Jordan Bernardi, Thomas Jarillon, François D’araujo
Paris Diderot University – 07/18/2021
Technical communication follows the perpetual advances in technological trends. It leverages every tool at its disposal to efficiently develop and propose the most relevant technical content to reach its critical target audience. Videos constitute a highly effective medium for capturing and conveying a wide array of information to achieve this goal. The immediacy brought by videos as well as the comprehensive sensory experience they propose are tributes to their demonstrative strength. But if videos constitute such a powerful tool, why are they not used everywhere in technical communication? This research article examines the pertinence of videos in technical communication by exposing their potential limitations according to several criteria: People in charge, univocal set of best practices, narrative aspect, and comparison with written documentation. Reviewing generic existing literature on the subject of videos constituted the first step of this study. A survey and a heuristic evaluation were then conducted to analyze and assess the position of videos in the technical communication landscape while exploring the different limitations to video implementation in this specific framework. The results gathered through the heuristic evaluation and the survey effectively completed the bibliography by providing more recent data on this rapidly evolving medium. These served in identifying some of the current practices and limitations that we can observe in today’s technical communication environment. Although videos are recognized as a real added value to software documentation, they have limitations that all have a common denominator: Lack of time. While one of the biggest challenges of technical writing is to best reflect the products being described, written documentation still seems to be the only one to predominate due to its unmatched ability to be quickly updated.
Claudia ANTHONYPILLAI, Laura BARIBAUD, Louise CLAUSTRAT
Paris Diderot University, July 15, 2019
Videos play an important role in our lives, as well as in the daily lives of technical writers. Technical documentation has evolved throughout time and beyond written text, with multiple tools to choose from. This makes us wonder, to what extent is the introduction of videos in technical writing necessary?
Our research article seeks to answer this question, presenting the results of different tests and questionnaires. We will be able to determine how a user reacts to different sources of information, as well as how user experience affects the way a technical writer produces documentation.
Users have different learning styles, one can be verbal and the other visual, and a technical writer should keep that in mind when producing documents. Since everyone is different, having a video as a source helps and includes more people. However videos can be restricting depending on the situations.
Just like user needs, technical writing evolves, and so does technology. With the introduction of various forms of videos and the ability to integrate them in multiple platforms, a technical document can become more than just a traditional user guide. GIFs, chatbots and AI-powered applications are bringing new life to technical writing. Nevertheless, is video still really worth it?
Jennifer Frederic, Blandine Paulet, Manon Di Vozzo, Austeja Varvuolyte
Paris Diderot University, July 2016
Nowadays, new technologies play a fundamental role in industrialized societies and have become essential in everyday life. They also have a growing impact on education and training, insofar as they have revolutionized the way people learn. However, some areas of knowledge seem to be incompatible with this new learning path. Therefore, we asked ourselves if every area of knowledge is suited for digital broadcast, and whether or not traditional education can be replaced with digital teaching methods. This article questions the influence of technology on education and comments on how electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers can help the learning process. Our findings confirm that new technologies have an increasing impact on education and training strategies both in the professional and educational field: e-learning represents a significant share of training solutions in large companies, and digital trainings help increase productivity as they are more accessible and contribute to saving time.
However, the efficiency of IT is limited in practical fields in which virtual training is impossible, as they require manual practice or application in everyday life.
Erika CABOUL, Nicolas CHLEFFER, Caroline VAISSIERE
Paris Diderot University, July 2016
Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) have emerged in the higher educational field with the development of web 2.0 applications and tools. Their main features allow them to be particularly user-centric. They also rely on customization and collaborative learning. As they cater to the learner needs – lifelong and ubiquitous access, PLEs stand at the border of formal and informal education spheres. They nevertheless raise technological and privacy issues that make them somewhat difficult to implement in the workplace. Moreover, business factors and corporate stakes are to be considered when trying to foster community-learning activities within a standardized and controlled environment such as that of the existing Learning Management System (LMS). However, some experiments have been conducted at companies level, leading to promising results for the future.
