6 Facts About Rapid eLearning Development That Will Impress Your Boss

In today’s world, time is at premium and Learning and Development professionals have to balance the quality of eLearning courses within shorter time spans to go-live and within budgets that are shrinking every year. All of these factors have led to increased use of rapid eLearning development as a necessity vis-a-vis traditional eLearning. In this article, I will outline what rapid eLearning is, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. I will then share cues on where it would be a good fit and some tips and best practices that will help you increase the success of these initiatives.

 

Rapid elearning development

Rapid eLearning Development: What Is Rapid eLearning?

While the definition of rapid eLearning varies, the most common attributes of eLearning courses that can be termed as “rapid eLearning courses” are:

  1. They can be developed within 2-3 weeks.
  2. These projects would be led directly by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who have written the source content.
  3. Rapid authoring tools are used that typically facilitate an input of the source content in a format like PowerPoint. Notable examples of rapid authoring tools are Articulate Studio’09, Articulate Studio’13, Snap! by Lectora, Mohive, Claro, and Adapt. However, the traditional eLearning authoring tools like Adobe Captivate, Lectora Inspire, and Articulate Storyline can also be adapted for rapid eLearning development.
  4. Rapid authoring tools do not require any technical expertise to develop content/courses. Additionally, these tools facilitate an “Easy Publish” of courses into desired standards like standalone (CD/Offline version), SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, and AICC.
  5. Courses can be created through a standard template library of the authoring tools and will have basic levels of interactions and simple assessments.

What Are The Advantages Of Rapid eLearning?

The key factor for the success of rapid eLearning development has been faster turn-around time. Additionally, this development can be handled predominantly by Subject Matter Experts, minimizing the requirement of other resources such as Instructional Designers, visual designers, and programmers.

A summary of the key advantages is as follows:

  • Lower development costs.
  • Better turn-around time (most courses can go live within 2-3 weeks).
  • Design just-in-time training that can respond more dynamically to organizational needs.
  • Opportunities for organizations to leverage on internal Subject Matter Expert talent and use them more efficiently and meaningfully.
  • Better control on on-going updates or enhancements to courses.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Rapid eLearning?

In spite of several advantages that rapid eLearning offers, “one size does not fit all”. What this means is that this approach will fit certain kinds of projects but will fail to be effective in others. The reason for this is that more often than not, Subject Matter Experts do not have Instructional Design capability and this leads to a learning design that may not engage the learners as effectively (despite great content). So like all choices, there are pros and cons as you opt for rapid eLearning development.

Specifically, Where Would Rapid eLearning Development Succeed?

In my assessment, rapid eLearning development finds a good fit and is successful in the following situations:

    1. Projects that need extensive subject matter input.
      As we know, in traditional eLearning projects, Subject Matter Experts pass the raw content to Instructional Designers, who then develop the storyboards. This is further handled by visual designers and programmers to create the eventual project. It is important to note that most of the development process is controlled by professionals who do not have knowledge of the content and may not necessarily have prior experience with it. So, projects that can benefit from an Subject Matter Expert’s direct and continuous engagement are a good fit for rapid eLearning development. Subject Matter Experts can opt for direct development of the courses or work very closely with Instructional Designers to ensure accurate implementation of their brief.
    2. Projects that need to go-live quickly.
      Rapid eLearning development is a great fit when you need projects to go-live in a really short lead time (within three weeks or so). Clearly, this goal cannot be met through traditional eLearning development.
    3. Projects that have limited budget or organizations having limited training budgets.
      In both situations, rapid eLearning development is the logical choice.

What Kind Of Situations Adapt Well To Rapid eLearning Development?

Before you select rapid eLearning development, do evaluate if the content falls into one of the following categories. These situations reflect when rapid eLearning development is a great fit and is often a better choice than traditional eLearning:

  1. When content changes rapidly.
  2. When content has a short shelf life.
  3. When you need to provide just-in-time information.

Are There Any Tips Or Best Practices That Will Increase The Success Of Rapid eLearning Development Projects?

