How to Deliver Hotel Training in 2012
Thanks toÂ recent developments in technologyÂ , 2012 marks the year that HotelÂ TrainingÂ will become more affordable, efficient and well….. better then ever.
The iPad Changed Hotel Training Forever
According to Apple, during the last 12 months. the company has soldÂ 32 million iPads, Â and 72 million iPhones. Â These devices are everywhere and are rapidly being deployed in Hotel properties around the world. NowÂ youÂ can purchase tablet computers to deliver your trainingÂ curriculumÂ to your employees.Â It’s cheap,Â efficientÂ and easy to implement.
Step One: Confirm Internet Connectivity in your Locations
Chances are you already have broadband connectivity in your locations but before you do anything, check with your IT department. There are several types of broadbandÂ Internet connectionsÂ including Â DSL, T1 and fibre optic. Â All will work. Â Main thing to know here is that a dial up connection won’t work.
Step Two: Creating your Hotel Training Curriculum
There is currently a huge technology shift in technology. Â In a nutshell, old eLearning material written inÂ Flash wont play on mobile devices. Here is whereÂ HTML5, Â the latest version of the core technology of the Internet comes in. All this means to you is that your eLearning material needs to be in a format that will play eLearning content inÂ HTML5 format.
CategoryÂ 1, Off the Shelf Hotel Training Courses you can purchase
The most popular off the shelf courses in Hotel Training are…
â– Â Code of Conduct
â– Â Fraud Awareness and Detection
â– Â PCI-DSS Compliance
â– Â Preventing Discrimination and Harassment
â– Â Preventing Workplace Violence
â– Â Responsible Social Media Use
â– Â Safe Driving
â– Â Workplace Diversity
CategoryÂ 2, Custom eLearning
â– Process Training
â– Management Training
OK,Â so how do your create these HotelÂ Training eLearningÂ courses? Â It’s not as hard as you might think. Â There are many software programs calledÂ ”Authoring Tools”Â available. Â These tools allow you to take your existing Hotel TrainingÂ curriculumÂ which is usually in PowerPoint and transform it into eLearning courses.
Here are some of the products we work with.
Adobe Captivate will create HTML5 eLearning content. Â Also, Adobe is building a tool that will convert your existingÂ Adobe CaptivateÂ content into HTML5.
Click Below to Download Adobe Captivate 5.5
Another option is a web based authoring tool calledÂ Claro by DominKnow. Â One big advantage of Claro is your team can collaborate in multiple locations to produce eLearning material that will play on multiple devices including the iPhone and iPad.
Click Below toÂ Download a free trial of Claro
The soon to be released Articulate Storyline will enable beginners all the way throughÂ seasonedÂ instructional designers to create professional looking highlyÂ interactiveÂ very customizable eLearning.
Click Below to sign up for the Storyline Beta
Step Three: Deliver and Measure your Hotel Training On-line
This is where you need aÂ Learning Management System (LMS)Â to deliver and measure your Hotel TrainingÂ curriculum. Â There are many many many many options here. Â You can get a free download of Moodle and figure it our yourself or you can work with a company like Cogentys that willÂ hold your hand all the way through theÂ implementationÂ processÂ and beyond.
So that’s all I have for today.Â I hope you found this post valuable.
Always feel free to visit out WebSite atÂ www.cogentys.comÂ or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 323 466 6806
What Authoring tool is right for you?
In recent years, rapid eLearning tools have virtually revolutionized our business by making it fast and easy for eLearning professionals to create great looking interactive courses. Â Captivate and Articulate have become some of the most popular products in this rapidly growing market. Due to changes in the technological landscape, Claro, a cloud based authoring tool that creates eLearning content in HTML5 format is a viable choice as well. Â We’ve found all three programs to be very valuable so the question is which product is right for you.
If your company traditionally utilized Microsoft PowerPoint, all you would need is to add quizzes and/or surveys and convert this into a format that can be played in a browser. Â We’ve found that Articulate seems to be the best software to purchase for this purpose. Â Articulate quickly transforms your PowerPoint documents into interactive SCORM compliant Flash courses. Â Additionally, Articulate has an add on module called Engage â€˜09 that will allow you to create courses that will allow your students to explore the relationship between timeline events through text, images and sounds, then drill down into key elements of a diagram to better understand the main points.
If your company also requires the addition of quizzes or surveys along with courses, we believe that Articulate really shines relative to other products that work with your existing Microsoft PowerPoint program and while you have the advantage of continuing to work with the familiar interface, it adds a â€œtabâ€ with all the necessary tools. Â In addition to all the customary type of questions that you can work with, the User interface is one of the best we’ve seen and we like the look and feel of it relative to other programs.
As is now customary with many of the programs, you can â€œpublishâ€ your content for various different purposes, including the ability to create a podcast to allow your users to access your courses anywhere.
Another feature that we love is Articulateâ€™s Rapid eLearning blog that is full of valuable tips on how to improve your eLearning curriculum. Â Additionally, our customers find Articulate easy to learn.
