When Peter Heath came on as the Senior Manager of Training Programs, CENGN already had “solid technical content.” The presentation, though, left something to be desired. Training materials consisted of PDFs and intranet pages.
“You couldn’t track anything,” says Heath.
Formal training needs are frequent. As a recipient of government funding, CENGN provides internships for recent grads or students on a co-op semester.
“A key training activity is to onboard our engineering interns every four months, in technologies like Docker and Kubernetes that are stretching them past what they’ve done in university,” says Heath.
Although their old training tools were serviceable for interns, CENGN’s goal is to expand and offer trainings to their whole ecosystem. That meant usability would matter: “Even though the content was technically strong, people are definitely influenced by the look and feel of an online course.”
Beyond bridging the gap between academic learnings and workplace readiness skills for the students, CENGN’s training initiative seeks to deliver cuttingedge technology courses to professionals from Canada’s most innovative start-ups and leading tech multi-nationals. Logically, those learners would expect training materials to be on the cutting edge, as well.
Heath had one more challenge to overcome: aside from himself, the training materials transformation would be carried out by interns.
“One of our mandates is to employ students,” says Heath. “We typically bring them on for a semester. I’ve got students with strong technical skills, but they have not worked with any authoring tools before. In some ways, it can be brand new.”
After getting an LMS in place, Heath began an authoring tool bake-off with the help of his spring-semester intern.
“I gave her a list of 10 different authoring tools – all the ones that everybody’s heard of and a bunch people haven’t heard of. To be honest, before I started this project, I’d never heard of dominKnow.”
Even so, Heath chose dominKnow after careful evaluation. It was cloud-based and intuitive with multi-author collaboration built-in. The tools for software lessons suited their material. Strong review features matched existing practices. Plus, “customer service delivered right at the beginning; that was hugely important.”
dominKnow | ONE provides a highly powerful authoring solution that enables teams to meet a multitude of training needs across the organization. In the development of skills and learner retention, content designers can utilize many different instructional approaches to meet these needs. dominKnow |ONE contributes to these goals by providing teams with the features and tools that enable them to meet their instructional goals.
Some specific items include:
Single-source development provides the promise of developing content once and being able to deploy it in different ways to meet the moments of need for different audiences and purposes. dominKnow enables true single-source design in the modern age by providing authors with the ability to develop modern and highly interactive content that can meet multiple training needs, such as ILT, student guides, eLearning, or a single content piece that adapts to specific audiences.
With dominKnow | ONE, organizations can collaboratively gather, create, review, share, reuse, and deliver content that can be used to help learners at multiple times of need — from formal learning through to on-the-job performance support. The platform supports creating and delivering singlesource, multi-purpose content that is easily monitored and measured — so organizations can see who is using what content and the effectiveness of the learning interaction.
dominKnow | ONE combines the best from desktop eLearning solutions with the winning productivity features of cloud-based content management and authoring — providing the most advanced end-to-end solution for authoring, delivering, and measuring learning content.
CENGN started creating content with dominKnow in early June 2023. By the close of August 2023, Heath and a single intern had experimented with potential course structures, created their branded course template, worked out the best tools to present their materials, and created 5 hands-on courses on cloud and networking technologies. Not bad for summer help.
Since his team is comprised of rotating interns, Heath relies heavily on dominKnow’s user management and training resources to keep employees productive despite a four-month tenure.
“I had an intern working on our courseware from May to August. She completed her term and we closed off her account. There were no files hiding anywhere on her laptop; it’s all in the cloud. I just sent an email this morning requesting my new intern to come on as an author. We’ve done this a couple of times, and it is really seamless.”
Intuitive tools and solid training support are also critical since his interns are typically new to authoring. “We chose the guided self- study,” says Heath. “You can get through it in about three days. I’d say a little over a week and you can start to be productive.”
And when you only have an employee for 16 weeks, that onboarding window matters.
Heath also finds dominKnow’s on-the-ball support team to be an asset.
“I sent an email about a problem an intern had in the morning. I had a response in the afternoon,” says Heath. “Then I had a web call the following day where they showed us how to resolve the issue that we had run into. We had another call two or three days later, where they started to peel back the onion and show us stuff that we didn’t know about, including Capture.”
Capture, dominKnow’s software lesson tool, was another key selling point. Heath appreciates the ease of creating step-by-step demos in Capture to accompany hands-on lab instructions. Then there’s the flexibility of the display options: an animated Show Me, an interactive Try Me, or a list of guided steps. Heath uses Show Me and Guide Me – students can switch back and forth between modes within any demo.
“It’s screen recording, but also not. It’s a little bit easier. And you can set it up the way you want. I think that’s fantastic,” says Heath.
For Heath, and CENGN as a whole, their journey with dominKnow has been about “an improvement in quality and throwing open the door” to expanding their training program: rapidly introducing new courses, integrating hands-on and scaling their reach.