I have always had an affinity toward training. In my most recent position I was tasked with formalizing our training program and creating a certification system as well. When I got started I couldn’t find a lot of information on how to do this so I’m creating a guide. I’ll backfill as much as I can as I go.
Here are the tools/resources I have in place as of today:
Zendesk (www.zendesk.com) $49/month/agent for the Plus package
Helpdesk software with free-trial. I use this to house all of my training videos and product documentation in a static fashion. The interaction is one-way; the end-user watches the video or reads the document. The helpdesk solution is good for smaller companies who don’t need a lot of flexibility and the price is right.
Moodle (www.moodle.org) $0 for the software; you will have a man-hours cost for installation and learning the software
This is an open-source Learning Management System (LMS). Our IT team installed Moodle in a Linux environment. The LMS is well-supported, regularly updated, and pretty easy to manage. There isn’t a formal training program, though, so it is a lot of trial and error.
Storyline (www.articulate.com/storyline) $1,400 with no wiggle room. They do allow for extended trials if you email them.
This is slide-based e-learning software. I like this over Adobe’s Captivate ($899) because I think it is easier to use. It doesn’t support mobile reporting to an LMS but I don’t really need that presently so this works for me. It has tons of slick features. It’s more expensive than Captivate though.
Camtasia Studio (www.techsmith.com/camtasia) $299
I use this for all of my video editing. Version 7 allows for multiple tracks, animation, and has better stock media.
Snagit (www.techsmith.com/snagit) $49
Great tool for day-to-day screenshots. I didn’t have Windows 7 when I got started so this software was a must. Windows 7 comes with a screenshot tool which can be activated by pressing the WINDOWS button and the S key.
WebEx (www.webex.com) Negotiated
Screen sharing software for online meetings. GoToMeeting works just fine, and is a bit cheaper, but lacks Outlook integration. The beautiful thing about WebEx for me is the ability to add the WebEx meeting to my calendar invites in Outlook. When I’m asked to conduct a training session, I just open up a new calendar invite and fill out the recipient list. Then I click the “Add WebEx” button to send along the details on how to get into the session. In addition, we have a messenger client, productivity tools integration for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, et. al., WebEx Training Center, and WebEx Event Center. All of these tools make my job easier. I’m still figuring out which tools are best for what situations though.
Screencast.com (www.screencast.com) Free/Premium ($99.95)
This site is pretty awesome. Screencast allows anyone to host content for free up to certain storage and bandwidth limits. The administrator of the screencast.com site can allow the videos posted to the site to be downloaded in .mp4 format. The site also allows for the creation of playlists and subsequent publishing of the playlist as an iTunes and/or RSS feed. All videos, and playlists, can be made public or private which helps out when you’re trying to keep the competition from getting too much information on your product.