This guest blog post is by Articulate VP of Community Tom Kuhlmann.
The big day’s finally here. We’re very excited that today we get to announce the winners of the 2010 Articulate Guru Awards.
We really had our work cut out for us when we took on the task of reviewing almost 200 submissions from all over the world. A big thank you to all who shared their rapid e-learning creations with us. Not only did we see some amazing e-learning courses, we also saw outstanding marketing presentations, interactive games, convincing simulations, informative higher-ed presentations, and much more. It was really cool to see how the Articulate community is using their tools in so many innovative ways, to accomplish all sorts of different objectives in their work.
The competition was incredibly tight. In fact, it was so tough to narrow down the list of winners, we ended up awarding five honors: a Gold Award, a Silver Award, and three Bronze Awards. But even beyond these top five, there were at least a dozen submissions that were really impressive and came very close to winning. We’ll be getting in touch with many of those course authors so that we can feature them as Honorable Mentions, both here on the Word of Mouth blog and in the Community Showcase.
As for the winners, we think you’ll agree that the five winning courses really are exceptional. Check them out:
Gold Winner: Dave Richards and e-Mersion
Dave Richards and e-Mersion received the Gold Award for delivering a powerful, memorable message about diabetes and obesity. The compelling visual elements and effective instructional design really make this entry a standout. It’s a great example of simplicity and elegance. Judges particularly noted that the course makes learning easy, because it strikes the perfect balance between information sharing and interactivity. The course also uses a custom player to create a tastefully branded look, while still keeping essential functions at the learner’s fingertips. Congratulations to Dave and e-Mersion for their award-winning course!
Silver Winner: Kevin Thorn
Take one look at Kevin Thorn‘s Guru entry, and you’ll see right away that he loves to build e-learning that informs and engages learners. He received the Silver Award for his fun, game-like scenario that takes you through four intelligence-gathering missions about lawn care. The judges really liked Kevin’s creativity and the way he used a consistent visual design and color themes to make everything feel so seamless. Other cool things you’ll notice in his course include innovative use of Engage and Quizmaker, great use of hyperlinks to create interactivity, and a clever “rucksack” metaphor to help learners see their progress. Great job, Kevin — congratulations!
Bronze Winner: Mike Enders
When you view Mike Enders’ course, you get the feeling that you just sat down on your couch to enjoy a fun, hip educational documentary on TV. Except Mike’s course is even better, because he gives you lots of opportunities to interact with the course content. He draws you in from the very beginning by leveraging features like effective video, an interactive knowledge check, nice use of the player’s toolbar tabs, and a great storytelling style and pace. There’s even a nifty web object where you get to share your own thoughts about the course content, and see what others are saying. If you’ve always thought that learning about science is boring, we think you’ll be shocked by what you see in this course. Really nice work, Mike — congrats on your Bronze Award!
Bronze Winner: Nancy Woinoski and Pinched Head
Nancy Woinoski of Pinched Head submitted an engaging course about personal finance and budgeting. The course takes what might otherwise be a dry topic and turns it into an entertaining but realistic scenario, making the content fun and easy to learn. Creative Flash animations are integrated with scenes built in PowerPoint to create a unique look. Way to win the Bronze Award, Nancy and Pinched Head!
Bronze Winner: McDonald’s and Kineo
Steve Rayson and the folks at Kineo received a Bronze Award for a course they built for McDonald’s UK. Though we can’t share the entire course because it contains confidential information, below you can view a 3-slide excerpt that contains a content slide, an Engage FAQ interaction, and a quiz question. This course’s clean and simple visual design, nice use of corporate colors, and eye-catching custom player all help make it worthy of a Bronze Award. Congratulations, Steve and Kineo!
All in all, it was definitely a banner year for the Articulate Guru competition! We hope that the winning courses inspire and challenge you to stretch your skills and try new things in your own e-learning projects. (And remember, it’s never too early to begin planning for the next Guru Awards!)
If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Word of Mouth blog so that you don’t miss future posts where we take a closer look at each of the winning courses and many of the other outstanding entries we received.
Thanks again to all who participated in the competition, and a special thanks to Helene Geiger of Prometheus Training Corporation (inaugural Articulate Gold Guru Award winner) and Ron Price of Yukon Learning (authorized Articulate training provider), who served as guest judges and gave valuable input to the Articulate judging team.