3 places to use animated video in your online learning

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment

With the release of Articulate Storyline version 2, (with it’s “No compression” video feature…), there’s never been a better time to consider using HD video or animations in your eLearning. But when?

Click on the blue text to see 3 examples…

1. Use Sparkol Videoscribe to show process and project flows. So much easier to understand than the stuffy old project management visuals you see in many courses.

2. When you want to illustrate an place or a role – why not inject some humour or characters. LIFE has humour, so why are so many people scared to use it in training?

3. Instead of a dull textual question – why not illustrate the question using a short animation? You can also do the same with the answers, and with any further explanations/supplementary learning you want to provide.

You can even create a video by using PowerPoint and saving as a Windows Media Video (.wmv) file type.

So GO ON!

Have some fun with Storyline Version 2, (and v1..), PowToon and Sparkol Videoscribe.

Categories: Freelancers

Trust your network, and your authoring product

September 17, 2014 Leave a comment

In most cases, my eLearning authoring tool of choice (Articulate Storyline), is relatively stable. I know I can depend on it. In most cases, all of the people in my network of colleagues are stable (!?), and I trust them.

I’ve been fighting with a new quizzing concept for a few days, and have spent hours debugging and checking, yet still I could not bottom out why a series of quizzes, (10 in one course, everyone only takes one from a selected stream, all pointing to a final Results slide that submits to the LMS), was failing. For an 80% pass rate I was getting Fails of 77.77%, and passes of 88.88%. All very weird.

Wondering if this really was a bug after about 3 hours of testing I asked a colleague if they could have a look. They found the error in about ….ooh……6 seconds. Something that had been staring me in the face for 3 months was incorrect, and I was too close to see it.

Articulate Storyline, (and now Articulate Storyline v2), give me almost everything I need to create online learning for clients, and I was almost at that point of dis-trusting it, however, sometimes all it needs is a fresh eye from someone who you trust totally.

Trust your product, trust your network, and you can solve most issues.

Categories: Freelancers

Storyline v2

September 16, 2014 Leave a comment

I have been privileged to have taken part in the Beta testing for Articulate Storyline v2 over the past few months.

It is released today.

There are so many features that I have become used to – Sliders, Motion Paths, Animations and non-compressed videos to name but a few.

This is a GREAT product, and will make our production lives so much easier.

Kudos to the Articulate Development Team.

Here’s a short demo of Sliders from StoryLion – my alter ego!

Enjoy.

Using Articulate Storyline branching to break down corporate silos.

September 4, 2014 Leave a comment

I have a 17-year old teenage daughter. She is currently making sure that our family is aware of her new found sense of “independence” :)

In fact, as we get older, in some ways we become independent, but more so we need to become INTER-DEPENDANT. As adults, we need to fit into more and more social groups. We have to work within those groups, and only then will the group give us respect and a real sense of “belonging”. Just at the time we think we are breaking the bonds, in fact we need to make some of those bonds stronger.

It’s very similar to corporate life. So many departments get entrenched in silos, and forget how they affect other groups, and how other groups rely on them.

Articulate Storyline makes branching easy, so how about this…

If you are creating a process course, or even compliance, create buttons that trigger loops/breakout sections where you explain how changes and requirements affect, or are linked to the OTHER departments in a company. Thee might be departments that the learner seldom, if EVER comes into contact with, but it can place their life in a bigger framework.

Branching image

Try and get the content from the perspective of the SMEs in the other departments.

As Instructional Designers, we are always “make content real”, and “make it matter” to the learner, and this can help bring the smaller tactical picture into the larger strategic one.

Why not suggest it to your clients?

You might just find that it benefits them too, and they see your added strategic value – always a good way to get repeat business.

What does “engaging” mean?

September 3, 2014 1 comment

Those lovely people at Sparkol asked a few people, (including me…), to explain what we meant by the word “engaging”.

We all seem to mean the same thing (a good thing I suppose!), but some interesting perspectives from different parts of the “scribing” community.

Have a look.

Categories: Freelancers

Some more suggestions for a more successful freelance ID business life…

September 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi again!

Once again a few more thoughts from your friendly Articulate freelance Instructional Designer on how to make your business a little more successful.

Before you ask – yes…they are all from personal/(bitter?) experience.

Categories: Freelancers

Getting Instructional Design Closer to the Business

August 16, 2014 2 comments

I am constantly amazed by instructional designers that think that “training” is what they do, rather than “help businesses”, and ignore some of the norms of business behaviour and thinking.

So – here’s 5 things you can do to get closer to business.

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