The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for August, 2019


e-learning templates value

E-learning templates are great. They speed up production and deliver a professional and polished look. And there are lots of e-learning templates from which to choose. Articulate 360 offers slides and interaction templates for both Storyline 360 and Studio 360 in PowerPoint.

With all that said, there are some challenges with templates and issues I run into when delivering the e-learning workshops.

  • Mix & match templates. The course author wants to mix and match templates. Generally, this is easy enough to do. For the most part it’s a matter of changing theme colors and theme fonts. But this assumes that the person who created the template used the accent colors the same way. Also, if the colors aren’t mapped to the color themes, then they can’t be changed through the themes and need to be changed at the slide level.

e-learning template theme settings

  • Inconsistent slide layouts. In the same sense, it can be a bit tricky when trying to apply the layouts from one template to another if they aren’t mapped to the same type of content and layouts.

e-learning template layouts

  • Different design elements. Templates often have visual design elements (and layouts) that make the template design unique. Thus trying to modify one to another style may create some additional work to get a similar look and that often defeats the time savings and efficient production that the template should produce.

e-learning template design

A template is designed to provide something specific and not require a lot of customization. They’re great when it’s mostly a matter of adding new content without a lot of editing.

Customization (such as what’s noted above) breaks the concept of the template. As soon as the author needs to customize the template, it often involves deconstructing and reconstructing the layouts and some functionality. This usually requires as much time (sometimes more) as building the screens from scratch. And at that point, the value of the template is lost.

Thus, the big question: how to get the most value out of the template?

It starts with understanding your content and how it needs to be displayed. Once you know that, you can determine how to add your content to the course and how you want it displayed.

Screens are going to be made of text and media (buttons, pictures, shapes, and video). They can be laid out any number of ways: up, down, left, and right.

  • Select a single template style. You can always change the colors and fonts to match your brand and course requirements. But you want a single template.
  • Download all of the slides for that template. I usually add them to a side scene and then copy and paste what I want to use. I delete the unused scene right before I publish the course.
  • Modify the theme fonts and colors if needed. Then apply those to your template.
  • If you need a new slide (and want to build it from scratch), use the layouts that are part of the template and not outside of it. This keeps it using the same theme colors and fonts.

If you understand your content and stick with a single template, you’ll find working with the templates to be easy. If you try to mix and match templates, you may find it’s more work than creating content from scratch.

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.

 




edit EPS and SVG

There are a lot of free graphics files available online. Many of the free graphics are illustrations that are .EPS or .SVG files. The challenge is editing those files to suit your own needs.

If you already own a graphics program, then you can edit the files with no problems. If you don’t, then you have to look for other options.

Photopea is a free app where you can edit graphics files online. It’s fairly easy-to-use and includes a standard graphic’s editing user interface. I’ve included two quick tutorials to feature a few of thing things I like about the free application.

How to Edit EPS & SVG for Free

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

Here’s how to upload and edit a .EPS file. Working with the .SVG files is generally the same.

How to Convert Bitmap Illustrations to Vector for Free

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

Here’s how to convert a bitmap illustration to a vector for easier editing.

This is a great application for doing some simple edits of your graphics. The price is especially great if you don’t have your own graphics editor. If you want to learn more, you can check out their learning resources here.

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.

 




e-learning examples that are nice

Many of you know I’m a big fan of the e-learning challenges posted each week in the community. The intent is to get you to think about different ways to see the tools, be inspired by other examples, and practice using the software to learn new production tips.

I am always impressed with the diverse ideas that are demonstrated each week by both experienced and novice developers. On occasion I like to feature specific participants because they do really nice work and offer some creative ideas.

Today, I’d like to feature Andrzej Jabłoński. He really comes up with some interesting ideas and he often shares the files so that you can learn how he created what he did. This is the spirit of community in action. Here are a few of his recent challenge entries.

E-Learning Example: Leadership Template

This is one of my favorite demos in all of the challenges. There’s an elegance to the template structure and playfulness with the subtle animations. And yet, because he started with an existing graphic, it’s relatively easy to build something similar, especially for the person with minimal graphic design skills who has to work with stock imagery.

e-learning example 1

E-Learning Example: Paper Cutout Effect

I love the visuals in this one and the depth created with the paper cutout look. He always does a nice job with the animations in his demo and this one features some moving next buttons and bring content in and out of the screen.

e-learning example 2

E-Learning Example: Meet the Team Interaction

Great use of the flashcard effect with really nice animations. There are a lot of interesting production tips to glean from this demo.

e-learning example 3

E-Learning Example: Space Game Navigation

This mimics an older arcade style game. This is a great demo to deconstruct so you can learn more about working with keyboard-based navigation. And there’s an off/on audio toggle.

e-learning example 4

E-Learning Example: Miscellaneous

Scenario Ideas

Exploration Activities

These are great activities to build familiarity with content, especially imagery or terms. They’re simple game activities, but can be sued effectively in many e-learning course contexts.

Andrzej is just one of the many talented e-learning developers who regularly participate in e-learning challenges. I’ll feature more in the future.

Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to participate and share some of your own ideas. If not, at least make it a point to check them out each week to see what people share. And take advantage of the free tips and downloads that you can use to learn and build your own courses.

Are there any recent challenge entries you’ve enjoyed?

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.

 




citation for e-learning

We all want to give proper credit to our sources when presenting content. Many of us learned to cite our sources when writing reports for school work or research papers. But does it work the same way for an e-learning course?

I had a great question from a blog reader last week:

I am a relatively new instructional designer, but I was an English teacher for nearly 20 years. When I started my new job, I found that other designers and trainers in my company were just quoting and copying resources without stating where the information came from and this really rubbed me the wrong way.

What are some best practices regarding how to cite sources for e-learning? Is there any guidance out there for something like this? It is a bit weird to stop in the middle of a scenario or game to state where the info originated, but attaching a bibliography in a resource tab seems a bit unclear.

I’d appreciate any thoughts you have. 

Credit for Free Assets

I wrote a blog post a while back that dealt with how to credit the source of free assets we find online. We covered a few different ways to give credit to the sources. I assume the mechanics of displaying content on the screen is similar. But that’s still different than citing sources of the content.

citation for e-learning example

Click here to view the demo.

Citing Sources for Web Pages

There are a number of places that explain how to cite online sources and some even provide a way to create the citations. But again, a lot of that focuses on research and isn’t specific to an online course.

Big Question: Citation for E-Learning

Creating an e-learning course is different than writing a research paper. And an e-learning course is different than a web site. Is there a different way to do this? I’ll throw the question out to the community and see if we can glean some best practices.

What do YOU do (if anything) when citing sources in your e-learning 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.