Here are some tips and best practices that will ensure the success of your rapid eLearning development:

    1. Identify the time frame to go-live and evaluate if the project (and content) is apt for rapid eLearning development.
    2. Authoring tool selection.
      Confirm if the Subject Matter Expert is familiar with the tool. Otherwise, plan for an associated learning curve and determine if this will impact the planned go-live date.
    3. Readiness of the source content.
      Confirm if the existing raw content needs further processing or it is ready to hit development.
    4. Explore the authoring tool and identify the right templates that provide the desired visual impact and will aid learners retain this effectively.
    5. Engage the learners through relevant interactions.
      Use scenarios and pause and reflect templates to help them understand the real-world dynamics.
    6. Select an effective assessment strategy.
      Plan for adequate check-points and end of course assessments through varied templates.

I hope this article was useful in understanding the dynamics associated with rapid eLearning development and providing an insight on how you can create successful projects using this approach.

At EI Design we have a strong, decade old rapid eLearning development practice through which we provide a dedicated panel of Instructional Designers and visual designers who work closely with your Subject Matter Expert and create stunning rapid eLearning courses that are completely template-driven. This value addition can offset the disadvantages of rapid eLearning development while retaining the advantages of lower costs and faster turn-around time. We have several case studies that showcase how we have increased the success factors of these projects manifold.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/6-facts-about-rapid-elearning-development-that-will-impress-your-boss/

Converting Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to HTML5 (web pages)

Products used in this example:

  • Adobe Captivate (2017 release)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

In this blog post, you will learn how to easily convert your PowerPoint slides into interactive and engaging web-enabled presentations using HTML5.

If you do not have the 2017 release of Adobe Captivate, download a trial version of Captivate.

To install Captivate, follow the installation instructions here.

Prepare your PowerPoint presentation

Open the presentation that you want to convert into an eLearning course. Make the required changes and remove all unwanted slides from the presentation.

Import the presentation in Captivate

Open Adobe Captivate. If you are on a Mac, you’ll find your installed version of Captivate under Applications. If you are on a Windows computer, you’ll find it under the Start Menu.

To import the PPT, click File > New Project > Project from MS PowerPoint.

File menu

The dialog box Convert Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation appears. Enter the project name and the size of the project in project properties. Select all slides and click OK to continue importing and converting your slide deck.

Convert PPT

Publish the project

Choose the option Publish on the big button bar. In the Publish dialog, select the SWF/HTML5 tab (top left). Then set the output format to HTML5 (you can turn off SWF.) Finally, click Publish.

Publish project

Your published HTML5 web page will now be available. But if you’ve never worked with HTML or HTML5 before it might not look the way you expected. Web pages are stored as individual elements (like graphics etc.) and a set of instructions in a text file that is usually called ‘index.html’

To put your new web slide show online you’ll want to copy the folder with your converted PowerPoint deck into your web server. By Default, Captivate publishes files into a folder called ‘My Adobe Captivate Projects’ in your Documents folder.

5 Corporate Challenges Solved With Rapid eLearning

Rapid eLearning does not involve developing online courses from scratch. Rather, it builds on existing resources such as PPTs and legacy courses to develop courses quickly and economically. Read this article to know the various corporate training challenges solved with rapid eLearning.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

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Adobe Captivate 2017 Review: What is Improved?

Adobe’s new update for its most popular eLearning authoring tool, Captivate 2017 is released now! It is loaded with tons of new exciting features and enhancements! Be it custom eLearning content development, rapid elearning, mobile learning, simulation-based eLearning or microlearning, Adobe Captivate has been the choice of eLearning developers and eLearning providers. This update brings…

The 2017 upgrade to Adobe Captivate Prime Provides an Amazing Experience

We’re continuing our quest to redefine the LMS with the latest update to Adobe Captivate Prime. If you haven’t tried Prime yet, now is the time to jump in and explore. The latest updates are amazing, and I’ve had a wonderful time sharing them with people through the new videos and via face to face demonstrations and early previews.

What has me so excited? Let me break it down.

