a DVD, as it allows the person to get involved and be a part of the process, rather than simply a recipient.

>Compared with the cost of producing new videos from scratch, the DVD authoring approach is relatively cheap to deliver as the video material is already in place.

>Where there is only a DVD player and no laptop or internet/intranet, then this solution is ideal.


>The results of the training are not capturable online, as a DVD player is a standalone device, and not connected to the internet. However if this the case, then this disadvantage becomes a major advantage, as it is now possible to deliver validated video training where previously it would not have been possible.

What if intranet or laptop were available?
If there was an intranet available then the video training could be delivered:

>Online via an interactive website, complete with streaming video and online data capture of results

>Online via an interactive multimedia, which would play video at a higher quality than online streaming video. The results could still be captured online.


>DVD authoring makes interactive training very feasible

>Using existing video saves money by giving a new lease of life to videos that have already been bought and paid for

>This solution will work well where there is no intranet.

Importantly, interactive training DVD means that a higher standard of training can be delivered, and competency validated.

View our DVD training gallery here

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