7 Components to Consider to Make the Most of PLM eLearning

January 5, 2018 Barb Nash

If you are interested in offering custom eLearning to your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system end-users/learners, below is a list of components to consider for your eLearning modules.


There are many interactive elements that can be used to help teach PLM concepts. Elements such as drag and drop, click and reveal, matching, sliders, tabs, markers, etc. allow the learner to perform an action instead of just viewing and reading what’s on the screen. This can be fun but also can enable learners to think about what they are doing and to relate what they already know to the PLM workflow or software functionality which can help with retention. In addition, effective visuals with the interactions can also make the concepts easier to retain and understand.


Narration adds another dimension to the eLearning module and helps limit the text that is required on screen. Narration can reinforce key concepts and provide additional information to help interpret the text and graphics shown. As well, Text-To-Speech (TTS) has become a very viable option for the narration over professional voiceovers to save time and money. The text used for TTS can be shown on screen for assistance and for Closed Caption (CC) requirements.

3-video 3.    VIDEOS

There's no doubt that people find how-to videos very useful for learning new skills. After watching a video, a learner may be ready to perform the task on their own. However, there can be challenges when it comes to performing tasks on PLM systems. If a test or training database aren’t available for practicing then if something goes wrong when trying the task on the live production system, an administrator may need to be contacted to delete or fix what has been created. The next component, Software Simulations, can help address the need for practice and works well alongside videos in an eLearning module.


A software simulation provides a simulated environment of the PLM interface for the learner to practice the actual steps of a PLM workflow process for their specific role, for example, without needing a training or test database. Actions such as selecting menus and entering text can be performed and the learner can repeat the simulation as many times as they want. Needless to say it can help increase retention and make the learner that much more ready to use the live production system. Additional notes and statements can be used to confirm the how and why of the steps and outcomes, while emphasizing key points.


You can call them what you want and they don’t always have to be at the end of the module but quizzes, review questions, or self-checks can be great confidence boosters for your learners, ensuring they have understood concepts. They can also involve interactions such as drag and drop matching or sequence questions. Leaderboards can be set up to show which individual or team is in the lead based on what metrics are being tracked. These individuals or teams can be rewarded in a manner suited to the company, individuals and goals involved.

6-download6.     QUICK REFERENCES

Quick References can be in the form of job aids or checklists regarding a PLM process, for example, and can be downloaded as a takeaway at the end of an eLearning module. They can also make nice colorful additions to cubicle walls (while serving as a great reminder and an At-A-Glance reference)! 


Social media integration can help with collecting questions and feedback from learners on a per topic basis and allow learners to discuss together the topics being covered in the eLearning module. 


About the Author

Barb Nash

Product Lead – Learning Content Development<br><br>Barb's primary responsibilities include the design, development, and project management of courseware for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) products such as Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Fusion 360 Manage, 3DEXPERIENCE, ENOVIA V6, and PTC Windchill. Her work also involves the development of custom training that is designed and configured to an organization’s specific environment, processes, and roles. Barb is a Professional Engineer and holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and trained in Instructional Design.

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