Articulate Studio â€˜ 09 Professional will cost you $1,398 per license
If youâ€™re in a position to start creating your eLearning courses from scratch and you want to obtain software that would provide you the maximum amount of flexibility, Adobe Captivate is certainly a very robust software program that you can create a course from start to finish using just one software program.
Captivate is also extremely customizable with the ability to truly brand your companies color scheme and design into your material. Unlike PowerPoint that essentially was created as a presentation tool, Captivate is designed specifically for the purpose of creating eLearning content and includes some of the tools that are part of expansion packages in other programs. Â It has some neat features like rollover captions, click boxes, buttons as well as the ability to create or find public templates.
Even though Captivate is a stand alone program, it does have the ability to import and convert any PowerPoint presentations that you might have and includes a nifty tool that they call â€œsoftware simulationâ€ but that essentially is an integrated recorder that will either record your screen or even a specific application on your desktop. Â Very clever!
There are some other functions that might not seem obvious at first glance but that down the road might be very useful for your company such as creating pooled quiz questions, aggregating projects that might have been prepared by either different trainers or different locations, as well as the ability to interact with some LMSâ€™s and automatically update and/or create courses through a mechanism that they call PENS. Â This might make sense if an Administrator has access limitations to the LMS.
Ease of Use:
One drawback weâ€™ve heard from a few of our customers is that it takes a while to learn how to use Captivate. For those of you that are familiar with Microsoft Office, there is little familiarity beyond the basics and there is much more of a learning curve to become familiar with the functions and menus for Captivate. Â Adobe does include a nice series of Getting Started tutorials and like Articulate, very good on-line tutorials and support center.
Currently, you can purchase the full version of Adobe Captivate for $799.00.
Mobile Ready HTML5 Compliant m-learning:
Claro outputs HTML5-based eLearning content, so all of its authoring features can be used to create engaging and interactive content for delivery on smart phones or tablet devices to power your m-learning.
Create great learning content using Claroâ€™s programming-free mobile learning platform. Claroâ€™s authoring environment includes advanced features such as, image editing, hot-spot mapping, audio and video recording and editing, screen capture and screen video recording, and export for translation for mobile learning. Additionally, ClaroÊ¼s PowerPoint WizardÂ provides point- and-click conversion of slide decks to m-learning. Once imported, all pages are fully editable, making it simple for users to enhance, maintain, share, and update mobile learning content over time.
Work together better:
Claro is a permission-based system with the ability to create multiple roles with different levels of access and control â€” the perfect environment for collaborative content creation. Mobile learning authors can easily share resources, co-author m-learning content, and get feedback from an unlimited number of content reviewers.
So, what is the right choice for you? Â At Cogentys,Â we like all 3 productsÂ and ideally you should have all 3 to have the best of both worlds. In reality, you may not have theÂ time or resources to accomplishÂ this so here is what we recommend you do.
Get a free 30-day trial forÂ Articulate, Captivate and Claro then create a course in all programs. ThisÂ exerciseÂ will give you all theÂ informationÂ you need to determine what the best rapid eLearning tool is best for your organization.
How to Use Green Screen for Corporate eLearning Video Production
So let’s say you want to produce more video material for you’re training curriculum but don’t have the $1,000 a minute budget needed to make your video production look great?
To save money, you could produce a do it yourself video that will end up looking like a bad YouTube video and subject your department to endless harassment by your organization.
The secret to producing high quality cost effective eLearning videos is green screen technology
How Green Screen Works
The principal subject is filmed or photographed against a background consisting of a single color or a relatively narrow range of colors, usually blue or green because these colors are considered to be the furthest away from skin tone.The portions of the video which match the preselected color are replaced by the alternate background video. This process is commonly known as “keying”, “keying out” or simply a “key”.
How to Build a Green Screen Studio
Planning a Green Screen Studio for eLearning Video Production
Before you begin any construction, it’s a good idea to plan your studio layout and green screen size. There is nothing worse than building a green screen which ends up being not quite wide enough.
Set up your proposed studio area and camera(s). Go through every type of shot you could possibly want and measure the total required background area. Allow enough room to change your mind about framing or widen the shot more than you originally thought. Also, allow extra space to the sides of the screen to place lights.
Ideally there should be some space between the foreground subjects and the green screen â€” this makes lighting easier.
Green Screen Material
There is some debate over which materials are acceptable for use as a green screen. Many professionals will tell you that the color must be just the right shade of green, or that the screen must be made of certain material. It is certainly true that some materials and colours are better, but in reality you can make an effective green screen from just about any smooth, green surface.
If you really want the best possible screen you should do an Internet search for green screen material. There are numerous websites which sell specialist material and with a little research you can find something to suit your studio.
Lighting a Green Screen
In case you’re wondering, the green screen does require it’s own lighting. It’s highly unlikely that you would be able to use the screen with existing ambient light or the same light you use for the foreground subjects. As mentioned previously, you should plan your screen lights before you begin construction.
