OneNote for eLearning, training and on-boarding, plus a new OneNote resource kit!

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  1. Digital distribution, retention and reusability of materials
  2. Improved collaboration for both students and course development
  3. Costs savings and efficiency
  4. Reduce the environmental footprint

As I mentioned in my first blog entry, in addition to education I planned to blog about how OneNote is being used as a corporate eLearning, training and on-boarding tool.

Over the past two years, we’ve been experimenting with this new learning model and now it’s starting to really catch on, both inside  and outside of Microsoft. The main idea is that instead of thinking about OneNote as only a note-taking tool, think about is as an eLearning distribution tool, or a way to distribute a new employee handbook or a new student handbook.

If you have an office or cubicle you work in, I ask you to turn around and look to see if you have any binders from trainings, classes, conferences, or on-boarding. If you’re like many of us, you have binder upon binder sitting dusty on your shelf. Or maybe you just tossed all of them the last time you moved 🙂 With the OneNote model, you can have a digital version of every training or conference you’ve ever attended. And it’s searchable, portable, offline-able, and there are no printing costs! With OneNote’s collaborative features, course designers can collaboratively developed classes or trainings on SharePoint or a UNC file share and then package up the notebook for students when finished. Many groups inside and outside of Microsoft have said that the collaborative courseware development through shared notebook truly changes the way that they work. No more mailing around giant documents for weeks. All courseware designers can be on the same page, they can go offline, and OneNote’s flexibility allows easy layout options along with rich media types.

The benefits we’ve seen from this both at Microsoft and externally are:

Within Microsoft, there are groups all across the company using OneNote to replace paper materials. We’ve already been reaping huge costs benefits. One example is listed below where we saved $360,000 for a single large class being converted to OneNote notebooks. If you did this for every class and training at Microsoft (or another company or school), the savings could be quite large and well into the millions of dollars. Within Microsoft, groups are now using OneNote for management training, IT on-boarding, new employee on-boarding, sales readiness, HR conferences, partner conferences, project management classes, new product training, new intern ramp-up, finance playbooks, legal documentation, etc. And think about all that paper, processing and wasted efficiency that can be saved! If your course needs a last minute update with paper and it’s already en-route to China, you have a big problem. With OneNote, it’s a quick change and the “book/binder” is already updated.

Case studies

New public OneNote Resource for everyone

Download: Using Office OneNote 2007 for Training Resource Kit

This is a Resource Kit that has been designed for people involved with eLearning, training or on-boarding. This walks you through the steps to create you own rich OneNote notebook. Sections in this notebook include : Basics, Collaboration, Distribution, and Examples.

The kit includes:

  • Toolkit – Using OneNote 2007 for Training (make sure to look at this)
  • Sample New Employee Notebook
  • Sample Training notebook
  • OneNote training Video

Here’s a sampling of what the toolkit also discusses:

Instructor Led Training See how OneNote 2007 can help you to enhance instructor led training sessions.
New Employee On-boarding New employees can easily get up to speed by searching in one place (their OneNote 2007 notebook) for the information and resources they need.
Manager Development (self paced) OneNote 2007 enables managers to have job aids at their fingertips.
Sales Readiness OneNote 2007 enable sales people to easily take their training content on the road and search it quickly for relevant information.
Helpdesk (IT) Provide all helpdesk materials in a comprehensive, searchable, updatable package with OneNote 2007.
Facilitator Guides Easily move existing facilitator guides to OneNote and enable facilitators to add their own information and notes.
Participant Guides OneNote 2007 can enhance participant guides through providing all materials in one comprehensive, organized package.
Other Learning Activities Additional examples of OneNote in learning activities.

Screen shot from the Microsoft Management Excellence notebook



Contoso New Employee On-Boarding:




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