Matt Lee, Minitex.
Side note – packed room, with people sitting on the floor. Very loud presentation next door, making a bit difficult to hear in ours.
Show of hands in the room – few had already created online tutorials, most were planning to do so in the near future.
The purpose of a tutorial is to teach your library user something, and should be narrowly focused on that library user.
Near-term possible need for online education, given the H1N1 issues.
Different types of online tutorials. Online courses – typically occurs over a period of days or months, contains homework, etc. HTML tutorials – very interactive, based on student clicking. Video tutorials – also called screencasts. Navigation is much more linear, and typically relies less on user participation.
Effectiveness of online tutorials. Ideal for teaching tasks, teaching fact-based topics, providing introductory knowledge, allowing participants to move at their own pace, reaching a large group of “unherdable” participants. Immediately responsive to a user’s needs, encourage multiple learning styles.
Best practices for online tutorials. 6 goals: be clear about audience, be clear about outcomes, be clear about content, encourage interaction, employ varied design, be a resource beyond the tutorial.
Audience – focus content, consider the participant’s point of view, effectively describe and market the created product.
Outcomes – define scope, assert practicality.
Content – plan ahead of time, build structure, make structure transparent to participants, provide access. Probably the most important is the planning. Suggestion to break presentation into chapters, so that a user can access the particular part of the presentation they particularly are interested in learning.
Interaction – engage multiple learning styles, promote active learning. http://tinyurl.com/RRF2009
Researchers explored video vs. HTML tutorials; found that users learned more through video tutorial and that the interactivity was a detriment.
Design – engage participants, use the visual medium to its full potential. Break up a tutorial and make it visually engaging. Be creative about the visual presentation – will make it more dynamic. Zoom in, float words, switch up what the screen looks like.
Resource – encourage follow-up, reinforce tutorial content. Link out to chat window, provide contact information.
Examples of online tutorials.
Minitex series: 2.0 tools in 2.0 minutes. (Clever title.) Showed lovely tutorial on Zoho.
Music in background of tutorial from opsound.org.