In our previous post, “4 reasons why learning content authoring tools must become as easy to use as publishing to Youtube” we talked about how learning authoring tool companies like Articulate and Adobe amongst others have made it easy to turn existing MS PowerPoints and other assets into learning content. This of course is not new. The idea of taking all manner of video, text, images and assessments combined with a logical path for a learning audience to follow has been with us since the late 90’s. It’s not fair to compare today’s authoring approaches and tools with those of the past as they really are easy enough for most any novice to get started. But to produce a really good learning experience we would argue the vast majority assume some expertise is required. How many authoring tool vendors have user groups, elaborate help guides, templates for sale, and “experts” for hire to assist you to build or assist in creating learning content for your organization? How much do they cost? They are priced to be creative tools for experts. We can now say this has changed with our own latest release of Feathercap; our authoring and learning sharing system. In our newest release of Feathercap you can now select a PDF, MS PowerPoint, xAPI course or most any document and video to instantly turn into trackable learning content. Like Youtube, press a button and pull one or many files at once from your desktop or Dropbox (Box, Sharepoint/ OneDrive and G drive support coming soon) then upload to Feathercap. That’s it. An image from the first page is even automatically grabbed as a thumbnail for your audience. Everything you select is now trackable, responsive web based courses available on any device. You can even synch and update an entire Dropbox directory of content and have it all automatically turned to Feathercap/ xAPI courses at once.
4 reasons we built this into Feathercap - Instant and with one-click.
As we’ve said in previous posts, we’re not suggesting video or converted PowerPoints, PDFs and other document can replace all the complexity and interactions of a well thought out workplace learning course, only that we have achieved answers to the four good reasons why we should try to make the experience of building learning content as easy and effortless as possible. They are:
1) The popularity of micro learning is driving a lot more people in an organization to build a lot more training. Feathercap instantly turns all company knowledge into trackable learning content with one-click for this reason.
This is upon us and we can’t push back by saying good learning content takes 10x or 20x the length of the learning material were producing to build using most existing authoring platforms. As more and more managers, senior employees wish to share their expertise through existing PowerPoints, Pdfs, how to guides, job skills and video we as learning platform vendors have to stay out of their way. We all know our jobs regardless of industry are getting more and more complex and will need more materials not less to show new hires and existing team members how to do their jobs.
Arguably micro learning has always been with us, the idea of building short form courses or training in bites. The explosive growth is due to the authoring tools themselves making it easier to build them. Feathercap now has the way to instantly and with one press of a button turn any existing company and organizational knowledge in the form of existing documents, courses and of course PDFs and PowerPoints into useful and trackable micro learning content. Those customers who have seen and tried it have said it has begun to unleash their collective knowledge. A continued positive feedback loop or virtuous cycle that reinforces demand by opening up more team members to be able to participate in creating their own department or team learning is happening.
2) We don’t have enough qualified and skilled instructional designers to meet the demand. - Feathercap unleashes everyone to share what they know.
The growing demand for effective workplace learning content is to the point where it’s not financially viable for most companies to hire enough instructional designers and creative folk to build all the content using the standard authoring tools. The dominant vendors such as authoring platforms Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate produce tools that are fantastic and produce great results in the hands of those that learn them. But using them en mass is simply too expensive and most importantly too time intensive.
Feathercap’s ability to turn existing materials into learning content is available to everyone who uses Feathercap. Not just designated authors or administrators but included for every learning audience member.
3) No one has time to learn ANY authoring tool. If you can point to a file or directory and select, you can use Feathercap.
If you haven’t seen the famous graphic used in so many talent management and HR articles in the last year, I have a link to it here: 1% of a typical workweek is all that employees have to focus on training and development
The main point is we as employees and team members in any thriving and competing organization typically only have about 1% of our time available for learning anything. This also applies to those working managers and team leads who are trying to create learning content for their team. They simply don’t have time with learning content authoring approaches that are anything less than intuitive. If it requires a user group or a manual or book to get the most out of it. It’s not going to be scalable or really used by them.
We built Feathercap with these ideas in mind. We let you instantly turn all of your existing knowledge into learning content with one click.
4) If any content could be effortlessly and instantly turned into trackable learning content, we would have more and better learning materials to choose from. Just like Youtube.
Every generation who is currently in the workforce has probably found a video in Youtube that can help them do some aspect of their job more effectively. YouTube has succeeded in enabling over 1 billion active users each month to the many billions of Youtube videos available. Imagine if your organization had 10x, 100x or even 1000x the amount of available learning content for your team to draw upon to improve their job behaviors compared to what it has now?
By releasing this latest version of Feathercap we are seeing the potential of unleashing an organization’s latent knowledge from the form of PDFs, PowerPoints, videos and most any document or existing xAPI course.
See our AI and the Augmented Workforce primer on how a workforce and technology can effectively work on tasks together.