How e-Mersion Won Gold in the 2009 Articulate Guru Awards

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in Guru Awards

Last week we announced all the winners of the Articulate Guru Awards 2009. Starting with this post on our Gold winner, e-Mersion, we’ll be looking at each of the winners — as well as some other entries worthy of spotlighting — in more detail.

Guru 2009 Gold Winner: e-Mersion’s CPR Course

So in case you missed it before, start by checking out the course:

View the e-Mersion CPR Course

Analysis of the CPR Course

The Guru Awards courses were judged based on design criteria that highlight the features of Articulate Studio ’09. The underlying content for all submitted courses was not judged for content accuracy. This course should not be considered a certified CPR training course.

Now let’s review some of the course’s features in more detail.

Mostly PowerPoint
As Tom pointed out in his post this week (Here’s Why PowerPoint 2007 Helps You Build Better E-Learning), the course consists of relatively few slides — 20 total, including one custom Flash slide and one Quizmaker ’09 slide. And the other 18 slides were created directly in PowerPoint. As the below screenshot of the source slides shows, this really demonstrates the flexibility of PowerPoint to create engaging training content:

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - slide view

Engage Tab Interaction
There’s also an Engage labeled graphic tab interaction included in the toolbar, which allows users to learn more about how to navigate the course itself. You can view this interaction by clicking the HOW TO NAVIGATE / CC link in the upper right-hand corner of the course:

Presenter Panel Flash Video
Next, after the first couple introduction slides, you’ll probably notice the small video in the upper left-hand corner of the course. Using the Presenter ’09 Insert Flash Movie feature, you can insert an .SWF or .FLV Flash video into this area of your course to add supplemental instructional material, or, in this case, to make the course more lively and exciting with an interesting video right off the bat:

Slide Branching
As you continue through the course, you’ll arrive at a branching slide, where e-Mersion used the hyperlinking feature of PowerPoint to allow you to pick the content you’d like to review: a CPR Demonstration built in PowerPoint, or a CPR Simulation built in Quizmaker ’09:

Combining PowerPoint & Presenter ’09 Features
The CPR Demonstration combines narration, images, PowerPoint animations, and Presenter ’09 annotations to provide an overview of how to perform CPR on an unconscious victim. Throughout the demonstration, you’ll hear an effective use of background audio. At the end of the demo section of the course, you’ll arrive at another branching slide, where you can choose to return to the home splash screen, or jump directly to the CPR Simulation.

Quizmaker ’09 Simulation
When you arrive at the CPR Simulation, you’ll first see an introduction slide built in PowerPoint, then a Quizmaker ’09 quiz loads and the timed siulation begins. By adding a timer to the simulation, e-Mersion increased the excitement factor in the exercise to simulate an actual emergency situation. After the first Quizmaker ’09 blank slide, the clock begins and you start the simulation. The simulation uses the Word Bank question type and was highly customized by leveraging the Quizmaker ’09 Slide View mode. The simulation leverages question branching to send you to blank slides to provide feedback based on whether your selection is right or wrong:

At the end of the course, you’ll see another PowerPoint branching slide, where you can start the course over, or jump directly to one of the two main sections.

For its extensive use of Studio ’09 features, a compelling story, and a highly interactive experience, it’s no wonder this CPR Demonstration is the Articulate Guru Awards 2009 Gold Winner.

Interview with e-Mersion

Dave Richards, president of e-Mersion, answered some questions for us about his experience working with Articulate Studio ’09 to build his course. You can read the questions and answers below.

What are your favorite Studio ’09 features?

Articulate Studio ’09 provides e-Mersion with the features it needs to develop professional eLearning. One of our favorite Studio ’09 features is the new design and functionality in Quizmaker. We also really appreciate the open community approach to Engage, and the annotation and branching features in Articulate Presenter.

Why do you use Articulate products?

In developing eLearning, e-Mersion’s goals for the client are to get them involved so they develop a sense of “ownership,” and train them so they can support the final product. The power of the Articulate product line lies in its ease of use and in its capacity to produce a sophisticated end product — both of which directly benefit our client. Articulate is so easy to use that even a novice PowerPoint user can build and edit a program as if they were a professional developer. And the end product looks like it was created using high-end custom Flash programming.

