We’ve just uploaded some spreadsheets to accompany our online Managing Software Documentation Projects training course.
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Just a quick update on some recent training-related news.
We’ve scheduled some new classroom courses:
- Cherryleaf’s policies and procedures writing course – 11th October
- Advanced technical writing & new trends in technical communication training – 20th October
We’re also continuing to add more courses to WriteLessons – our bundle of elearning courses for technical communicators looking to expand their core skills. We’ve added courses called “Writing and designing embedded Help” and “Markdown”.
WriteLessons is a subscription service – a bit like Netflix. You pay for it for as long as you need it. You can stop when you want, and the subscription will finish at the end of that month. You have access to all of the courses, which you can take at your own pace.
We’re currently working on a module on post-writing and verification, which focuses on editing and proof reading, which will be added to WriteLessons. You might also see a course on Cascading Style Sheets in the upcoming months.
Are you a top professional in the technical communication or content strategy fields, with a passion to teach and share your knowledge with others? Cherryleaf is extending its range of training courses, which focus on technical communication and content strategy topics, and we are looking for trainers with expertise and excellent teaching skills.
Cherryleaf handles all customer registration, payment processing, administration and any hosting fees, and we work on a straightforward and fair revenue share model. For online course development, you’ll be able to use our video recording studio and our course design tools.
If you are interested, contact Cherryleaf now.
There are some activities that seem like they always could be improved. One is creating an authoring environment where professional technical communicators and other staff can work together; the other is setting up the best lighting for training videos.
This is especially true for videos where chroma-key will be used to remove and replace what was behind the person being videoed. The type of background designed to be easy to be removed from a video is known as “green screen”, although sometimes the colour can actually be a shade of blue.
In the past, we’ve used a green screen cloth on a frame, which has worked fairly well. However, it was bulky. We’d either have to dismantle it and the reassemble it for each recording, or live with office space being taken up by the frame and cloth.
There also always seemed to be a few wrinkles in the cloth that resulted in a green halo around the presenter. Photographers call this “spill”, and it’s caused by light bouncing off the green screen on to the presenter. Many professional video software applications have a feature called spill suppression, but it’s best not to have to use it in the first place.
In the end, we decided to take a different approach and paint one of the office walls. Using a special latex green screen paint from Germany, we painted a large green rectangle. Here is a photo taken after the first two coats of paint:
It took quite a few coats to get an even colour, but it has made recording videos a lot easier, and it’s given us back some office space.
It’s reduced the amount of green fringing around the presenter, but there is still a little of that if someone looks closely. We may never be able to get rid of it completely, unless we carry out post-processing spill suppression. However, we believe we can make some improvement by changing the bulbs in the kicker lights.
This image from Virtualsetworks.com shows where the kicker light should be placed:
You can never have too many lights.
Hopefully, we’ll come up with even more improvements, and report on those in the future.
You can now sign up for all of Cherryleaf’s popular online training courses at a discounted price!
This bundle provides you with access to:
- Cherryleaf’s Technical Author/Technical Writing online training course
- DITA fundamentals
- Single sourcing and content reuse training course
- Introduction to Content Strategy course
By purchasing this bundle, you’ll save £180 ex VAT. That’s a discount of 38%.
As the headline states, we’ve upgraded the software that runs our shopping cart and provides access to our e-learning courses. The main difference delegates will notice is an improved page for the links to the modules contained in a course. There are some minor improvements: how the VAT element is processed, integration with the payment gateways, and to the invoices. We think we’ve ironed out all the bugs, but if you experience any issues, do let us know.
We thought it would be useful to reflect on our plans for topics and courses in technical communications. In the past, some of the best suggestions have come from customers and prospects; it’s great to pick up useful ideas from others.
Today, you’ll find classroom or elearning training courses in:
- Technical writing (Technical Author/Technical writing Basic/Intermediate and Advanced technical writing techniques)
- Managing and planning technical documentation projects (Embedded Help writing strategies, Introduction to content strategy and Single sourcing and content reuse)
- DITA (DITA Basic/Intermediate, plus ad-hoc classroom courses in DITA planning and DITA publishing)
Our current thinking is to offer more topics around managing and planning technical documentation projects. In the past, we’ve offered an course on estimating projects. We also know managing project time is another important topic. Perhaps there are other topics that would fit under this category?
There’s also the issue of which courses should be online (recorded) courses, and which ones should be classroom-based (live) courses. Delegates say really like the two training venues we use in central London (we struck gold there), but online courses enable people to take a course pretty much anywhere and at any time.
If you have any thoughts, you can email us your thoughts, or you can use the comment box below.