The key to lighting a green screen is consistency. The whole point is to create a single, consistent shade of colour across the entire screen.
You will need at least two lights, preferably more. The diagram below shows how you could light a green screen which is a few metres across, using a couple of 300-500w lights (one at each end) and a couple of 100-250w lights below pointing up.
Note: Diffusion filters are very handy when lighting green screens. Diffusion helps create more even lighting and reduce the impact of shadows.
You will probably want to experiment with different combinations to get the most even lighting.
Once the screen is lit to your satisfaction, add the main lighting for the subjects. At this point you may find that shadows created by these new lights are cast on the screen. Adjust the light positions and filters until you get the best compromise.
Using Green Screen Footage for Corporate eLearning Production
Once you have recorded your green screen footage you will obviously need to remove the green parts of the image and replace it with your own background. This is done through a process called chroma keying, which means selecting a color and removing every instance of that color in the image. Any image placed “behind” this image then becomes visible.
There are a couple of options here and it comes down to Windows vs. Mac.
Mac: We use Final Cut Pro X Final Cut Pro It is by far the best product on the market.
You can also use iMovie which is standard on all Apple desktop and laptop computers
Windows: Windows Movie Maker will do the trick. Here is a link to the free download
We have found TubeTape to be an excellent source for green screen stuff
How to Deliver Mobile eLearning
I hope that after you read this post, you’ll have all the information you need to answer this question.Hey, how come I canâ€™t do my eLearning on my iPad?
According to Apple, during the last 12 months. the company has sold 32 million iPads, Â and 72 million iPhones. Â These devices are everywhere and are rapidly being deployed in corporate settings. Â The problem is that these devices are pretty much useless for eLearning applications because they donâ€™t play Flash. In September, Microsoft announced that Metro, the mobile version of IE 10 due to be released in 2012 will not run Flash either.
Here is where HTML5, Â the latest version of the core technology of the Internet comes in. Â Â Its core aim is to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia technology (you know the stuff we love about flash.) And it will deliver and record SCORM based eLearning material that will work with all computers and mobile devices. Â But there a few problems. Â Big problems, Â As of today, the technology is still under development.
HTML5 wonâ€™t play on current versions of windows Internet Explorer. which is kind of a problem as According to Forrester Research IE has a 59% market share of the corporate browser market in 2011. .
OK so flash wonâ€™t play on mobile devices and HTML5 wonâ€™t play on the most popular Internet browser. Thatâ€™s just Great! Â John Blackmon, Sr. VP, Authoring Products, at Trivantis Corporation summed it by by saying and I quoteâ€technology is moving in every direction Â equally fast.â€
So now what do you do?
Well the good news is that there are a number of new tools available that hopefully will ease your pain .
Adobe theÂ creatorsÂ of Flash and one of the most popular authoring tools seem to be on top of things.
We spoke with Akshay Bharadwaj product manager for Adobe Captivate and the eLearning Suite. Â He told us Adobeâ€™s strategy is multi-screen – to simplify the authoring workflows for users to enable them to publish to multiple devices at once. Â Akshay acknowledged there is a ton of Flash content out there today and to address the growing need for HTML5 content, Adobe is building a tool that will convert your existing Adobe Captivate content into HTML5.
John Blackmon, Sr. VP, Authoring Products, told me Lectora Online v1.5 supports the creation of courses that can be viewed on PCs, Macs, Apple mobile devices (such as iPhone and iPad) and other mobile devices with a single publish.
Another option is a web based authoring tool called Claro by DominKnow. Â Chris Van Wingerden, VP of learning solutions at domiknow learning systems told me One big advantage of Claro is your team can collaborate in multiple locations to produce eLearning material that will play on multiple devices including the iPhone and iPad.
We spoke with Mark Schwartz, Vice President of sales at Articulate to get the scoop on the much anticipated release of Articulate Storyline. Â Mark told us that Articulate Storyline will enable beginners all the way through seasined instructional designwrs to create professional looking highly interactoive very customizable eLearning.
Mark told us that Articulate Storyline will publish eLearning content to HTML5 that will be optimized for the iPad.
End User Prospective
To get the view of HTML from the corporate end user side, we spoke with
Denise Farrar, Director of training and development at DISH Network. Â Denise is currently testing the products we have covered in this post. Â She told me her decision of who to purchase from will be based on price and track record as she does not want to go with a brand new product.
Our recommendation, follow Denise and sign up for trial or beta versions of the tools covered covered in this episode. This exercise should give you the information you need to find the right fit for your organization.
We have placed links to all these products below.
So hopefully, the next time someone asks you
Hey, how come I canâ€™t do my eLearning on my iPad?
Youâ€™ll know exactly what to say.
Links to additionalÂ resources…
HTML5 Converter for Adobe Captivate 5.5
Denise Farrarâ€™s Blog