The Rapid Elearning Blog

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - abandoned airport terminal

Had a great time last week in Indianapolis presenting to the Central Indiana ASTD chapter.  David and I met some nice people and got to do some research to support a recent blog post.  we also discovered that Indianapolis has two airport terminals.  One is new and looks great.  The other one is shuttered with grass overtaking the parking lot.  Guess which one the PGS lead us to?  We felt like the Griswolds when they got to Wally World.

It really didn’t matter that we were detoured because thunderstorms in Chicago grounded my flight for the evening.  So I had time to kill and decided to pull together a free elearning template for the blog readers.

Here’s an example of the template with some placeholder content.  You can find the tutorials and source files below.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - example PowerPoint elearning template

Click here to view the elearning template

Notes on Creating the Template

Some people have innate design skills.  Most of us don’t.  It takes some practice.  If you want to succeed at rapid elearning, you have to develop your PowerPoint skills.  And there’s no better way than to find an inspiring design, then practice recreating it.

The first step is to replicate the design.  See what you can do with PowerPoint.  You’ll be surprised to find that PowerPoint’s a pretty capable graphics tool.  That’s how I created the envelope and television icons below.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - use PowerPoint to build graphics

Once you have the steps down, start to play with the layout.  When it comes to elearning templates, I usually create a few core screens.  The first is a title or section screen, the second is one where I might combine text and graphics, and then I like an open screen with maximum real estate for multimedia.

There really are no rules, though.  You can create as many derivatives of the screen as you like.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Create in PowerPoint and then save the images as graphic files.  This way they’re easier to work with in your course.
  • Play around with the backgrounds.  I like to use the default color theme so I can easily apply a new theme.  But adding an image, like a wood panel in this demo, looks really nice.
  • Incorporate some animated elements.  What would it look like to have the note slide out from the bottom?  Or have the cards animate in?
  • Try to get as many of the elements on the master slide as you can.  This saves time in production and speeds up publishing.

Here are some tutorials that show how I created the template with some additional tips.  You can view them via the Screenr links or in the course below.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - tutorial on how to build the PowerPoint elearning template

Click here to view the template tutorials.

Screenr tutorials:

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - download the source files here

Click here to download the PowerPoint files in pptx and ppt versions.

How would you modify the template?  Feel free to download it and make your own changes.  Share what you create by clicking on the comments link.


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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 elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

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

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

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



20 responses to “Here’s Another Free PowerPoint E-Learning Template”

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August 3rd, 2010

Thanks, Tom,
I’m glad you make better use of travel delays than most of us; we benefit from your initiative!

August 3rd, 2010

You are simply amazing!! I aspire to create online learning courses as you do!!! One question – are you using Screenr to record your screen and audio? Or what tool are you using to do this? I’ve used Screenr before, but can’t imagine doing anything this lengthy, as you’d really have to know what you’re going to say and do. Any tips on the tools you used to create this is beneficial. Thanks.

@rita: thanks for the feedback. Yes I used Screenr. The trick is to have an outline and then just go for it. The more you do, the better you get. Think of it more like a conversation and you’ll feel less inhibited.

@Rita – Tom’s right about the “conversation” part. The less you see it as “performing” and more about sharing, the more natural your screencasts will sound.

There are some things you can do to practice. The techniques are similar to those used by writers and just as effective. http://blog.screenr.com/post/295264739/freecast-your-way-to-better-screencasts

The great thing about Screenr is it helps you chunk your content. The 5-min limit means you can’t get too far off topic before beginning a new recording:-)

Thanks for this blog, all your articles are informative.

[…] by Tom Werner on August 4, 2010 Tom Kuhlmann offers another great e-learning course template. […]

Thanks, Tom. My toolkit has grown tremendously since I’ve started reading your blog. I appreciate your passion and committment to elearning.

Thanks for the free template Tom. Post publishing, the animated orange arrows appear as part of what seems an animation sequence. I can’t find these arrows on any of the master slides. How do you get rid of them?

@James: good catch. I put the wrong file in the zip folder. I’ll fix that when I get back from WI. Here’s what you can do to get rid of the arrow though. It comes from the annotations. Go to the slides that have the arrow. And then click on the sync annotation button in the Articulate tab. Click the sync annotation and don’t add one. That will over write the orange arrow.

The other option is to create a new slide and delete the rest. Then save the file as a PPT template file.

Thank you, Tom! Very good info.

August 7th, 2010

This is very useful and informative blog to learn about great e-learning course template. thank for your great post.

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Wow all your tips and demos continue to blow me away. My creative skills are very limited and slowly but surely I’m becoming more inspired to create some engaging elearning thanks to all your graphic design tips using Powerpoint. It’s amazing thank you very much.

[…] In a recent post for the Rapid E-Learning Blog, I added share a free PowerPoint template with some tips on how to create your own. Amplify’d from http://www.articulate.com […]

August 25th, 2010

This is very useful and informative blog to learn about great e-learning course template. thank for your great post.

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