Before you start planning a course, you need to be clear on your learning objectives. What are you trying to change? ShowHow is designed to help you create engaging scenario-based learning experiences. Is ShowHow the right tool for these learning objectives? Use ShowHow when you want to give people a way to practice dealing with a situation, become more aware in an environment, or applying theory to a real-world scenario. Don't use ShowHow if you have vague learning objectives or just want to store and share information - it won't really help you.
Learning objectives could include:
- Be aware of typical hazards in this particular workplace when performing this particular role.
- Apply our organizational policies or guidelines when managing this particular medical situation.
- Safely manage an angry customer who is upset because of this particular problem.
Keep it realistic and measurable
Learning objectives should be based on real-world situations or scenarios that are relevant to the intended audience. They should also ideally be measurable, or at least have a structure so you can show what success looks like. You should include regular actions or tasks that demonstrate understanding, don't leave it all till the end with an assessment if you can help it. Ask learners to make decisions when they carry out the scenario to show they understand what to do next or can recognize a hazard when they see it. They're more likely to learn from their mistakes when they get it wrong or focus on what they need to understand. Use scoring to show which choices are best and use minus scores for wrong answers to give you an idea of knowledge, and the progress measure will tell you if a learner is able to achieve the objectives.
Branching for learning impact
Learning objectives can include understanding the impact of getting something wrong, or making a decision that while technically correct isn't the preferred option. You can include branching in your scenario to take your learner on that path and let them experience what happens and give them the option to correct their mistake. The learning impact will be much greater when learners take the time to see what happens when things go wrong.
Storyboard before you shoot
ShowHow is designed to help you plan the course before you shoot in the storyboard editor. Use Placeholder scenes to add a scene to the course. You can add all of the actions, decisions, and choices at this stage, so you are clear on what should be included in the course. It is much easier to make changes at this stage before you shoot so you make sure that you get everything you need. Likewise, it is better to remove anything you don't need at this stage to avoid shooting footage that is unlikely to be used - leaving you to focus on the important stuff and avoiding the time required to process and manage unwanted footage.
A further benefit to a good well-prepared storyboard before shooting is that you can share it with your colleagues and get consensus. There is nothing worse than taking the time to plan, shoot, and deliver a course and then discover another department can't use it because you missed a detail that was important to them. You may need voice recordings for actions, it's easier to get these at the same time if possible - so you can build it all in one go and you don't need to go and find that person again.
It's sometimes expensive, time-consuming and difficult to get everyone together to re-shoot a scenario, it's better to do as much as you can before you shoot to ensure you are getting everything you are going to need in one go.
Placeholder Scenes to describe what is going to happen
In placeholder scenes, you can describe in detail what should happen in the video or photo. This can include:
- Type of video or photo (standard or 360)
- Camera position or movement
- What the learner is doing and should experience
- What the other roles are doing in the scene
- Any scripts, dialogues, or voiceovers
- Any hotspots that should be included
- The learning objectives this scene is covering
- How the scene will finish
Link the placeholder scenes to actions to plan the whole experience and plan each and every scene you will need. You may need new scenes to show outcomes and responses so it's important to plan everything in the course.
Sometimes where you shoot will be obvious, it's in the workplace or the typical environment where the role or activity is being carried out. However, there are some issues to consider:
- Noise: Sometimes you want a lot of background noise, however, if there is heavy dialogue it's best to keep that to a minimum - you may have to shoot at quieter times or when there are fewer people or vehicles around. Also, the wind is a factor if you are outside, while cameras often have wind reduction features, it can still be an issue. Avoid loud machinery or intermittent beeping etc unless that is desirable for the effect.
- Light: Well lit environments work best for most cameras. Depending on the mood you are looking for you may prefer darkness, but generally, your camera will adjust for this and the footage will look soft and grainy. Also avoid mixing different types of light, i.e. fluorescent lights and daylight. You will get a rolling shutter effect will is hard to remove and requires other software. If you are inside with room lighting, avoid direct sunlight onto the camera.
- Distractions: When you are filming scenarios, bystanders and colleagues will be interested in what is going on. Your scenario may be quite dramatic which can invite interest. We suggest making sure everyone who is in the location is aware there is filming going on, with posters or emails before the shoot date. While sometimes bystanders or interested people can add to the drama, they can also be a distraction. Be aware of people walking into scenes or approaching actors etc, and you may need to get extra takes if you suspect someone was in there who shouldn't be.
- Safety: Actors who are focused on performing the scenario are less likely to be aware of hazards or risks. If you are filming near traffic, or in dangerous environments remember to keep someone in a safety role and watching for risks. If there is a lot of moving around with actors in a waterside environment, for example, it may be better to mount the camera from someone's head rather than a tripod as they are more noticeable and can get out of the way!
For good scenarios, you may need people. You have 2 options:
- Your team: The lowest cost and best option is to use your team. They know the roles, know how to work together and are available at shorter notice. If the course subject matter has technical terms (i.e. such as medical scenarios) they'll be able to perform these more easily.
- Actors: If you need more drama in your scenario or members of your team aren't willing to help - you can get actors to help. These could be amateurs or professionals, you can cast for your role on casting websites, contact local drama groups or casting agents. You should be clear on your budget before deciding which route to take. Using actors gives you more options for who you want in your scenario as well in terms of age, sex and ethnicity. You should show a good range of diversity to make the scenarios relevant to a larger audience.
Once you have decided who is performing in the scenario, you need to practice before you shoot. If there are complex lines to learn, it's best to do a practice run and give the actors a chance to understand what to expect and learn the lines.
You have a range of options when it comes to cameras and it depends on what you want the learner to experience. These include:
- Mobile phone: Often the easiest camera to use is on your phone. You have access to it all the time and the camera footage is usually of high quality. We recommend keeping the camera in portrait aspect and shooting in a bystander style. This feels natural when watching an unfolding scenario and is relatable to a modern audience. ShowHow is designed to work well when viewed in portrait on a phone.
- 360 Camera: If you want your learner to feel like they're in the scenario use a 360 camera. Even if you don't plan on using the scenario in VR, on a mobile device we use device motion for an immersive effect and it works really well in portrait mode on a phone. You can use a monopod with legs to keep the camera in position or another option is to mount to someone's head which may be easier in smaller spaces or a busy environment.
- DSLR or Video camera: If you want higher resolution or sharper images you can use a purpose-made camera. Use a gimbal or tripod to keep steady, shoot in portrait and keep things as smooth as possible.
Your course will be made up of actions and scenes. Scenes are what you produce to give the learner an experience in the scenario. Scenes usually have a photo or video, can have voiceovers and hotspots to make the scenes interactive. When you plan your course, be clear on what you want to have the learner experience so you can get the right content. Different scenes could include:
- Standard video to show a scenario unfolding. This could also be used as a course introduction or promo on social media.
- Photograph of an object or item to show an important feature. Hotspots could highlight a component.
- 360 video to show the learner's perspective and allow them to experience that point of view.
- 360 photographs with voiceover to explain a thought process when in an environment or location.