This guest post was written by Articulate Customer Support Engineer David Fair.
Videos are a great way to enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your e-learning courses. Many e-learning developers like to insert movies onto their course slides, but did you know you can also add a video to the presenter panel in the sidebar of your course? And if your video is taller than it is wide, you can even fill your sidebar with video if you want. This can create a unique look that really catches the eye of your learners or clients:
Inspired by a previous blog post by Dave Moxon, I’ve recently been experimenting with adding video to the sidebar, and I wanted to share with you some ideas to try in your own courses.
Some Examples of Sidebar Video
Here’s a little intro to what sidebar video can look like. In the following screencast, I’ll show you a few examples of a video that contains scrolling images, as well as some continuous-motion videos. Take a look:
Creating a Video of Scrolling Images
Now let’s walk through some how-to’s. To create a video of scrolling images, you’ll first need to set up a PowerPoint file to contain the images you want to include. Here’s how:
You can download the source files I used for my example here.
Next, you’ll configure your slideshow to display in a portrait orientation, and you’ll play the slideshow while recording it with Screenr. In my demo, I used dimensions of 320 pixels wide x 754 pixels high, which resulted in a video that, when resized for the sidebar, ended up being 233 x 549 pixels. That filled my sidebar nicely, but you can experiment with the dimensions that look best for your video and content. Once you record your slideshow, you just need to download the MP4 from Screenr and insert it into your course’s presenter panel. That’s what we’ll cover in this tutorial:
The following screencast describes a few additional things I did to enhance my learners’ viewing experience . One tip is to use a custom pre-loader to reduce the likelihood that learners will have to wait for your video to load. You can find examples of pre-loaders that folks in the Articulate community have shared here and here.
Another Cool Way to Use Sidebar Video: Full-Motion Video
In this final screencast, I’ll show you a couple examples of full-motion video in the sidebar. You can use Screenr to create similar videos, or you can use Articulate Video Encoder to crop an existing video to a size that’ll fit in your sidebar. You could even look into using an online service like this one to feature a full-length video of a narrator. Take a look:
I hope this gives you some new ideas for ways to incorporate video into your courses! Questions or feedback? Feel free to start a thread in the Community Forums and we can discuss. I’m looking forward to hearing about how you use this technique!