blogger counters

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Interview with Rick Zanotti, RELATE, Leaders in E-Learning Series

Taking an integrative approach to e-learning, with perspectives gained from working across disciplines and with evolving technologies can provide unique insights. Welcome to an interview with Rick Zanotti, an influential e-learning leader whose perspectives have shaped products and approaches to e-learning and the development of learning management systems.

1.  What is your name and your relation to e-learning?

My name is Rick Zanotti. I'm the president of RELATE Corporation and I've been personally involved with eLearning since the early 1980s when I developed training on green screen monitors! Since then, in 1995, RELATE became a full-service elearning and media creation and development company.

Rick Zanotti, RELATE
I was involved early on with products like Authorware, IconAuthor, Quest and others and we were pioneers in developing full-screen courses by using advanced compression techniques for graphics, video and audio in times of slow computers and even slower Internet connections (pre-internet as well).

2.  What do you think are some of the main issues facing individuals who need training to maintain their professional credentials?

Two main issues: Time and Context. Often, professionals seeking to revalidate licenses such as Accountants, Doctors and others, have busy schedules with little time to attend stand-up training sessions. Often, the training they attend is not contextual, just fact-based information. This means non-engaging and often boring.

eLearning could do wonders for this and create consistent experiences and, if written correctly, would have some context, or story, to make the learning more personal and significant to the learner.

3.  What are some of your favorite tools?

I use tools like Articulate Storyline, Lectora Publisher, Adobe Captivate and iSpring Presenter. I can't say I use only one tool specifically. I tend to decide on, or use, the tool that best meets the needs of the training being produced. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately, may of the tools are also pretty limited and if we could combine them into one we'd be in a better development place.  But reality being what it is, I adapt to the client's needs and we make due knowing the workarounds to get the job done well...

4.  If you have to launch a new program, how has your approached changed from how you did it in the past?

Our approach has remained pretty consistent from 20 years ago till now. While the tools have changed significantly and not always for the better, the processes remain largely the same.

We start by asking the client questions about their needs, the specific audience, goals and results and deployment methods (now almost exclusively web-based or mobile). From that we determine what tools to recommend or use. Often we are constrained by what the client uses, but that can also be flexible in many cases.

5.  What are some of the new directions that you find most interesting?

Being a techie at heart (most people don't know I have 25 years in the IT field), I like all aspects of web-based training, the increasing use of video in elearning, as well as the blended elearning approaches that can be quite powerful. I am not as keen on mobile learning though I completely embrace mobile technology and have more tablets and phones to my name than I really need... LOL  But I feel we're not there for mobile yet for many reasons of which security, proper writing and design and device connectivity and corporate acceptance.

Blog Archive