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#23-Preparing Training Tutorials

January 12, 2003

LTA Overview

One of the responsibilities that I have at my institution is to plan and teach workshops for faculty that involve technology. I am learning that schedules for faculty on my campus are becoming tighter than in the past; I have found that it is more difficult for faculty to find time to attend our hands-on workshops. At the same time faculty are finding it difficult to attend workshops, they are increasing the number of requests for assistance related to technology and teaching. These two factors have resulted in me spending more time on creating on-line instruction and making it available to access when time permits. This LTA is related to some examples of online presentations that have been prepared thus far. Information will also be presened that relates to various software options that have been explored for creating these presentations.


Leona Barratt
Faculty/Staff Development Specialist
Information Services, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


My goal is to keep online presentations short and basic. For example, I do not expect faculty to know all the functions in Photoshop to be able to use it effectively as a tool. Focusing on what techniques I feel would be most often used, and which questions are most often asked, I have tried to put together short and to-the-point instructions on the most popular software available. Where a screen shot or picture is worth a 1,000 words, I thought that a QuickTime movie would say it all especially for a visual learner like myself.

Early in the process of creating training tutorials I decided to use Snapz Pro. This software came with my Macintosh and I used it to visually and verbally create my tutorials. Similar products like HyperCam or Camtasia are available for Windows users. See information below for accessing these software products.

  1. SnapzPro–http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/snapzpro/
  2. HyperCam–http://www.hyperionics.com/
  3. Camtasia–http://www.techsmith.com/

This was a several step procedure using Snapz Pro that included many “retakes” and software like Movie Cleaner to reduce the size of the movie for both broadband (ISDN, cable, etc.) and slower modem connections.

Thus far 19 tutorials have been created which are generally related to Web graphics. See a listing of these tutorials below:

  • Digital Cameras
  • Digital Cameras–Part 2
  • Basic Web Design
  • Vector vs. Bitmap
  • Image Size
  • Contrast
  • GIF vs JPG
  • Saving a JPG File
  • Ultimate Optimization
  • Fireworks and JPG Files
  • Fine-tuning Your JPG File
  • Transparency
  • Fireworks and Gif Files
  • Resizing Your Image
  • What is Antialias?
  • Special Effects on Images
  • Conditional JPG Files
  • Fake Transparency
  • Automating

All of these tutorials are available for review. Two sizes of files have been created to accommodate users with different connection speeds to the Internet. QuickTime (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/) is required for viewing the tutorials. QuickTime is a free download for either Macintosh or Windows-based computers.

For modem users, select the link below:


For broadband users, select the following link:


I have recently discovered a more effective method for creating tutorials. It is a screen capture utility called RoboDemo that is currently only available for users with a Windows operating system. This screen capture utility helps me create an interactive tutorial in a Flash format. The benefits of this are (1) small file size, (2) Flash format works on both Internet Explorer and Netscape and, (3) best of all, the ability to edit each step along the way with captions, audio or hyperlinks in a user friendly interface.

RoboDemo screenshotHere is an example of how to add a photograph in the Blackboard learning environment.


I have been able to create numerous training tutorials for faculty at my institution using this software. So far these are the tutorials we have created for our faculty. All are related to using the Blackboard course management system we have installed.

  • Adding an announcement
  • Adding a course banner and changing button styles
  • Adding a TA to your course
  • Organizing content
  • Building an instructor profile
  • Adding a document – part 1
  • Adding a document – part 2
  • Adding a document – part 3
  • Adding a link
  • Adding a picture
  • Changing your course settings
  • Adding an audio/media clip
  • Creating discussion board forums
  • Posting grades
  • Changing your MyUNL Portal page
  • Posting an entire web site
  • Customizing the My Courses module
  • Building a student home page
  • Using the discussion board


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