Another Cool Tool for Instructional Design

OK – I have lots of tools I love to use for Instructional Design, (see my Cool Tools blog) but over the last year I’ve really learned to depend on one in particular. It’s not one that is designed just for ISD, it’s not free, but it really saves me so much time. So what is this tool?

Web Meeting software.

Yes – that’s it.

Web Meeting software. It’s been around a long time. So how does it save time?

The Obvious Time Saver

No Travel. I don’t have to go to my client’s office. I can stay right here in my little quiet office. I can review source documents, websites, storyboards, design documents, conceptual maps, etc. with my client and never worry that they’re not keeping up. What I am discussing is shown right there on their screen. If they have content to add, I can give control over to them and watch as they show me all sorts of things to make my course richer.

The Not-So-Obvious Saver

I’ve found a way to save lots of time besides travel using this common software. I’m betting many of you are already doing it – it’s just time to let the secret out. Here is the feature that pays off so well, that I’m willing to pay a monthly fee for it: Recording.  

That’s right – recording.

First, I ask permission, letting the client know why I’m recording our meeting. Next I record the entire meeting. During the meeting I don’t take any notes. I just pay close attention to what the subject matter expert is saying. This allows me to be more fully engaged during the entire meeting. Also, it keeps me from having to ask them to pause while I take notes.

Immediately following the meeting, I can replay the meeting and take notes. This also helps reinforce what I’ve just learned in the meeting. (Note – schedule an hour of quiet time following the meeting to go through the webinar and make your notes.)

Instances When I Use It:

  • Initial project scoping. This helps me ask all the right questions and not worry too much about detail. I can review the project scoping meeting when I’m putting together the proposal or the overall solution design.
  • Content scoping meeting.
  • Extant content review. I’ve even just walked through the existing PowerPoint files with a trainer and gotten all the information I need for the eLearning. It really speeds up the process.
  • Deliverable review meeting. When reviewing the storyboard, design document, PowerPoint, etc…. you can catch all the nuances better in a recording.

Which Software Do I Use?

It really doesn’t matter. The features and pricing are not so very different. Right now I’m using GoToMeeting, but if something better / cheaper comes along I’ll switch. I just need these two features: (1) recording and (2) several people on the phone at once. – Mostly the recording!

If any of you reading this have additional uses for Web Meeting software, please comment here for everyone’s benefit.

2 Responses to “Another Cool Tool for Instructional Design”
  1. etraugott says:

    I really enjoyed your thoughts on webinars. I actually use webinars daily, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day in my every day work. We manage an information system for the Air Force Medical Service called the Knowledge Exchange. We train content managers to create their own knowledge junctions where individuals within their organizations can share all sorts of electronic information. In a sense, we are training “non-techy” type folks to be web site managers. Since we are centrally located and most of our content managers are located in various parts of they country, or world, we use DCO (Defense Connect Online) Through DCO we are able to share our desktop so that our trainee can watch what we are demonstrating for them.

    We have mixed reviews from our customers regarding the effectiveness of this method. I think people are resistant, especially in the military, because they are used to face to face interaction. It is convenient and free for us, and since I dont think our employer will start flying us around the world to train folks face to face, it is something we have embraced and used to the best of our ability.

  2. Kathy Strong-Kreitzer says:

    I totally agree. I have been recording important meetings or events I will eventually be training also so I can pay attention to the content and the speaker. It has taken so much stress away from preping for me.
    Thank you for bringing this up for others

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