The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for February, 2022


How to View Old Flash Courses

February 15th, 2022

view swf flash files

The death of Flash has created a mess for many e-learning developers who have to look for things in older e-learning courses that were published in Flash.

I run into that a lot in the community and with some of my old demos on this blog. It sure is a pain. Not being able to see the file makes it a challenge to recall what was in it or to even know what to look for to update it and republish.

The good news is that I found this thread in the community recently where Sarah shared a link to a Flash player that may help you view old courses. Below is a quick tutorial on how to use it.

Click to view the tutorial.

There’s no guarantee that these links will work forever, I’d download them now, so you have a copy.

Hope that helps those who need to view older Flash courses.

 

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.

 




successful training program

Let’s be honest, a lot of training is useless. That’s because there’s a lot of demand to put content online and force feed it to the learners and call it training. Most of that demand comes from various regulatory or compliance requirements so that type of training will always exist.

Most learners take those courses begrudgingly and hope to get in and out and certified as fast as possible.

The training that isn’t useless is performance-based training that helps people do something new or better. Because there are performance expectations built into the course, the client is eager to craft a successful learning experience that is more than just information.

The key to a good learning experience is to influence the learner’s motivation and that starts by seeing the course from the learner’s perspective. This is different from the default starting position of most courses which is to focus on content structure.

Here’s what the learner wants to know.

Successful Training: Why am I taking this course?

“At the end of this course you should be able to do XYZ.”

What are the objectives of the course? Clarity around the course objectives is critical. The closer the course objective is to real-world expectations and requirements, the more motivated a person will be. It’s important that they quickly understand the value of the course and how it impacts them. Make it relevant.

Successful Training: What am I supposed to do with all of this content?

We ask people to commit X hours of their lives to the online training. It shouldn’t be wasted. One way to waste time is to put screen after screen of information in front of them with no expectation that they can apply that to anything that they do.

A good course couples information with application.

“Here are things you need to do and here’s the information that will help you do it.”

Successful Training: How can I prove I know this?

A performance-based course is built around expected activity. Identify that activity and then build the course from there. That helps you focus on key content. And the course activities that mirror the real-world expectations also become the basis for the assessment.

Passing a ten-question quiz is fine, but what does it really prove? If you are supposed to be able to do something, then you need to build that into the training process.

Ultimately, you craft a learning experience centered around relevant performance expectations and you build an assessment process where they can practice and demonstrate their learning and understanding.

It’s easier to package content and call it a course than to craft a good learning experience. That’s why a lot of courses are mostly nice-looking content. However, that may not be the right type of course, especially if you have performance expectations. And it’s definitely not the most motivating course.

Focus on the learner and how they use the content and you’ll build better e-learning and training programs.

 

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.

 




Articulate Rapid E-Learning Blog - build better elearning courses

Are you tired of building the same courses over and over again? Sure, you may get to build a hundred courses, but they’re the same course built a hundred times. The result is that many of the courses look the same and they don’t provide the opportunity to expand your course design skills.

Today I’d like to offer a few tips on how you can get out of the hundred course rut.

Build Better E-Learning by Making Time to Do Something Different

Many organizations allow their employees to have some free time to hack together ideas or work on other types of projects. I spoke to one e-learning manager that lets his employees spend a few days each month on personal projects. His rationale is that it gives them “time to unwind and play around with ideas.”

Articulate Rapid E-Learning Blog - build better elearning courses by doing something new

Most organizations won’t make time for you to “mess around with ideas” so you need to find ways to get the time. We often used team meeting time to brainstorm ideas.

For example, one challenge was how to navigate a course if all you could do was drag and drop objects and couldn’t click anywhere on the screen. Another was to produce 100 analogies we could apply to our training programs: climbing stairs, climbing mountains, going down a road, entering a building’s lobby, etc. We then used some of the ideas as models for our course designs.

The main point in the activity was to think about things in a unique way and to prototype ideas. They may not always be used, but they will help develop your skills.

Build Better E-Learning Through Inspiration

As you know, I am a big fan of the weekly e-learning challenges because they do exactly what I’m talking about above. They’re a springboard to play with ideas. We present simple challenges to help nudge you a bit. They’re not intended to be big courses or even all that elaborate. Some people put together complete ideas and some just build quick prototypes. The main goal is to get you to try something different than what you normally do at work. Through that process you find innovative ideas and production techniques.

Articulate Rapid E-Learning Blog - build better elearning courses by finding inspiration

Even if you don’t participate in the weekly challenges, I still encourage you to look at what’s being done. They’re a great source of inspiration. You may pick up some neat ideas that can be applied in your own e-learning courses. All the participants get the same instructions, but the results are always different. It’s nice to see diverse ideas.

Build Better E-Learning Through Mimicry & Iteration

All the Articulate community managers do an excellent job building courses. However, if I were to look at the demos they build without knowing who built them, odds are that I’d be able to match the course author to the course because we all tend to have our own style.

That means our course screens tend to look similar. The layouts, colors, fonts, and object sizes all tend to be the same. That’s not a bad thing. But building the same type of course a hundred times the same way can cause some creative fatigue.

By stepping away from our own style and attempting to mimic the work of others we become better course designers. I recommend collecting e-learning courses, multimedia examples, or visual design ideas that you find inspiring and then setting some time to practice recreating them.

  • Step 1: Try to replicate what the content creator did. This helps you figure out what they did and how you’d do the same thing with your authoring tools. Don’t worry about copyright or anything like that. This isn’t for public consumption. Instead it’s for your personal development.
  • Step 2: Once you have decent replication, start to iterate. Pretend that a client told you they wanted this project redone. What would you do? From there you’ll be able to transform the idea that inspired you to something that’s uniquely yours. And most likely it’ll look a lot different than what you would have done on your own. I usually look for color themes, font pairings, and visual design ideas like how shapes and lines are used. I’ll create a few different layouts based on the original design.

Articulate Rapid E-Learning Blog - build better elearning courses practicing new techniques

Here are some of the places I go to find inspiration:

  • E-Learning Examples: a good collection of all sorts of e-learning and interactive multimedia examples that could inspire course design ideas.
  • Articulate demos: the e-learning challenges have produced over 1000 different examples. You can find a complete list here. But we also feature a few of the more popular ones and other demos in our examples section.
  • News multimedia: with every major news event there’s usually some multimedia composed to explain it. USA Today and NY Times (links to examples) usually have some good demos.
  • Museums: many of the large museums have interactive tours and demos. Here’s one from the Smithsonian on how to build a sod house (requires flash) and an interactive tour of the Louvre.
  • Design sites: I’m not a graphic artist but I can glean ideas from those who are. I like to look at some of the portfolios on sites like Dribbble. I often get ideas on layouts, colors, and UI.

If you don’t want to get stuck building the same course over and over again, challenge yourself to find inspiration in the work of your peers. Make some time to connect with others and if you have time, join one of the weekly challenges. I’d love to see what you do.

How do you find inspiration for your e-learning projects?

 

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.