Cloning: a Learning Technology and its Benefits
Learning technologies play an important role in training. Before understanding the learning technologies, it is important to understand the concept of learning.
When it comes to learning, two things I’m certain of: first, it’s an ongoing process, and second, learning technology is always evolving. Technology today has changed the way we learn by making the process much more interactive and interesting. Whenever we think of e-learning, most people will think of standard screenshot technology as compared to the latest cloning technology and I don’t blame them: while we all are aware of cloning technology in science, very few are unaware of cloning technology in e-learning. Therefore, in this article, I should focus on the benefits of cloning technology in learning.
Let’s start with the basics what are the benefits of cloning technology over a standard e-learning tool?
When someone uses a standard screenshot e-learning tool, it takes pictures (screenshots) of the system screens. In fact, if you enter 10 fields on the screen, such as name, address, post code, date of birth etc, then 10 images are taken. If a system process contains 20 screens averaging 10 fields a screen, then standard screenshot tools capture 200 screen images. The benefit of these tools is that they can quickly be used to create content, and they will normally work on any application. But if your organization has an agile system that requires regular modification and multiple language translation, then you can trust cloning technology for greater benefits.
Unlike screenshot, cloning doesn’t capture a picture. It captures the objects and data from the 10 screens (not 200 images), so the first benefit is that the size of the lessons is around 80% to 90% smaller.
When the system processes are generated in a clone, the screens look and act like the live system. You can enter data the way you do in a live system, in any sequence you want; you are not punished for perusing the screen and most end-users believe they are in a live system.
Listed below are some of the benefits of using cloning technology over standard screenshot technology:
- You can add or amend data.
Capture from a UAT system and you can add and create your data. Capture from a live system and you can desensitize it. All you have to do is change it once. If it’s already published, then simply make 1 change and publish again. Everywhere your data appears on screen, every document in every lesson will be updated.
- The maintenance of fields and screens is easy.
With Cloning technology you can easily apply the changes to your test system. Adding/deleting screens, data, fields, images, tabs etc is easier with cloning than with screen-capture technology.
- Allows you to use language packs
In cloning, you can use language packs of the system to create the system processes in any language. If language packs aren’t available, then export, translate, and import. This has a massive benefit when rolling out systems in multiple countries and languages. If you had to use screenshot technology, then you would have to create a training client in every language and then recapture the processes. Cloning saves months and allows end-users to learn in their language with relevant and meaningful data.
- Multiple modes to help you
Cloning technology also outputs multiple modes such as show me, guide me, and test me along with any amount of PowerPoint, html and word documentation that fully documents and describes the system processes. Many of the outputs can be used in induction training, on-going education, FAQ, and re-used for performance support systems providing help at the point of need.
Customers using cloning software quote faster speed to deliver training material, improved end-user acceptance of systems, projects more on budget and time, increased speed to competency, and multimillion savings on replacements of training clients.
Cloning technology eliminates the limitations of screenshot technology and makes learning 100% interactive. Costs are normally a little more than screenshot technology but are much more beneficial with the return gained on the investment made. Cloning technology can help you increase user adoption and decrease your training cost. Therefore, I would heartily recommend that you look at cloning not as an alternative option, but as the only option for your critical business systems rollouts.
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