Posts Tagged ‘E-learning’

FABULOUS article on Storywriting from Sparkol Videoscribe

December 1, 2014 1 comment

I seldom re-use other people’s content here, but this article from Videoscribe is worth quoting.


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?

Just wanted to say “THANKS!”

October 10, 2014 1 comment

Somehow, based on “Social Appeal”, this little blog reached #2 in the rankings at

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.


An additional service for (online) Instructional Designers

April 25, 2013 Leave a comment

In the online/eLearning community we often talk about “blended learning”, (more so in my experience than our classroom colleagues). When we talk about blended we talk about a mix of “PC-based” and “non-PC-based” – but how often do we ever seriously meld the two together?

I’m currently working on a first for me – my Articulate Storyline courses will form the basis of the activities that take place when the students on a classroom course “break out” into their groups.

eLearning becomes a talking, interactive, electronic workbook if you like.

There’s nothing “new” here – I’m still using the same Instructional Design principles, I just need to interface them with the classroom activities, each one linking to the other – a dialogue back and forth.

It’s still the same activities from the perspective of the classroom trainers/facilitators, just that at certain points, the teams being trained can flex their kinaesthetic muscles, make some scenario-based choices, and have group discussions based on the output from their choices.

Videos are presented in several formats; for example “video of a meeting”, and “video just showing speech bubbles from the various scenario players – and the people round the table have to act out the parts“. Branched scenarios which play out various endings depending on choices made by the group. All these help to bring the course alive in a way that static workbooks might not do.

Even the old “…please do not use this time for doing emails or texting, there is time set aside for that later” becomes more potent (IMHO) when delivered by a voice you are working “with” rather than a course Facilitator that is just wandering around.

All that really needs to change is my voiceover – because suddenly, I can talk TO them rather than AT them. I can feedback for incorrect choices based on “…less than 10 minutes ago in the workshop you saw that…” and so on.

I think there may be a real opportunity for online learning designers and classroom course builders to work together for mutual benefit, one that has not been truly examined and mined yet. Certainly not by me until now.
How many of us, both online and classroom-based could extend our business circle and business by selling this concept?

Extracting the “essence” of a company for online learning purposes

July 1, 2012 1 comment

How do you get to the essence of a company?

I listen to classical music 1st thing in the morning, using it to meditate on the tasks of the day, and prepare mentally for the day ahead.

One of my favourite pieces is Vaughan Williams’ “Wasps”. Even though I am not quite sure what benefits wasps actually bring to this planet; the 1st 60 seconds, for me, sums up wasps perfectly. It is like “essence of wasp”. Go on – Google it and play it – see what I mean.

So…we are Instructional Designers. We are expected to “represent” a client when we produce learning. We are expected to put the “essence” of our commissioning company into every course we produce for them.

We are expected to produce learning that will resonate with the client, resonate with the learners, produce measurable results (even though some people still play the “You cannot measure learning” card…), and be something that they see as relevant.

How do we do this?

Well, it easy! We get a .png, .jpeg, or .tiff of the corporate logo, some loops/stingers, or recognisable corporate music, and here’s the REALLY important one…….

We use the company font and colours.

So what?

Learning only resonates with users if there’s a value to them, either from a personal or corporate perspective, no matter how pretty it is when it is dressed up. If that is not addressed, everything we do is wasted. It does not matter one iota if the course if on iPAD, created as a “game”, or created as a powerful multimedia experience.

I had a client recently who saw the winner of one of the many eLearning “contests” that seem to have sprung up. His reaction?

“..Beautiful graphics, but I did not actually LEARN anything, and certainly would not have paid any money for it…” For them – the investment in time and effort was useless. Had I produced the course, I would have been sacked from the project.

When we create courses, we need to engage at a business and personal level with the learners, they need to see examples and scenarios that are REAL to them.

Do not tell people about compliance – tell people about the effects on them of the company not being compliant. Make them care.

Do not create a course telling salespeople all about the features of the new product. Tell them what problems (that they recognise) are solved by the features, so that they can SELL that vision of Nirvana to their clients. They are not paid to sell features. They are paid to sell a vision of the usability of those features.

Our job as IDs is to challenge, not to acquiesce. Be brave – very often the client will actually thank you for the guidance that you have provided. Ask the client how to make the course REAL, how to extract the essence of the company and the personal targets of all those who will be targetted to watch your course, and follow that for your design.

Get that right, and the “contents” just become a detail, not your driver and focus.

Until next time.

Perfect Performance Training – “eLearning Made simpler”

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