Is it possible to create engaging software training?

Over the past several weeks I’ve exchanged messages with several blog subscribers who were looking for some ideas on how to create more engaging software training.

I’ve worked on a handful of software training courses and the answer is yes*.

There is an asterisk to my answer, because you may need to calibrate how you define “engaging” and what “engaging” looks like.   Continue reading

Turn your learners loose to explore

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my family spent some time at our neighbor’s cabin near Mt. Rainier. Our days were filled with hiking and whiffle ball, while the evenings featured camp fires and s’mores.

On one outing through the still-thawing meadows of Mt. Rainier, where there is still snow on the ground in July, we had to keep reminding our kids to stay on the hiking path because we didn’t want to trample the budding wild flowers. They didn’t love the restrictions, but they conformed.

On another outing, we came to a section of the hiking trail where we could stay on the path, or we could turn the kids loose in a scramble up the side of a hill. The kids took off like a shot, grabbing roots and trees and fallen logs in order to scramble their way up the steep incline. It was the highlight of our hike for them.


It made me think of several workshops I’ve recently designed. As instructional designers, we should probably be allowing our learners the equivalent of the freedom and euphoria of being able to veer off a prescribed path in order to scramble up the side of a hill.  Continue reading

Two Words of Advice for Anyone who Designs Software Training

For better advice, see Is it possible to create engaging software training?

Over the past few years, I’ve been asked to help design a variety of training programs during the implementation of new software products and computer systems.

It boggles the mind how complicated software vendors have tried to make their user adoption training. Here are two words of advice for anyone who works for a company that is tasked with training clients on their software: Continue reading