3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2011 11:39 AM by SusanZRN

    Best Practices for user and community contributor training- when to use Video, Document or Discussion


      What are your learning's around content (user training in particular) in terms of media usage? Video's, Documents and Discussion threads each have their own place and value for us and the user. We all know by now that some users are more visual, some like videos more than others and some just want to run a search and jump to specific results. I have posted a similar question for the external community managers- but this becomes even more important and detailed when we start to look at internal community manager and team training.


      Have any of you found user preferences and aggregated tips for the best usage for different types of media/content?


      So some examples and my take on some potential positioning- please share some candid feedback!


      Best Practices for asking questions or posting to discussion threads                         Discussion thread or question with bullets


      When to use videos                                                                                                              Community Manager/Team Intros

                                                                                                                                                      Executive profiles

                                                                                                                                                      Training that needs to display conceptual, multi-step or otherwise very visual instructions


      How to use the community environment     

                                                                                                                                                        Updating your profile

                                                                                                                                                       Joining groups

                                                                                                                                                        Opting into email updates


      Community Manager, SME, Moderator training                                                                  Discussion threads vs. Documents- whats a good mix and how to determine (manuals, content length, topic, etc)


      I would also think that there are some cases when you may need to include text instructions/information to supplement instructions being conveyed in a video.

        • Re: Best Practices for user and community contributor training- when to use Video, Document or Discussion

          Discussion threads are really best for just that - carrying on a discussion. If you were delivering training, it is not so much a discussion as a standalone item. People can ask questions (post a comment to the document), but it really isn't discussion material.


          Our general advice falls like this:

          1. Discussion post = best for discussion, where you want to encourage participation. Mark it as a question if there is likely to be a true answer, and then mark it as answered when done. Otherwise, leave it as an open discussion.
          2. Blog post = best for announcements, reminders, or other point-in-time information. People can still comment and add their feedback, but more as supplementary to the core announcement.
          3. Document = best for reference materials like manuals, training, or other explanatory material. Documents are the only content type that can be collaborated on (i.e. where others can edit the main content item), so if you need to co-author, this is a must!


          And then for training materials, it is often helpful to supplement them with videos, slideshows, or brief "quick tips" so that you are addressing multiple learning styles. And regardless of learning styles, I might just need to know the how-to part that is halfway through the video, so then a text document is easier reference.


          Videos are also great for executive Town Hall or other periodic company updates, or big corporate announcements.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Best Practices for user and community contributor training- when to use Video, Document or Discussion
              Andrew Kratz



              I really liked your answer as it was simple and helpful to those new users that are not sure when to use which content type.  I wanted to borrow it for our internal community to help new users.  I used JivePal to pay you in virtual currency   As I read it more closely I had a couple of comments.  For blog posts I did re-word it....I thought the focus was more around developing a viewpoint:


              Blog post = best for developing your point of view.  People can still comment and add their feedback, but more as supplementary to a larger message or concept you want to explain.


              I liked your answer for Discussion and Document as you wrote them.  The only addition was to try to relate it back to things people use every day.  So for discussion added to use this in lieu of an email  And for Documents to think Microsoft Word.


              Thanks for the inspiration...hope my comments help as well!



            • Re: Best Practices for user and community contributor training- when to use Video, Document or Discussion

              About seeking input:


              Discussions are great vehicles for getting answers and there are different ways to use them depending on what you need to hear.

              1.  Sometimes you have a simple question, you ask it and get what you get.  Always great to probe the answers to demonstrate the level of detail you need/want.

              • It's about time to change our incentive program. Poof, you're the new incentive manager.  What do YOU think members most want from an incentive program? How would you design it?


              2. For complicated issues I've found it can be helpful to do some 'heavy lifting' first to make it easier for busy members to engage.

              • As an example, you can frame a question as a debate and invite 'voting' which is easier than asking members to construct detailed answers on their own. 
                • Our developers are having a heated argumen--- I mean discussion -- about whether feature A or feature B is more important in the next release.
                • Team one insists that A is critical because of the following 3 reasons
                • Team two disagrees and 'knows' that B is more important because of the following 3 reasons (these are the hypothesis you want to test)
                • Help us settle this once and for all.  Tell us which team is right and MOST important, why?

              (Italics should stop here but Safari and this text editor don't seem to play well together...)

              • It's way easier to critique someone else's work than come up with your own. In the critiquing, we find that members articulate what they REALLY think and often get passionate about it.  So, the starter answers are really a stepping off point to get the real feedback.


              Also seems to tap into the empowerment urge, asking for help from a member tends to evoke more considered and thoughtful feedback.


              Hope this is helpful. Sorry for the x87^3@ italics....