The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for March, 2020


free illustrations

Of course your e-learning software comes with a great assortment of e-learning templates and characters to use in your online training courses. But, really, who doesn’t like additional free illustrations to use in e-learning courses?

Recently, I shared a few free illustrations that can be modified for your online training. Hopefully, you found a use for them.

Free Illustrations for E-Learning

Here are a few more from Open Doodles. What I like about them is that they’re simple and they’d work great for an informal course or one where you want a more organic look and feel.

free illustrations

Modify the Free Illustrations

What’s nice about these illustrations is that you can modify them simply with a few clicks.

edit free illustrations

On the site, you’ll see the option to download the graphics, modify them or even download some compositions.

free illustration compositions

Ideas for Free Illustrations

Download the files as SVG and you can edit them. If you’re not sure how to use them, they offer a few examples that may give you some ideas.

I’d consider them to be good decorative images to either set a tone for your course or add some visual interest.

free illustrations ideas

Hope you enjoy. Be sure to give props to those made them available.

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 example

There are so many creative examples in the e-learning community. Many of them you can see in the weekly e-learning challenges. If you don’t have it on your docket to review them every week, you should. You can checkout the recap every Thursday for some good inspiration and often fun examples.

Here’s an e-learning example from Sarah Hodge that wasn’t part of the e-learning challenges but is a great example. Some of the things I like about this demo:

interactive e-learning example

Check out her example. And the next step is to try to figure out how it’s built. That’s a great way to learn to use your e-learning software.

  • Creative use of animations throughout, starting with the opening transition
  • Excellent use of simple graphics to create an engaging interaction
  • Good self assessment…not everything needs to be graded; and this could be used in all sorts of contexts
  • Reuses some items shared in the community
  • Visual prompts for right/wrong; learner self assess and the colors dynamically change on drag
  • Subtle (and appropriate sound effects); often we don’t use these

Sarah Hodge does great work and she has some other cool e-learning examples in the community. I love her How to Fight a Bear and Live demo (which I featured before) and this Mad Libs design, another fun assessment idea with a free download.

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.

 




overview of the communication process

Effective e-learning is more than putting together screens of information and presenting them to learners. Instead it’s a process of curating content and then communicating it in a way that the learner understands and ultimately can apply.

The challenge sometimes rests in how the content is communicated, which then determines the level of understanding for proper application.

In a previous post, we did a quick overview of some of the challenges with communication and how to overcome them. Today, I’d like to take a quick look at the basic communication process and how that impacts what we do with our online course design.

Overview of the Communication Process

communication process basics

Here is the basic communication process.

  • Generally, there’s a message and this has to go from one person to the other.
  • The first person encodes the message into something that the other person can receive.
  • The message is transmitted via some medium.
  • The message is received and decoded.
  • And the process flips and repeats itself between encoding, transmission, and decoding.

Hopefully what’s communicated is clear. If not, the process of going back and forth establishes clarity.

How Does the Communication Process Impact E-Learning

In a facilitated learning environment, the facilitator presents content. The learner receives it. If there’s some dissonance between the encoding and decoding, it’s easy enough to reconcile it.

Generally the facilitator can tell if there’s some confusion and the learner has plenty of opportunity to ask for clarification when things aren’t understood. There’s a lot of give and take.

This becomes a problem with most e-learning courses since they tend to be pushed out to the learner, usually with no opportunity to seek clarification. Because of this, it’s important to consider the content and how to assess the learner’s understanding through the course so that you can provide the appropriate feedback.

basic communication process

This is the point where many courses fail. Many organizations build courses heavy on information delivery and light on true assessment. And I don’t mean end-of-course quiz assessments. I mean continual assessment throughout the course to gauge the learner’s understanding of the content and with the right type of feedback.

Opportunities to Enhance the Communication Process for E-Learning

Here are a few quick thoughts on how to enhance the communication of the content and make up for places where there’s no back and forth.

  • Content needs to be meaningful. Review the course content and structure it so it makes sense to the learner. This can happen with clear objectives and placing the content in a relevant, real-world context.
  • Create meaningful activities. Step away from just content delivery and focus on meaningful and relevant learning activities. I like a backwards design approach. What does the learner need to do? Then design activities for them to prove they can do it. They may need to practice first; so design practice activities where you can assess their understanding and provide feedback. And then somewhere in that process, you construct the right content. This is better than a massive information dump.
  • Account for barriers to effective communication and learning. Determine what obstacles exist between delivering and receiving the content. Many courses are text heavy and miss the opportunity to provide more memorable experiences with good visual support. And as noted above, many courses also lack relevance to the learner. This is often the case with compliance training, which drives a lot of e-learning. Find ways to engage them with meaningful activities where they get to practice using the content and acquire the right feedback.

E-learning often has the challenge of mostly one-way communication, so it’s important to build the right mechanisms in the course to ensure the learner is learning and has ample opportunity for feedback.

What are some things you do?

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.

 




three ideas for effective communication in e-learning

We often build a single course to suit all learners. This presents possible challenges to the learning process. Let’s take a look at why and discuss a few options to help remedy some it them.

Effective Communication Involves Common Understanding

We use words all the time that have loaded meaning and often don’t mean the same things to people. For example, even a word like e-learning can be a bit confusing. First, we don’t even have agreement on how to spell it. Is it eLearning, elearning, or e-learning?
In my world, e-learning involves the authoring of online courses with a rapid e-learning product like Articulate 360. For others, it’s any learning content in digital format. Thus, a PDF is e-learning just as much as a course authored in Storyline.

effective communication and common understanding

There’s even more confusion as we look at different industries. The corporate version of e-learning is a lot different than what you’d find in higher education or at the K-12 level.

It’s important to recognize this and ensure you have appropriate context when using words and phrases that may have different meaning. The best thing is to build context and clarity in the communication process.

Experience and Skill Level Impact Effective Communication

People don’t come to the e-learning course at the same level. We have different personal experiences impacted by things like our worldview, culture, and ethnicity. We also have different professional experiences (and some may even conflict with the course content). On top of that, we have different skill levels. For one the course may be too easy, and for the other, too difficult.

effective communication and skill level

You can’t control those things about the learner. However, there are things you can do in your course design that may help resolve some issues. For example, a pre-assessment helps determine how much someone already knows and what they need to learn. From there you can opt out the experienced person, or create an adaptive process to accommodate different needs.

Personal Motivation Impacts Effective Communication

A lot of e-learning is pointless to the learner and most of those types of courses also tend to be boring and mind-numbing information dumps. On top of that, people are at various levels of motivation when it comes to engaging with the e-learning content.

There are many things that motivate people. And a lot of it is outside the realms of the course and not something you as a course creator can control. However, there are a lot of things that you can do to help motivate the learner.

effective communication and personal motivation

If the course is relevant and meaningful, then it is received better than one disconnected from the person’s real world. No one complains, when they actually learn something.

Many courses are overly focused on content and not on application. Focus on what the person needs to do, and then build the course backwards from there.

Interactive engagement is also important. I try to do two things: get the person doing stuff on screen to pull them into the course. And most importantly, get them interacting with the content. This is usually built around decision-making activities similar to what they’d do in the real world.

People are complex and they come to the e-learning content with different experiences, skill levels, and attitudes. Effective communication in the e-learning process is built on understanding this and applying the right strategies.

What do you find to be some of the challenges during course development and communicating the content to those who take the 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.