Dave accepts the gold from Articulate EVP Mark Schwartz at Articulate Live ’09 in Orlando, FL

Articulate also allows e-Mersion to significantly reduce the production budget for its clients. We do this through our rapid eLearning production process. The process is unique in that we work with the client to complete a custom e-Mersion PowerPoint storyboard template. The template is designed to incorporate all of the Articulate products seamlessly. Our clients value this approach because it provides an idea of what the end product will look like even as we enter the early stages of production.

We enjoy building custom solutions on the Articulate platform. As a solution for a large, international client, e-Mersion developed a custom off-line (CD-based) learning management system to support Articulate courses and a custom Articulate player that updates 80% of Articulate content without having to re-publish.

Could you please share some insight on your approach to designing your award-winning course?

Our core objective for the featured CPR course is to engage the learner by taking him through a real, stimulating experience. We created the experience through a mix of audio, graphics, video, and animation elements that invite the learner to participate.

The course launches with an emergency situation involving an unconscious person. We used Articulate Video Encoder to insert a short video of an ambulance, matched to an audio track with sounds that people might hear in a real emergency.

The learner is challenged in an active learning environment to provide first aid and CPR until help arrives. Within the course we developed a CPR demonstration using Articulate Presenter and a CPR simulation using Articulate Quizmaker.

What are your tips for people getting started with Articulate products?

We would encourage new Articulate users to first re-evaluate their relationship with PowerPoint. A fundamental influence in the creation of either good or bad eLearning comes in the form of the author’s perception of PowerPoint. Those who see PowerPoint only as a presentation tool are quickly overcome by creative paralysis. At e-Mersion, we see PowerPoint as a blank canvas with enormous design potential. And the Articulate products really unlock that potential.

Articulate has done a great job with their blogs, support forums, and conferences to educate their customers in creating professional content using simple design tools. The best advice we have for new users is to take advantage of the valuable resources provided by Articulate.

As a committed member of the eLearning community, e-Mersion provides free learning assets, including its custom eLearning PowerPoint storyboard. For those who are just getting started, or those interested in our unique approach, please feel free to visit our website for more information.

To what charitable or educational organizations will you be donating the licenses you received for winning this award, and why?

e-Mersion will donate the licenses to two non-profit organizations focused on international educational and relief. In addition to the licenses, we will donate custom eLearning storyboards and feature them in our e-Mersion blog. We have a great track record of working with non-profit organizations and always appreciate the chance to support them.

Thank you, Articulate! Keep up the great work!

Congratulations once again to e-Mersion!

5 responses to “How e-Mersion Won Gold in the 2009 Articulate Guru Awards”


That was well put together. With the right curriculum and accreditation that would seem like a good enough cpr training program to me.

John // Posted at 2:10 pm on March 23rd, 2009

This really is a beautiful demo. It really draws you in from the very first screen. I liked the use of “environmental” video in the presenter pane – that was a nice touch. And the CPR animations were top-notch.

Kudos to e-Mersion for a great eLearning example.

eQuixotic // Posted at 4:50 pm on March 30th, 2009

I was really impressed of the Mersion’s CPR course presentation in the way it is put forward in a very visual way and simple action steps.

The one thing that desturbed me is that there is a flaw in actual steps of action! It is not incorrect for excample to put 2 fingers on breastbone to find the right placing for hands in CPR but not the way it should be presented. The red cross and AHA has put forward a more simple method as it takes to long for laymen and time is an important factor in CPR. You should teach the international way of placing hands between the nipples of a person or on the middle of the chest. It is more simple and takes less time.

best regards,
Icelandic CPR instructor

Solbjorg // Posted at 4:09 pm on August 13th, 2009

Great job! I enjoyed watching the course. How long did it take you to make?

Tricia // Posted at 4:24 pm on January 5th, 2010

[…] for the second time in a row! Their 2010 entry, Diabesity, is every bit as compelling as the CPR course which earned them a Gold Award in […]

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