Micro eLearning – from Pecha Kucha to Vines

October 18, 2014 Leave a comment

So – people often say that eLearning is “too long”, or “not the same as my real/social media life” – how many people are prepared to MATCH the social media world in the way they produce learning?

There’s NOTHING to stop people creating GREAT courses in the style of Pecha Kucha, (20 images, 20 seconds each). I built a travel safety course in this style once, and it was HUGELY rewarding (if not hard work!) to pare the content down.

So how far could this be taken?

Could Vines, (6-second video snippets) be used within “traditional” corporate eLearning. Maybe people are doing this already?

Any thoughts…?

Categories: Freelancers Tags: , ,

The seesaw between “100% utilised” and “Yes – I could do that!”

October 15, 2014 1 comment

Being a freelancer is hard at first – you take almost anything that comes along.

When you are little more established – there’s a balancing act to perform. When do you take work, and when do you not take work?

This morning I had to turn down an Articulate Storyline opportunity for next week as I am blessed with being 100% utilised for the net few weeks, however – should you leave space free for just such a contact or not? This was a GREAT client, and although it was below my usual budget would have made a great prospect going forward.

So – nothing remarkable in this post, just pondering how do people handle this sort of situation?

Focusing on the experience rather than the “product” – so why do IDs focus on “training” all the time?

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Steve Jobs focused on the Apple “experience” rather than the product – you can see a GREAT YouTube video here that shows this.

In the same vein – why do Instructional Designers seem to focus so much on the “course”, and the “training” – rather than the REASON we spend all our hours producing all of this content?

I had a discussion earlier this week on “An Ebola Course”. But for me it was not “…an ebola course”, it would be online content that saved lives. This is a mind-switch.

I would LOVE to see a forum or group of IDs have “No Training Words Week“, where – just for a week, just 7 days, we NEVER used words like “training”, “course”, “authoring”, “quiz”, “test” or ANY of the other “learning’y” words.

Could we/they do it?

Could we get through ONE working week with nothing but discussions on VALUE, or workflow, or profit/loss, or process re-engineering, or risk, or profit, or production or technique or re-financing, or loss, or problem-solving, or creativity.

Is it really too hard? Those are the words our customers and clients use in THEIR daily lives.

Try to talk the same language your customer/prospect/client uses – do you even know what language they DO speak?

Freelancer Instructional Designers – take a risk, sometimes it guarantees success rather than putting the next invoice at risk! Take up that flag of professionalism, but become a “business pro”, not just a “training pro(vider)”. It makes sense doesn’t it?

That mind-switch can be hard, and sometimes, your prospect, customer or client does not want it – but that is no reason not to TRY it. You owe it to yourself don’t you? If nothing else you certainly owe it to your profession.

Just wanted to say “THANKS!”

October 10, 2014 1 comment

Somehow, based on “Social Appeal”, this little blog reached #2 in the rankings at http://elearningfeeds.com/top-elearning-blogs/

So – I just wanted to say THANK YOU to anyone and everyone that might have looked, circulated, retweeted or any other social thing. Hugely appreciated.

I’ll try and keep useful and provocative (?) thoughts coming.


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.


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!



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