A Very Cool Presentation Tool

One of my favorite tools these days is an online tool (also usable offline) called Prezi. It provides an easy way to collaborate, create, and share great-looking presentations with other people anywhere. Imagine being able to take the animation capabilities of a tool like After Effects, and the presentation possibilities of PowerPoint, and merge them into one easy-to-use program!

The first thing that stood out about Prezi is how interactive it is and how it allows me to work in a non-linear fashion with my presentation. Sometimes I get ideas when I’m working on a project, but if certain aspects of the project are not yet complete, it can be hard to move forward with that new idea. With Prezi, if an idea pops into my head, I can easily move to that part of the presentation, or at least start to create my idea right there and save it for later.

With so many different templates to choose from and the capabilities to upload your own designs, Prezi allows you to easily make your presentation stand out from the usual one-dimensional slide show. The learning curve is simple as well. You simply click where you want to make your edits and move your images where you would like them to appear. You can easily manipulate your Prezi to add images, videos, music, and more. I never thought I would say this, but it is actually kind of fun making presentations now that I use Prezi.

Here are a couple very short videos on Prezi, and a link to the Web site. Check it out!

http://www.prezi.com

Training Price Drivers (Part 1)

Creating a custom training solution involves consciously making a large number of tradeoffs between the nature and scope of the training and its costs, in order to achieve the objectives of the training. As each of these tradeoffs is being made, we like to put our clients in the driver’s seat. To that end, let’s take a look at some of the key drivers that affect the nature and scope of training solutions and their costs.

Under each heading, the lists below describe the characteristics of a learning solution that indicate greater or lesser scope and complexity and thus price, going from low to high complexity:

Length of the Training

(LOW): The training will be less than one day long.

(MEDIUM): The training will be several days or up to a week long.

(HIGH): The training is comprised of multiple courses or an entire curriculum.

Complexity of the Subject Matter

(LOW): The subject matter is straightforward and easy to learn.

(MEDIUM): The subject matter is complex and requires ramp-up time to thoroughly understand and apply.

(HIGH): The subject matter is very sophisticated and requires considerable ramp-up time or prior knowledge base to thoroughly understand and apply.

Number of SMEs/Stakeholders

(LOW): There is one or a small number of SMEs and stakeholders that are easily accessible. Decision making and approvals will be fairly straightforward.

(MEDIUM): There are a fairly large number of SMEs and stakeholders. Decision making and approvals will be more difficult.

(HIGH): There are a large number of SMEs and stakeholders that may be geographically dispersed. Decision making and approvals will be difficult.

Extent of New Training Material

(LOW): The training involves an update of existing training materials and may require a change in delivery method. The content exists either electronically or on paper and is fairly up-to-date.

(MEDIUM): The training involves development of a new training course. The content is more difficult to obtain and may require working closely with SMEs.

(HIGH): The training involves a new training course or curriculum or extensive changes to existing training. The content is more difficult to obtain and may require working closely with SMEs and stakeholders and/or conducting outside research.

Training Price Drivers (Part 2)

These price drivers relate specifically to those issues which drive the price of e-learning development.

Complexity of the Presentation

(LOW): The training includes text, graphics, and simple audio.

(MEDIUM): The training includes text, graphics, audio, custom graphics and some animation.

(HIGH): The training includes text, graphics, audio, software simulations, animation, and video. A photo shoot is required, custom graphics need to be created, professional audio needs to be recorded, simulations of software need to be captured, custom animations need to be created, and video needs to be recorded.

Level of Interactivity

(LOW): The training is a page-turner with no branching or interactivity.

(MEDIUM): The training includes interactivity, such as branching scenarios or simulations.

(HIGH): The training includes extensive interactivity including branching scenarios and simulations.

Mode of Delivery

(LOW): The training is delivered via the Internet or via CDs or DVD, with no tracking or LMS involved. Participants have access to the latest technology to access the training. Testing can be performed remotely.

