Get an inside look at what goes into a lynda.com course. We interview David Rivers, author of 100+ lynda.com titles, about his course-creation process and his career as an elearning expert.
- Hi and welcome to learning Microsoft Windows Movie Maker 2 I'm David Rivers. - Hi and welcome to learning Visio 2003 I'm David Rivers. - Hi and welcome to Groove 2007 essential training I'm David Rivers. - Hi I'm David Rivers, lynda.com author, coming up on 100 courses and counting. I'm very pleased about the and counting part because I love what I do. I work from my own office where I have a recording booth here in my home. - It's a fact of life we lose things and that can include your work on a computer.
- And I'm happy to share my process with you, give you some advice on how to be successful if you should be thinking about doing the same thing and learning it. Yeah public speaking was not something that came natural to me. I was at a time where I was asked to volunteer, it was a community play, and I can remember standing backstage waiting for my queue. Heart's pounding, I'm numb, tingling, it's like I can't do this then it was my queue out I went into the light.
So that helped I couldn't see faces there was a dark background. So when it comes to E learning it's very similar to a situation where you're talking to an audience you can't see. There in the black but they're there you know they're there and they're listening. So I think it was good preparation for the type of training we're doing now. - This course is designed to give you a good foundation and understanding of the fundamentals of screencasting. - So it started as a part time thing and all of the recording was done in Ohio at lynda.com studios.
I can remember traveling out to California, it was very exciting for me especially in the dead of winter here in Canada but I required a lot of preparation here at home. My goal was to be efficient in the booth and not to take up valuable time. - Visio is a very powerful yet easy to use application and we'll be covering many of the basic to intermediate commands in Vizio. So sit back - When it first came out you might see five to ten percent E learning versus live instructor led training. It was kind of a support tool to the other way around now where people will go to E learning first and any live instructor led training that might exist is kind of as a support tool.
I see it in schools for example where you know students take our lynda.com courses and they learn tons of information and go to their classes kind of as a back up to that to get the background or support to what they've learned online. So the entire process to create one of my titles that says by David Rivers is a little misleading there is a entire team behind that. It all begins with discussion with one of the content managers.
So Willem for example who will ask me if I'm up to creating a course on a certain topic. - [Willem] Dave and I are in frequent communication about what courses we should work on next together. He's such an accomplished author that we wanna keep him as busy as possible. So we'll go back and forth on kind of discussing the broad parameters of what should be in the course, who the course is for, how the deep the course should be, how advanced it should be. He starts working with the producer at that point working on the scripts and the other assets that would go into the course.
- We're gonna do one more right? - [David] That's what I have ready to go. I'll do a little research see what people are struggling with. - And once it's recorded then it gets turned over to post and the post team takes it from there and gets it ready for production. - [Scott] The way the process works is the producer will take the course once it's recorded, hand it off to editing, and then we clean up things like pauses, rephrases, issues with mouse movement on screen, but when it's such a clean recording there's not much work we have to do on our end. - [Jen] When we're done we send everything to the quality assurance department and they watch the entire course following along and looking for any technical or content issues.
They'll send us feedback. We'll make any necessary changes and then the course goes live. - [Voiceover] Hi and welcome to PowerPoint 2013 power shortcuts I'm David Rivers. This course is designed to help you use - The ideal environment for me for recording is to obviously have a very quiet space. So the room that I've kind of set aside for recording which is basically a walk in closet is set up with some panel drapes for acoustics.
The equipment is obviously going to help create a certain level of quality in the audio and the video but really if your content is not of a high quality then it's irrelevant. So you really need to focus on quality content, rehearsing that content, and how you're going to deliver it is important so that your clear, concise, and not wasting a lot of time. So what you're delivering is really more important than the equipment you're using to deliver it on.
To keep my mind clear and to be able to stay focused I need to stay active as well. So I like to do things outside the booth like play sports. Team sports like hockey and baseball, tennis is a good one. It helps physically but also mentally as well to stay sharp and focused when I'm in the booth. So when developing courses for me the most important thing that I keep in the back of mind is to create a logical flow to what's happening.
So for example if you were going build a project in Captivate. You would take certain steps to get from beginning to end so if you look at the courses that I author it's the same kind of thing. Take someone from the very beginning and by the end of the course you've reached the end of the project. If the last thing you do in Captivate is share your finished product with the world you can bet that's gonna be the last chapter in my course and how to do that. So for me the very most important part of the process is to keep it logical.
If I were going to offer any advice to anyone who might wanna get into authoring courses and E learning the top of my list is preparation. You need to be prepared with exactly what you're going to say and what you're going to do in what order. That being said you need to be passionate about that topic and if you have a passion for it and a passion for sharing it with others that's going to shine through. If you're not an expert even though you've maybe scripted out some things people will see through that and if you're not passionate about it well that can be very distracting as well.
People are gonna see a dispassionate product in front of them and maybe be distracted from learning what they should be learning and analyzing what they're seeing and hearing instead. So tops for me is preparation and passion for what you're going to deliver. - [Voiceover] I'll show time saving techniques with some of the best shortcuts in each program and best practices for completing common tasks all with the goal of helping you to work more efficiently with the Office Suite.
- Strive to be understood as opposed to trying to sound super intelligent and really the endgame is to pass on knowledge to somebody who's watching in a clear concise manner. It's not gonna waste their time and leave them confused and looking things up. What did he just say and what did he mean by that. Just be clear and get to the point if you can and for interest you know you can add a little pizzazz here and there but it should be relevant to what you're saying and trying to teach.
- Hi welcome back so you made it to the end congratulations. You should now feel comfortable with the many of features of Windows Movie Maker 2. I'm David Rivers saying thank you and I hope to see you again soon. - So I hope to see you again thanks and so long. - I'm David Rivers saying bye for now, hope to see you next time.