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Posts Tagged ‘Articulate Storyline’

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?

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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.

Number2Ranking

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.

Articulate Challenge – Audio Setup and Tips

August 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Quick post – my entry for this weeks Articulate Elearning Challenge – audio tips and tricks.

A really GREAT thread appearing on the Challenges page, superb hints and tips for anyone wanting to try voiceover on an eLearning course.

And now for something completely different…

July 2, 2014 1 comment

Apart from the fact that a good Instructional Designer should probably not begin ANY sentence with “and”, this blog post celebrates the triumphant return of The Monty Python Team, (nearly all of them…) to the London stage last night, and some complete silliness from a Skype discussion I had earlier.

I was trying to discuss the merits of 14:9 Articulate Storyline slide dimensions with a colleague versus 4:3.

When I type :3 something wonderful happened….

It interprets :3 as a cat licking its paw.

14_3 on Skype

I never knew that, and I suspect you did not either. Unless you are cleverer than me and understand social media more. Or talk about eLearning or PowerPoint slide dimensions a lot in your Skype-life.

If you did NOT know this, promise me that next time you Skype someone, at an opportune moment you will just type :3, and then pretend you have no idea what you did.

We all have to right to be silly once in a while – and on that note “Hurrah for Monty Python!”

I just need to slap someone with a fish now…..

 

The value of REAL networking in your freelancer community.

June 28, 2014 5 comments

There’s an old business saying along the lines of “Never annoy anyone on your way to the top, because you may need their help when you are on the way down“. Basically, I take that to mean try and treat everyone right, and they will treat you right when you need them, (even if you are still on the way up).

Earlier this week I got a call from a very influential/well-known UK Institute. They had a problem. They had contacted me because I have 2 specific skills – #Articulate #Storyline and #Sparkol #Videoscribe – two products that are essential for their project rollout.

They need nearly 100 short, 10/12-slide, 10-minute courses produced – originally the deadline was sometime early in 2015, it is now late August 2014. It is almost the end-June now. There will be around 30-40 standalone Videoscribes to produce after that.

I went to see them, to see what I could do to help, if anything. To cut a long story short, after the meeting I placed a call to a Storyline colleague, to see if he could help, because there is no way I can do this on my own. He told me that he had diversified from Storyline, and had entered the Video Marketing world too using a new product – had I heard of a product called “Sparkol Videoscribe”?

He also knows of another resource who can help us with these skills. Sometimes – the planets just align perfectly.

In the meeting, both the client and I accepted the project dates were bordering on insanity, however, after a couple of hours, some laying down of the production “rules”, and some networking, this project has become completely realistic. I’m not saying it will be easy, but 1 person has become 3, and the light at the end of the tunnel is certainly brighter than it was. In contacting this colleague, and giving some work AWAY, a project is now more likely to happen, with me at the middle, managing it, and client panic (hopefully) turning to client delight and future repeat business.

I believe that effective Freelancer networks are ESSENTIAL, especially in my own eLearning business world . There are so many products and tools, no-one can be effective in them all. Work with REAL people, contact REAL people, and do not just be “Social Media Friends”. Be REAL friends and REAL colleagues. I am totally sick and tired of social media contacts to “Like” and “Friend” and so on – where they just ask, but offer no explanation WHY they want me to like, friend, buddy, connect and generally add to my Inbox.

That way, a massive piece of business, crazy to look at on paper MIGHT just become a workable reality with one phonecall. Freelancers often on PC/mobile tools to be effective, but do not, ever forget the value of ongoing contacts, and the occasional social call just in case you need their help.

It does not have to be deadly dull…

June 16, 2014 2 comments

I am having a lot of fun creating eLearning at the moment…yes…fun.

Just because eLearning is deadly serious that does not mean that it has to be deadly dull.

I’m developing a course on corporate Fraud – it has loads of little animations built to represent cheating partners and annoyed stationery-stealing staff, built using PowToon and Sparkol Videoscribe.

 

You see – “animation” does not necessarily mean “funny”, or “disrespectful”.

All it means is that – animated.

Google “define animated” and the first entry is:

full of life or excitement; lively

Isn’t that what we are all trying to do in (most) eLearning? 

I am developing one course on the Hospitality Industry. I just use PowToon to bring in 3 images of what different grades of hotel look like, but because they come in with a “Pop” effect, (like a PowerPoint “Grow” but with a pronounced bounce), on a brightly coloured template, they do not LOOK like PowerPoint.

 

They just provide a breather, a change of tempo for a few seconds, and the visuals (instead of text), provide an increased change of learning. It’s like a change of tempo in a musical piece, or the “middle 8” of some jazz – the same, but different. I’m still using the Corporate Articulate Storyline template, so it’s all OK from a brand perspective, but having a consistent brand/style does NOT mean everything has to ALWAYS look the same.

 

Humour is all around us. I have just seen a Driving School car labelled with their logo and brand “AcciDON’T”. I think that’s funny!

 

Sainsburys supermarket in the UK are selling a “Basics” version of their twin garlic baguettes – on the pack it says “Made with margarine not butter – but it still takes your breath away”. I think that’s brilliant!

 

So be brave, suggest humour, or even better, just create some, and place it into your courses. Certainly my clients seem to LOVE it, and I suspect, (when used appropriately), yours will too.

 

Have a fun time!

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