(MEDIUM): The training needs to be delivered via the Internet, or via CD or DVD. Cover art and instructions need to be created, CDs/DVDs pressed, tested, and delivered. The training needs to be loaded onto an LMS and tested. AICC and/or SCORM tracking needs to be tested. Testing can be performed remotely.

(HIGH): The training needs to be delivered via multiple modes, including CD, DVD, and Internet. LMS must be implemented. The multiple modes need to be tested. Testing needs to take place both at the client’s site and remotely. Testing is required on multiple platforms and browsers.

Training Price Drivers (Part 3)

These price drivers describe other issues that will drive the price of training development.

Extent of Needs Assessment

(LOW): Minor or moderate needs assessment is required and the project is fairly well pre-defined and scoped. Stakeholders and SMEs can answer most project questions in a kickoff meeting, but the project may require additional review of training materials or other data for scoping.

(MEDIUM): A fairly involved needs assessment is required. The project is partially defined and scoped. The needs assessment requires a few of the following: interviews with end-users, stakeholders, business partners, customers, and SMEs; surveys with the above groups, observation of end-users, independent research, and/or review of available data.

(HIGH): An extensive needs assessment is required and the project is not well defined or scoped. The needs assessment requires extensive interviews and surveys, observation of end-users in their job roles, work-flow analysis, review of end-user output, independent research, and/or review of available data.

Pre- and Post-Assessment

(LOW): Industry standard pre- and post-tests are required. Kirkpatrick level 1 assessment (i.e., did they like it) is required.

(MEDIUM): Complex, interactive scenarios or simulations are used to assess pre- and post-training knowledge. Kirkpatrick level 1 and 2 assessments (i.e., did they like it, what was learned) are required.

(HIGH): Complex, interactive scenarios or simulations are used to assess pre- and post-training knowledge. Kirkpatrick level 1, 2 and 3 assessments (i.e., did they like it, what was learned, how did behaviors change) are required.

Audience Types and Numbers

(LOW): There are a fairly small number of participants. The participants may all be in one geographic location or all have the same job, and have no technological issues. Turnover is low.

(MEDIUM): There are a fairly large number of participants. They may be geographically dispersed and/or have different job roles and varying technological issues. Turnover is moderate.

(HIGH): There are a large number of participants that are geographically dispersed, have different job roles, are of different ages, and have varying technological issues. There is extremely high yearly turnover.

Audience Level of Customization

(LOW): All participants will go through the same training using the same training materials.

(MEDIUM): Participants may require different paths through the training. Different materials may be required for the other paths. Translation into another language is required.

(HIGH): Participants will require different paths through the training or special accommodations to take the training. Different materials are required for the other paths. Translation into multiple languages is required.

How Does the Video Production Process Work?

Working with you and your subject matter experts, and based on the scope, objectives, and requirements of the project, we identify the project’s deliverables, including the video segments, their length, mode of delivery (e.g., DVD, online video, broadcast), and resolution. Then we produce a video treatment, describing the entire production from the point of view of the learner, including the overall direction of the video, the kind of locations, situations, stories, and images used, and its pacing, look and feel, and tone.

Next comes the storyboard, a rough visual sketch of the shots in each video, and the script, a description of all verbal and visual content and the action. The shot list is then derived from the scripts. It reorders the scripts to reflect the order in which the footage will actually be shot. This helps with planning the shoot based on location, people, or setup, not the order of the story.

The times, locations, cast, any necessary releases, any special talent, props, dress, people, setup and breakdown are described in the shoot schedule. The shoot then takes place and we capture and inventory all raw assets: video (scene, take number, time codes), audio, images, text, graphics.

In post-production we edit the video footage, add titles, graphics, menus and any animations and special effects. We record the voiceovers and add sound effects and music.

We deliver a “rough edit” for you to review, and discuss any changes, and then produce the final cut, package as necessary, and deliver.