As library patrons move online, librarians must move instructional content online to join them. One means of educating library users is to meet them on their computers with electronic tutorials. Electronic tutorials may be used for various instructional tasks such as teaching users about the basic elements of a library catalog, pointing out the finer features of a specialty database, or providing a step-by-step procedure for a specific task. In addition to the complexity of creating content, developing an electronic tutorial may be an intimidating task to some librarians, especially to those less comfortable with technology. This article seeks to ease concerns by streamlining the tutorial creation process. First, the article will discuss strategies and initial issues to be considered. Issues include identifying the staff available, the audience, the objectives and outcomes, the desired level of interactivity, the instruction style, informational content, design content, storyboarding, target length, and evaluation. Next, the article proposes a set of criteria for evaluating tutorial creation software and then applies the criteria to selected user-friendly products. The software falls into three categories: movie-based, Web-based, and podcasting. Movie-based software to be evaluated includes Camtasia, Captivate, Snapz, iShowU, and Wink. Web-based software includes Microsoft Producer and ReadyGo Mobile. Podcasting tools Audacity and Hipcast are also reviewed. The article concludes with suggested tips for tutorial creation. By identifying the initial considerations, developing an eye for critiquing software, reviewing software currently on the market, and following best practices, the author hopes to guide the librarian to a successful electronic tutorial.
- electronic tutorials,
- online tutorials,