The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for February, 2019


As mentioned previously, I like to take part in the community’s e-learning challenges. They’re great to practice ideas and learn more about using the e-learning software.

In a recent e-learning challenge, we were asked to create a demo module and use the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year (which is Living Coral). This came at a good time, as I was pulling together some content for a workshop and wanted to show a few different ideas around color in a course’s visual design. The examples below go from subtle to “in your face.”

Visual Design Tip: Make Everything Greyscale & Use One Accent Color

One tip we share often is to make everything greyscale. And then select a single accent color. One benefit is that it tends to make the screen content look a bit more elegant. And the accent color really pops. And it gets rid of a lot of conflicting colors and helps direct the eye.

e-learning example visual design

Click here to view the example.

In the example above:

  • Converted the car interior image to greyscale
  • Used the Pantone color for the label markers
  • Used a color schemer to create a second color to complement the Pantone accent color

Often less is more, and in this case getting rid of color in the image and working with one (or two accent) colors really makes them pop and it cleans up the visual design.

Visual Design Tip: Use Silhouettes and Bold Colors

This other example is a bit more bold and in your face and it’s create to draw attention. I’d use it sparingly, but it’s great for making key points or title screens. And it’s easy to do.

e-learning example visual design tip 2

Click here to view the example.

Silhouettes are easy to create from people and objects. They work best with strong contrast. I like them because their ambiguous which comes in handy for people imagery.

  • Create a bold background color
  • Insert a character
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast settings to create either a white or black silhouette.

Check out some of the other Pantone 2019 challenge entries. If you don’t participate in the e-learning challenges, you should. You’ll learn new things and be amazed at what others create and how different everyone is in approaching the same challenge.

If you do participate, write a post and share what you learned or a technique you used to build it.

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • October 6: Amsterdam. 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges by David Anderson. Register here.
  • October 21: Sydney. 3-Hour Articulate Virtual Event: 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges, Creating Engaging Software Training in Rise 360, and more. Register here.
  • October 29: ATD Nashville. Here's Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




Create Free Emoji for E-Learning

February 19th, 2019

create free emojis

Most e-learning courses have some sort of positive and negative feedback. And often we use symbols like a check or X mark to indicate good or bad.

Why not use emojis?

In a previous post, I explained when to use emojis for e-learning and three ways to insert them into your courses.

free emojis

Create Free Emojis

Here’s a site where you can create free custom emojis. The site is easy to use and you can create all sorts of fun emojis to provide feedback in your courses.

Here’s quick tutorial that shows how to use the free emoji site. And here are a couple of silly examples where I use the free emojis as a way to offer hints on a slide and as a way to provide right and wrong feedback.

free emoji

Click here to view the demo.

Of course the example above is silly, but you could find more creative and appropriate ways to use these free assets in your e-learning content, especially if working with a younger audience. Since the image files you get are the same dimensions, they’re perfect for buttons with various states.

If you did create some free emojis, how would you use them in your courses?

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • October 6: Amsterdam. 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges by David Anderson. Register here.
  • October 21: Sydney. 3-Hour Articulate Virtual Event: 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges, Creating Engaging Software Training in Rise 360, and more. Register here.
  • October 29: ATD Nashville. Here's Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




convert Flash to HTML5

“Help, I need to update my course, but I don’t have the source file. All I have is a link!”

This is a common issue. Here’s a solution that may work for you and it’s generally easy to do.

In a previous posts, we looked at how to copy text from old Flash courses and how to transcribe them using into new slides.

How to Convert the Course to HTML5

The secret to all of this is screen capturing your old e-learning courses. You can do what I am going to show with a number of tools. For example, Storyline has a screen capture feature where you can bring in one screen at a time. That works fine for smaller courses.

For this demo, I am going to use Screen2Gif because it works well for this demo that has a lot of slides, it’s easy to use, and it’s free.

View the detailed tutorial on YouTube.

Below are the basic steps. The video above has more detail. Essentially, we’re going to capture the old course screens, bring them into PowerPoint as images (because we can do a simple batch import), and then we’ll import the PowerPoint slides into Storyline.

Once inside of Storyline you can add interactive elements and additional content.

