The tool you select to create your online training can really make or break your participants’ training experience. Think about the last time you viewed an online training; what worked about the training and made you want to keep watching? Or on the flip side, what didn’t work and created a challenging learning experience for you?
I’ve used a variety of tools to create online training. I first used PowerPoint years ago when I created online presentations for my students to view from our high school learning management system (Blackboard) to reinforce course content. I used Adobe Captivate while working at the University as that was the tool of choice for the department. When I came to the College as their Instructional Technology Coordinator last summer, I was in the position to select the tool I wanted to use. After some research and downloading a few trials, I settled on two tools – Adobe Presenter and Office Mix.
I’m excited to start a new blog series – Designing Online Training – where I’ll share tips and best practices for designing online training. Today, I’m starting with an introduction to Office Mix which is the tool I find myself using the most lately to create faculty training, and how you can benefit from using it too.
What is Office Mix?
Office Mix is a free plugin for Microsoft Office PowerPoint. It contains several tools that enable you to create interactive e-learning, including:
- Slide recording – with or without audio from a microphone or video from your webcam. You can even advance slide animations while recording the slide – i.e. have content appear exactly when you want
- Screen recording – record your entire screen, or a specific monitor or program. Optionally include audio and even webcam video
- Quizzes / Polls – increase user engagement by having participants answer quiz/poll questions. Office Mix records answers given and you can see how people answered later
How I’m Using Office Mix
I’m using Office Mix to create online training for the faculty at my College. Yesterday, I spent the morning creating a training video for new faculty hires – providing an overview of instructional technology resources we have at the College and the various ways faculty can get training on different topics. The below picture shows a Mix in progress. Something I love about Mix is that it’s simply an additional tool within PowerPoint. I don’t have to open a different software application or flip back and forth between multiple applications to create my trainings.
I used two Mix tools to create this training, including:
- Slide recording with animations – I read from the script I previously storyboarded out and had slide elements (like the arrow you see in the above image) appear when I wanted them too.
- Quizzes – I created three multiple choice quizzes that checked for viewer understanding on previously discussed content.
How I’ll Share this Training
You have a couple of options for sharing trainings that you create using Mix – you can publish to Office 365 Video if you or your organization has access to that. You can download a copy of the training in a variety of formats to share on a website. While my College has Office 365 video, I prefer to publish to the Microsoft Mix website because it enables me to view analytics from the training, including who watched, how long they watched, and how they scored on the quiz questions. Since my organization has Office 365, I choose to require that viewers log in with their organizational credentials (username and password for the College) as this enables me to see who is watching the training.
The One Missing Feature
At the moment, the one missing feature that I wish Office Mix had was the capability to track when participants are watching/completing the training. That’s not possible to do yet, but I’m hopeful that the Mix Team will incorporate that feature soon!
I’m looking forward to sharing new tools and resources for you related to Designing Online Training with this new blog feature series!
What do you think of this new series? Do you have experience using Office Mix? And if so, what are your favorite features?
Office Mix is available for you to download from the Office Mix website. It presently works on Windows computers with Windows 7 or higher and PowerPoint 2013 or Office 365 PowerPoint.