MOOC and the changing nature of end user IT Training

This TED Talk  is by Anant Agarwal on  MOOCs (massive open online courses) and their impact on conventional education. I think we should take 15 minutes and listen to this talk with the future of end-user IT Training in mind.

One of the big features of end-user IT training at present is the decline in standardised scheduled classroom courses. Prepackaged online training videos are one of the tools that is replacing conventional courses. Its cheap, standardised and is of some use to the end-user. These cheaper options lack interactivity and are as a result not as effective. The replacement for the old scheduled course must include interactivity with the software, other students and the trainer.

Some training providers are moving to using Adobe Connect and Lync to provide online training. It is an important step, but only a first one. I think the future replacement of a conventional scheduled course is more along the lines of a MOOC.

Please watch this talk and comment.

 

Focusing on Forms

I needed to find a theme to explore, so driven by:

  • cumbersome experience handling forms from insurance agents, recruiters and clients
  • need to make information gathering more efficient in my own business
  • looking for a theme to tie together study I have to do in a meaningful way!
  • a theme for a series of tutorials to be created using my snazzy new Captivate template, that people will find useful.

I found a direction, so the theme is:

Forms, Data Collection and Processing

Across a range of tools explore the following aspects

  • Ability to create forms using no code or as little code as possible.
  • Adding fields
  • Branding and Formatting
  • Data Validation
  • Controlling navigation (e.g. jump ahead based on a choice)
  • Distribution and Security
  • End User Experience
  • Data collection options, Analysis and Exporting (eg to Excel)

Continue reading “Focusing on Forms”

Office 365 Video Tutorial Materials

For post course support and for large dispersed organisations I can see a role for video tutorials. I am about to prepare some Office 365/SharePoint Tutorials using Captivate 7.

In addition to the material available from Microsoft (see this post and this one), this is an example of some promising material from a third party. From my very brief review the tutorials appear short, clear and well organised. (only a brief review as I found this while looking for something else..)

For firms interested in reviewing this properly there is an online sample and a trial available to properly check it out.

Of interest to training providers as well, they have re-seller arrangements.

Here is the link: http://www.point8020.com/Office%20365%20Training.aspx

 

Office 365 – SharePoint App Error message on Installing

If you are

  • Getting this error: “Sorry, there was something wrong with the download. Try adding it again.”
  • in Australia

Then this article is the “fix” for you.

I ran into this problem while preparing my new public facing Office 365 site last week. Some apps installed OK and then it just happened. Uninstalling and re-installing wont fix it.

In summary the solution is:

  1. Temporarily remove the “defective” app
  2. Go back to the SharePoint Store – in the top right set the language to English (United States)
  3. Then when you are adding an app – when you get to the Trust Screen stage – Click Language Options and Choose English (United States)

Good Luck

Steven

 

End user training resources for Office 2013 and Office 365

A quick post to a Microsoft resource summarising all the quick reference guides and other materials for helping end users with getting up  to  speed on Office 2013 and Office 365 . A good read for trainers too. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj871004.aspx

Recommended TED Talk: James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime — and what you can do about it

Folks, this is an excellent presentation for a non IT Audience on IT security issues. Good clear non technical language, clear analogies, demonstrations  and examples. I particularly like that James covers Social Engineering and Browser based attacks.

Well worth the 17 minutes!

After watching the video see the discussion here: http://www.ted.com/talks/james_lyne_everyday_cybercrime_and_what_you_can_do_about_it.html

Office 365 Backup Options Part 1

The basic Problem

Microsoft back up Office 365, but we’d all like our own backup, because we can sleep better that way….

My choice is different to what you might choose due to:

  • Cost – I need to find a service to suit a micro business and a micro business budget!
  • Existing services – eg I already have cloud and on site backup facilities
  • Scale of backup required – I am willing to accept more manual backup features than you, I have to consider backing up Email from Exchange – I may do this manually to allow me to choose a cheaper Office 365 back up service with fewer features. Continue reading “Office 365 Backup Options Part 1”

Setting Adobe LiveCycle Designer to use Australian Spelling

I came across the solution at the article: Australian Spell Check in Adobe LiveCycle Designer at Mark Szulc’s Blog some time back. I had implemented the fix and then not having upgraded for a while had forgotten about the issue…

The basic problem is that there isn’t a dictionary for the spell check to use when the Australian locale is specified.

Using the UK locale gives the right dictionary but gives the pound sterling character for currency instead of the dollar sign.

However as I find myself doing more LiveCycle Designer training, the issue is coming up again.

Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES2 and earlier

  1. Read the Article
  2. Search for the file “SpellCheckLocaleMapping.xml” on your system (the path will differ from the article)
  3. when you find the file you may need admin rights to edit it
  4. As suggested in the article remove the comments and Save

The effect of the fix is to use the Canadian dictionary when the Australian locale is specified for a form.

I have tried this on an ES2 install recently and it works.

Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES4

The fix from the article doesn’t appear to work for ES4. (Have also tried it without success myself)

However I can suggest a work around

  1. Make a blank new A4 portrait form (you can repeat for landscape)
  2.  File, Form Properties, Defaults, Set Locale to Canada, OK
  3. Save the form as a Live Cycle Designer format (*.tds) into a suitable folder
  4. Close the form
  5. Open, set files of type to Live Cycle Designer format (*.tds)
  6. From the resulting Dialog choose Copy this template into the Template Manager

When you need a new form: File, New, From a template, Other, then select your template

The Canadian locale  will give you close to Australian English spell check, the “$” and DD/MM/YYYY dates

If anyone finds a catch with this choice please let me know.

Regards

Steven

 

 

 

Finding SharePoint 2013/Office 2013/Lync Quick Reference Guides

There is a growing trend away from issuing workbooks or courseware to every trainee on a course.  The pattern is towards one set of courseware for the team and quick reference guides for the individual trainees.

So here are some leads to quick reference guides.

From Microsoft

Third Party examples

Regards

Steven

 

 

How do I change Office 365 plan?

I often get asked this question on courses, and the answer is a bit involved. for full details please go here: Can I switch to a different Office 365 plan or subscription?

Problems Embedding YouTube video in PowerPoint 2010

Using the current or old embed code from YouTube in PowerPoint 2010 generates an error.

My guess at the cause is YouTube having to change the original code since Office 2010 was released.

The fix is to adjust the code that YouTube creates. Its an easy fix and clearly set out in this article: PowerPoint cannot insert a video from this embed code in PowerPoint 2010 presentation

How to fix: SharePoint Online won’t open documents or attachments in client applications (eg in Word or Excel on the desktop)

This is a frustrating problem

There are two steps

Step 1. Enable the “Open Documents in Client Applications by Default ” service – see steps here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2859986

Step 2. Check the Library Settings –> Advanced Settings–> Opening documents in browser is set to “Use the server default (Open in the client application)”

 

 

Hybrid SharePoint Online – Existing on Premise Active Directory and Exchange

The following  collection of light reading is to guide those who need to connect SharePoint Online and existing on premise Exchange and Active Directory

The aim is to have on log in with cloud and on premise services synchronized. Continue reading “Hybrid SharePoint Online – Existing on Premise Active Directory and Exchange”