If you don’t use it…you are lost!

Earlier this year, we created a Articulate Roundtable group for the users at my company.

Here are the reasons we did this:

  • My Team (training) became the constraint with Articulate – once people saw what it could do our plates were full.
  •  These users were non-elearning developers.
  • We were  “in the womb” stage of a LMS – unchartered water that needed to be done together, with standards
  • Standards in general – about colors, templates and looks and feels.

So with those in mind, I trained about 15 associates how to use Articulate. They downloaded the free trial version before coming to class. They also had to come with some content or a project they knew they were going to work on. Anyways – we storyboarded, learned Articulate,  and the fisherman were fishing. Back to the original reason for the post…

The second Tuesday of each month since then, I have held an Articulate Roundtable. Members come and bring their projects to get feedback, we had new users come an learn, we share and watch screen casts, and  began to build standards for our company’s Elearning strategy. For our last Roundtable for 2010 I wanted something that was special and different.  Jeanette Brooks (and a few others @hamtra and @suchadrag) responded to my cry for help on Twitter for something cool. Jeanette offered to do an “Engage” session. I mentioned to her that our users create from content already developed and they just use the next button – they don’t really use the interactions of Engage as they should. She came up with 3 really good ideas and examples of before (slides) and after (interaction).

Our Roundtable didn’t know who the special guest was – I was excited for their reactions. We had 7 people in the room, and three more on the phone (plus two from Germany). Our largest turn out yet! They were really pumped when they saw it was Jeanette!  She started to walk us through the different types of interactions.

We sat and listened in awe. I have never heard this group so quiet. Honestly – what she was teaching us was not to just to use Articulate, it was to think outside of the software and the tools that we have AND GET CREATIVE! and SMART! What she showed us didn’t take hours to make and do in Articulate, which is exactly what we needed.  We are excited and I couldn’t wait to get back to my desk and begin working on Articulate!  A few things I learned

  1. I need better/more/savvier Power Point Skills – THERE IS SO MUCH I just don’t know or use in PPT.
  2. Jeanette was a great model of how a someone who is presenting via Live Meeting should be. Prepared! She had everything ready to go, files up, didn’t have to look for anything. It was so streamlined and smooth. I do a lot of training over the web, and man she blew me away and gave me some good ideas (probably didn’t even know this!) about becoming a better web presenter.
  3. Clip art doesn’t stink. Usually I look elsewhere for my pictures, but she showed us some cool tricks for clip art in Microsoft.

I know that Articulate is working on an upcoming blog post about user groups and how to start one.

The resources that Jeanette provided are below.  They are awesome and definitely worth taking a look.

  ArticulateEngageResources

What about you? Do you participate in user groups or communities? What are they like? What are you learning?

All I know is that if I don’t use it, I lose it.

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