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.
In the next few days, people taking Cherryleaf’s technical writing induction course will be able to access an updated version of it.
As part of the course’s accreditation by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, we received their feedback on the course content. We decided to update the course to incorporate the suggestions they made when the course was re-accredited last year. We also amended the course so that some of the modules could be used in other courses.
You’ll find new video recordings and some new exercises. Approximately 10% of the learning content has been changed. The final steps are for us to publish the new course notes, upload all the new content to our shopping cart, and update the relevant page on our website. We’ll make the old and the new versions available to any existing students, so no-one misses out.
Yesterday we released our latest elearning training course – single sourcing and content reuse.
This online training course teaches the basic skills in single sourcing and writing content for reuse. The ten learning modules in this course contain videos of the trainer with supporting slides and images. The course includes exercises for the delegates to complete and review.
The #VATMoss and #VATMess hashtags have been trending on Twitter for most of December. The hashtags relate to changes to VAT that are coming into effect on 1st January 2015. These changes may affect the online products Cherryleaf sells.
We’re looking for someone to take our Technical Author induction online training course, free of charge, in exchange for doing something that will help us develop future versions of the course.
This course was one of the first we developed, and, at that time, we didn’t use formal scripts in the creation process. In the next 18 months, we’re planning to re-record the course videos and revise some (approximately 5-10%) of the content. Having a script for the course will help.
So, in exchange for taking the course for free, we’d like that person to write a transcription for us of what the presenter is saying (which you’ll send to us). The document can be in .txt or Word format. You’ll benefit from having taken this couse, and having taken great notes for yourself as well!
Contact us if you’re interested in doing this.
UPDATE: We’ve found someone. Thanks to everyone who replied.
I will be talking at the Technical Communications UK 2014 conference (TCUK14) next month about creating videos for technical communication and elearning videos.
It covers how to embed video in a course. The delegates see, in each recorded module, a video of the trainer on the right of the screen, with the slides, application walkthroughs or images on the left of the screen.
This format is more engaging for delegates than a disembodied voice talking over a slide or image.
We’re just starting to record the video inserts for a new online training course we’re developing. As I’ll presenting at the TCUK 2014 conference on on this topic, I thought I’d take a few photos in case they come in handy during my TCUK presentation.
We record the presenter actually presenting the slides, as this results in a more natural presentation style. The presenter sees the slides on the laptop, and we use the laptop’s camera for recording the video.
Previously, we’ve recorded to a white background, but for this course, we’re going to be using a green screen. We record the audio using a USB microphone and a digital voice recorder. This means we have two audio recordings of the presentation.
The presenter sees a copy of the slides on the laptop screen, which he can progress through using a remote control. He also sees the script via a teleprompter on a tablet.
The green screen (we use chroma-key to remove the background) is giving us more consistent results than having a white background.
It’s a comparatively low budget setup, and it seems to work.