According to the Oxford dictionary, gamification “is the application of typical elements of game playing”, such as point scoring, competition with others or rules of play, to other areas of activity to encourage engagement. Gamification is a critical methodology in education and yet, many consider its implementation as a mere source of entertainment. Our modern society has been drastically influenced by the technological revolution that began in the late 1990’s. New forms of training have emerged, in the shape of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or e-learning courses hosted on Learning Management Systems (LMS).
This article explores the use of gamification in e-learning for professional training. It aims to shed some light on the underlying causes, the needs, and the reasons behind its implementation. It also analyses the motives that provoke skepticism on some people’s part and why some companies are therefore reluctant to invest in this type of training.
In addition to readings from experts, we interviewed specialists, and we conducted our own research comparing a gamified e-learning deliverable with its standard equivalent and analyzed their completion rates. We discovered that the learners who followed the standard course were not totally put off by the lack of game elements.
Alizée Caudron, Auriane Desbois, Samantha Neller, Julia Ory
This article deals with how innovation has revolutionized current teaching methods, especially from the point of view of the people creating educational content. There are three main steps to creating good training materials: targeting, designing and broadcasting. The first step, targeting, consists in analyzing the training project before its conception, by targeting the audience and preparing the content, in order to set up the best learning strategy. The second step is designing. Today’s technology gives instructional designers an array of different ways to create and present learning content. In addition to the attractiveness and the physical aspect of training materials which is now crucial, technologies such as 3D, games or Big Data also influence training designers’ work as well as learners’ opinions on learning. The final step is broadcasting. This part of the training material producing process is probably the most innovative of all. Indeed, nowadays new broadcasting methods keep appearing every single day. From Learning Management Sytems to the “Bring Your Own Device”, connected learners have a multitude of ways to access the educational material at their disposal.
This article aims at demonstrating how new media offer different ways of learning that fully involve learners. Controversy mapping, 3D animations and gaming make learners able to better express themselves and to progress at their own pace. This new learning process involves a certain adaptability to change from learners and educators. Due to a major shift in communication, learners are willing and able to learn by themselves. We will expose the huge contrast between the traditional ways of learning and the new ways that new media bring. These new learning media help better manage information overload, improve position stand in public space, and add interactivity. Thanks to them, deep transformations are led: learners become self-learners and benefit from customized teaching enabled by bottom-up education – and therefore become more and more active in their cognitive experience.
This article demonstrates how technical writing will need to evolve to better suit the Y Generation (the “Millennials”). A brief definition of the millennial generation will be outlined, followed by a comparison of past, present, and future means of sharing information. The ultimate goal of the article is twofold. First, to present the emergence of new communication tools and digital media such as QR codes or e-learning publications, and how using the Internet is an effective means of enabling and developing collaborative communication. Second, to demonstrate how this media could be used to improve technical documentations’ user accessibility, mobility and interactivity. To conclude, we will highlight the pros and cons of these new media resources.
Lately, we witnessed the rise of new information technologies such as the tablet, the 3D and the video. These technologies quickly popularised, and today they can be found in the teaching and customer education sectors. They are used at different levels: some use them massively, whereas others are only starting to implement them. This article deals with the changes caused by the implementation of the tablet, the 3D and the video in the teaching and learning processes as well as the training materials design. In this prospect, we will focus on this phenomenon and its extent in the last decade by establishing a State of Art. We will then study the impact of the tablet, the 3D and the video through 3 case studies: new teaching practices using videos in controversy and debate at Sciences Po, the implementation of the tablet in the Customer Education Service of a company, and the integration of 3D models in digital textbooks at Dassault Systèmes.
This article explains how minimalism can improve the quality and effectiveness of technical documentation. In the first part, we will define minimalism and its main principles, such as action-oriented approach and topic-based authoring. In the second part, we will conduct a comparative analysis based on the technical documentation of two working environments: Societe Générale Corporate Investment Banking and HR Access. We will analyse how minimalism impacts the effectiveness and searchability of the documentation. These different minimalism approaches depend on quality criteria adopted for documentation. As a consequence, the decision to apply minimalism or not depends on the context (targeted-audience, access to users feedback). To conclude, we will identify some of the best practices to implement minimalism in any documentation department.