Steps to screencast success

  1. Start with an Outline – Before recording, take time to outline the topics the video will cover so you can create a flow, much like you would do for a live presentation.
  2. Focus on the Audience’s Needs – Your outline should help you identify the unique problem you are solving for your audience. Keep it in mind as you go through the screencast so it’s completely relevant to those following along.
  3. Get a Good Mic – As with all audio, clarity is vital. Invest in a really good microphone that helps eliminate background noise and static. It will make the necessary editing work much easier to manage.
  4. Lock Out the Noise Makers – Even if you have an excellent mic, your screencast can go downhill fast with dogs barking, kids screaming and phones ringing.
  5. Consider Separating Audio and Video – If you find that recording the video and the audio at the same time is too much and you’re having trouble talking while you click, do the video first then go back and record the audio separately.
  6. Clean Up Your Desktop – If you have 173 icons sitting on your desktop and plan to open apps from that location during the video, clean it up and remove unused clutter. Not only will it cut down on the time it takes you to find what you’re looking for, but it will also look a lot more professional.
  7. Close Out Apps – Before starting, exit all of the applications you won’t be using to avoid interruptions (email notifications, IM pings, etc.). This will also speed up the processing of the apps you are using.
  8. Plan a Dress Rehearsal – Do a walk-through before you start recording. While you don’t want to over practice, going through the video at least once will make it more natural and smooth.
  9. Be Confident – You know your stuff, that’s why you’re making a screencast. Let your experience and confidence show.
  10. Speak Slowly – As with any presentation, think about what you’re saying, take time to breathe and try to pace yourself. Sure you can go back and edit, but consciously thinking about your speed will cut down on the edits you need to make.
  11. Take Breaks – If you find that you are talking faster than you’d like, hit pause. One of the best things about making a screencast is that you control the process, so if you need to take five, do it.
  12. Try Improvisation Instead of Starting Over – Don’t let your breaks stop your progression. Instead of stopping, rewinding and starting over when something doesn’t come out right, try to go with the flow and see what happens.
  13. Let Go of Perfection –When you do misclick, misspeak or make a mistake, it’s OK. Unless you’re doing a screencast on the perfect screencast, little gaffes are expected and make you more relatable.
  14. Give it a Day to Rest – Once you’ve completed your recording, get away from it. Give yourself a break from the intense focus.
  15. Edit and Clean Up – Plan at least a day after your break to clean up and fine-tune your screencast. And it’s always a great idea to have someone else review with a fresh eye before publishing.

Learning design: How to

I use design thinking and SAM (Successive Approximation Model).

Design thinking and SAM

By doing some user research find out what challenges the learning faces, how much time they have to do the learning, where are they based, what are their technical limitations. This can be done using a survey or by running focus groups. Create learner personas from the user findings.

Define the problem (savvy start) this involves scoping out the project with the SME. Invite the following to the first meeting. Budget maker, person who owns the performance problem, SME, potential learners, recent learners, Project Manager, Instructional Designer.

I use the action mapping technique to further develop the scope of the project. What is the business goal? We also want to know what levels of experience or knowledge the learners have, what are the learning objectives, how will the effectiveness of the training be measured. This is not a comprehensive list of questions for the SME.

Ideate, this stage requires potential solutions to be discussed and created, I create a storyboard, which could involve a simple wireframe with navigation and then a mock-up can be created.

Iterative design, Design – Prototype – Review (regular catch ups with SME).

Iterative development, Develop – Implement – Evaluate.

In summary, this allows for an agile way of developing learning solutions and we put measures in place by creating the evaluation form from the start.

What model do you use? Is ADDIE still fit for purpose?

Learning Live Conference

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the Learning Live Conference in London but there are some really good blogs and links to look at. One of which is Julian stodd’s blog

and Craig Taylors blog

and David Kelly’s backchannel

Did any of you attend? Your thoughts