Creating Online Materials
There are three main variations of training materials used for online delivery of self paced training materials. The simplest and easiest to set up is a basic PDF version of a workbook or course materials. The advantages are, it is typically fast to set up, low cost to produce, and easy to maintain and update. The disadvantages are, it does not protect the intellectual property of the materials very well, and reading a manual is considered a lower level training experience for the trainees.
An improvement on the PDF version is to create a PowerPoint set of slides which can include text, audio narrations, embedded video clips, and images to make the materials more interesting. The PowerPoint is then converted to a Flash or video format for use online. The advantages are a higher level of trainee satisfaction and better learning experience. The disadvantage is it takes more time and resources to set up the training materials and to update and maintain.
An improvement on the PowerPoint is the use of full video with interactive capabilities. This involves using video files which can be customized to include interactive options to build on the learning experience and insert test questions to measure and monitor trainee progress. The advantages are a higher level of trainee satisfaction as the learning can be made to resemble more of a game like experience. The disadvantage is a substantially higher cost of production as well as to update and maintain. These are all forms of delivering static content as training materials and do not include interactive options which can be achieved with the use of online forums, web conferencing and similar interactive learning tools.