The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for July, 2020


course design activities

Here are a couple of fun activities around visual design. They’re not “e-learning” course design activities but they are relevant because e-learning courses have to be constructed using common design concepts and skills.

Go through the activities and see what you learn.

What Kind of Course Designer Are You?

course design activities designer

Click here to view the design activity.

Here are a few things that come to mind after the activity:

  • There’s a tension between being too organized and not being organized enough. I find that I am probably less organized than I should be and then I have to go back and fix things. A good example is naming objects as I go along rather than waiting to troubleshoot and find that not naming makes it harder to figure out what’s there. On the other hand, sometimes being too organized does constrain the creative process.
  • What inspires my designs? I like to use Dribbble and some other design sites to get ideas around layouts and using colors.
  • From a course design perspective, reflective questions are a great way to get people to process information. Generally, we push bullet point after bullet point. Perhaps there’s a way to reframe your slide content so that the information is delivered via reflective questions.

Course Design: What’s Your Font Style?

font style course design activities

Click here to view the font activity.

  • I like this type of activity for e-learning. Make decisions and move on without hitting a submit button. And then at the end get some sort of consolidated feedback.
  • My font was Ariata. I’m not sure how the activity is graded, but I played around with the quiz and often came up with Ariata. Which goes to how this type of activity could work in e-learning: you can show whatever you want at the end. So get your learner’s to read stuff during the selection process and then show them whatever you want at the end. The card selection is how you present what may have been bullet points or slides. And the end is your summary. Easy peasy.

What did you learn?

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.

 




visual context e-learning

When it comes to the visual design of you course, there’s on thing you can do to add context. And it doesn’t require a graphics design degree.

Replace the bland default template with a single background image. Find the one image that best establishes the context of the course. Once you have an image, there are things you can do.

Here are a few simple tips.

Determine the Course Context

I like to focus on industry. And then within an industry you may have specific environments like meeting rooms and offices. A corporate business course will have a different image than one on training medical staff. What single image quickly establishes context?

e-learning course context

Keep the Design Simple

Images communicate a lot of information. You want context without a lot of distraction. This is especially true when the background image contains people. We tend to look towards the face. If you do find an image to be distracting, you could add a blur to it (or other design element). This shows the visual context but with the applied blur effect the person is drawn to the course content and not distracted by decorative elements in the image.

visual context e-learning course

You Need Placeholders for Course Content

If you’re using a single image, you need to consider where the content goes. I like to look for images with obvious content spaces. That means less for me to edit or design. A common one is the file folder. It looks business-y and it gives me a place to put content.

The images below have good empty areas that can hold the course content.

visual context e-learning course

Vary the Imagery

Since you’ll be working over a series of screens, try to find more than one image that meets the context requirements. You can use the different images to establish different types of content or sections. If you can’t find images that look like they came from the same place, you can add color filters or other effects to make them seem more cohesive and as if the belong together.

In the example below, the images were from different sources. But the visual context (fire department) and the color overlay tie them together.

visual context e-learning course

The tips above don’t replace solid graphic design. But it does help the person who has limited time or skills step away from the default layouts that may be a bit bland. And it helps make those screens visually rich and contextual.

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.

 




subject matter expert e-learning course

You’re building an e-learning course and your subject matter expert needs to review and make edits to the course. But they don’t have access to your e-learning software.

So how do you get them to make those edits? Here are some time-saving tips.

What Should Happen

Before you start building the e-learning course, you should have a signed and approved script. And then you work from that. Obviously, there will be a final review and there’s always some editing to be done. But there shouldn’t be a ton, or not enough that requires someone else make significant edits.

Of course, that’s not how it always works.

I’ve been on projects where it seems things are done and then marketing steps in and throws a wrench in the process. So you end up making a bunch of edits to fit the organization’s brand.

Another common issue is when training that involves the legal team. I have nothing against lawyers, but I swear, they can really create a lot of extra work, especially with compliance training where every word means something.

To combat this issue, you should bring all those teams to the table when you develop the content and prior to sign-off before you start assembling the course.

That’s how it should work in an ideal world: the project and content is reviewed and you get final sign-off.  But that’s just not how it ends up working for a lot of people.

How to Get the Subject Matter Expert to Make the Edits

Storyline has a feature to export the course text for translation. It gets exported to a Word doc. From there, someone can review and make text edits. When done, the Word doc is saved and imported back into Storyline. Why not use that feature for your subject matter experts?

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Publish the course to Review 360. They can see the course in action. Of course, they can add comments, but you don’t need them since they’ll be making edits in the doc.

subject matter expert reviews edits course

  • Export the course for translation.
  • Forward the Word doc to the subject matter expert with instructions on what to do.
  • The subject matter expert reviews the course and makes text edits in the Word doc.
  • The subject matter expert forwards the Word doc.
  • Import the edited doc into Storyline.


Watch the tutorial on YouTube.

That’s a pretty easy process. It allows your subject matter expert to review a published course. And where they want to make changes, they do so in the Word doc. Super easy and it doesn’t require that they have access to your e-learning application.

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.

 




free illustrations for e-learning

Who doesn’t like free?

Recently, I shared these free resources: free animated gifs, free medical images, and free open doodles illustrations.

Today, I’m sharing more because you can never have enough of the free stuff.

One challenge with stock imagery is that it’s stock which means it’s mostly generic and doesn’t meet all needs. Another challenge unfortunately is that most stock imagery lacks diversity. Here’s a good start to fixing that problem.

The designers at blackillustrations.com provide a starter pack of illustrations that are free to use for commercial and personal projects.

free illustrations SVG

What’s included?

  • 50+ illustrations
  • Business images
  • Medical images
  • Multiple formats including PNG, SVG, and AI

They also have a really nice education pack available for $38 that could come in handy for your online training programs. But of course, that isn’t free.

free illustrations diversity

The pack is free, but as always, if you find them valuable you’re able to pay something for the developer’s time. And even though they don’t ask for attribution, it’s a nice gesture. Here’s a post on how to provide attribution in your courses.

Hope these help. If so, thank the developers and pass it on.

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.