Basic Steps for Converting the Old Course

  • Determine the original course slide resolution. Don’t include the player; just the slide. Most courses are usually 4:3 or 16:9.
  • Create a PowerPoint file at the same resolution as the course images.
  • Create a Storyline file at the same resolution as the PowerPoint file.
  • Go through the course using a screen capture application. This will capture all of your course screens. If you have interactions, you’ll go through those as well. You want a copy of every possible screen. Just click on everything clickable. I’d even go through the quizzes, just so you have the screens. You can use that content later.
  • Review the screens you captured and get rid of duplicates.
  • Save the separate frames captured as image files.
  • Batch insert the screen capture images using the album feature in PowerPoint. I like to force them to fit the slide. That way I don’t need to do any adjustments. Things should be aligned.
  • Import the PowerPoint slides into Storyline.
  • From there, it’s a matter or making some edits and adding interactions, quizzes, and whatever else the course requires.
  • For example, you could take the screen for a tabs interaction and combine them into one slide with layers for each tab. Then add hotspot triggers to the layers.

Example: Course Converted to HTML5

I created an example course using the steps I outlined above. For the demo, I copied the old course screens and created new slides Storyline. Then I published in HTML5. It only took about 10 minutes and considering the time spend, looks pretty decent.

It’s definitely a good solution for a lot of the old compliance training that needs to go from Flash to HTML5, or if you need to update a course and don’t have the source files.

convert to html5

Click here to view the example HTML5 course.

Obviously, the best solution is to rebuild the course from scratch. That works fine if you have a handful of courses. But if you have dozens (or hundreds) that need to be converted to HTML5, then this is a viable solution for many of those courses.

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • October 6: Amsterdam. 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges by David Anderson. Register here.
  • October 21: Sydney. 3-Hour Articulate Virtual Event: 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges, Creating Engaging Software Training in Rise 360, and more. Register here.
  • October 29: ATD Nashville. Here's Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




build e-learning skills

I’m a big fan of the e-learning challenges posted each week in the e-learning community. Here’s one on game show style templates and another on various drag-and-drop interactions. They offer good examples and creative ideas for building e-learning courses.

Compliance training drives a lot of the demand for e-learning content. Unfortunately, most of it is linear, click-and-read content. Which means you don’t get to try new things or develop your skills in new ways.

The initial goal of the e-learning challenges was to get e-learning course designers to play around with the software and try new things. They aren’t expected to be big (or complete courses) and they’re designed to learn new production techniques.

Here’s what’s real for many of you. You may build a hundred courses, but you’re not building a hundred different courses. You’re just building the same course one hundred times. That means your skills may not grow and you’re probably a bit bored doing the same thing over and over again.

The weekly challenges are a great way to move out of the same-course rut.

  • Commit to do at least one challenge per month. That’s my goal. I don’t always make it, but it’s still my goal. At a minimum, review the entries every week (posted on Thursday). There are some really good examples and creative ideas you can glean from others. Here’s a list of all previous challenges.
  • Use the challenges to pad your e-learning portfolio. It’s important to have a portfolio where you document your skills and show your growth. Most people can’t share their current work for various reasons, but the challenge demos are yours and work perfect for portfolios.  The challenges provide a way to show diverse course development skills and experience.
  • Build your professional brand. Start a blog or portfolio site. Show off your examples, share the sources files, and offer tips on how you created what you created. Many in the e-learning community can attest to the power of sharing your expertise. And you don’t need to be the best expert, just enough of an expert to share what you know. There’s always someone who can learn from you. And they don’t need to be revolutionary tips. Often the challenge entries remind me of things I already knew but just bring them back to the forefront.

As I stated, my goal is to participate at least once per month and from there I’ll share what I learned or some production tips that may help others.

Hope to see you in the e-learning challenges.

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • October 6: Amsterdam. 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges by David Anderson. Register here.
  • October 21: Sydney. 3-Hour Articulate Virtual Event: 10 Production Tips from the E-Learning Challenges, Creating Engaging Software Training in Rise 360, and more. Register here.
  • October 29: ATD Nashville. Here's Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out
and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.