Learner Dashboard of Adobe Captivate Prime
#1 – The learner experience is flat out sensational

The headlights dashboard is the clear headline. Big round interactive infographics show you which courses are overdue, nearing deadlines and in good standing. A single click calls the relevant courses to the top of the list instantly – making it crazy simple to find the things you should be working on. The other infographic displays your assigned certifications, learning programs and courses. Think of it as a compliance driving wheel. The same interactive selection and sorting are available there.

The Skills Dashboard for learners in Adobe Captivate Prime

The skill dashboard is flat out fantastic. You can easily see the skills your organizational leadership wants you to learn about. Click any one of them to learn all about it. You can explore to see all of the courses that are available to earn that skill, and you can even compare your assigned skill set to the skills of your peers and your leaders – making it an ideal way to better understand how training might impact your career.

Adobe Captivate Prime’s new learner dashboard kicks things off with a sleek new mobile friendly appearance that is totally flexible. You can drag and drop the on-screen widgets to your favorite positions to get the layout that works for you.

Use images and graphics to spice up the user experience for your Learners

The course browsing experience is enhanced with beautiful new photographic images to augment the smart cards. Courses in catalogs can be separated and filtered – making it easier than ever to find what you need. Lending power to your quest is the enhanced search feature. You can search from anywhere and smart filters make the job even more powerful. My favorite new search filter allows you to search your own course notes – to easily recall materials that you left notes on.

#2 One Player to Rule them All – No plugins required!

The fluidic player continues to revolutionize the LMS experience, with support for Word Docs, Acrobat PDFs, PowerPoint, Videos of virtually every ilk and eLearning in AICC, SCORM and xAPI formats. The player makes it possible to blend your learning with support for online learning, virtual classrooms, live face to face training and external activities.

#3 Adobe Captivate Prime is Easy, Automated, and Fun (yes, really)

You can roll out a learning program in under 90 minutes and get to virtually anything in 3 clicks or less. The automation means that you can make the system do those mundane chores for you so you don’t have to fiddle with enrollment for new hires, transfers, relocations or promotions.  You can even automate based on course completions.

The leaderboard and badges help provide motivation and reassurance that the work you are doing is contributing toward your goals and the goals of your organization. The competitive perspective increases engagement and enhances the sense of accomplishment – recognizing the mastery of your learners.

#4 Mobile, just like you

This update adds smartphone support, so now learners can access and use the mobile app for Android or IOS. That means that you can download courses and content onto your mobile phone or tablet and even complete the course or learning program while you are offline. The network smart resyncing will pick back up as soon as your device rediscovers a network – the data will report to the LMS.

#5 Easily extendible

Support for Multi-Tenancy – or many departments, brands, divisions or groups across your organization means that you can set up Adobe Captivate Prime to cover all of your learners and share content, reporting and even licenses across all of those groups. It even handles both internal and external users. Adobe Captivate Prime is flexible enough to meet the needs of the biggest enterprise solutions, and simple enough to work brilliantly even for small businesses.

Sound off below with your own reactions – I’d love to hear how others are finding the new Captivate Prime.

Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) : Smart, Fast & Incredibly Flexible

The latest update to Adobe Captivate, Adobe’s industry leading eLearning authoring tool is packed with solid enhancements that will make virtually any eLearning developer smile, and the team at Adobe brings home another marvel – incredible levels of intuition and automation when it comes to creating fully responsive content for mobile devices.

Adobe is revolutionizing eLearning authoring again with the introduction of Fluid Boxes, a technology that  makes creating eLearning for desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones easier than ever. So what exactly does that mean?

Screen sizes differ. Screen orientations differ. It can be pretty challenging to make the same content fit well and remain interactive and retain its value as training when that content must appear on landscape and portrait oriented pages, realigned and scaled for everything from desktops to smart phones. The 2017 release of Adobe Captivate takes two giant leaps forward in automating this process.

First, it introduces the automated conversion of previously authored courses by adding a ‘Save as responsive’ option, along with a smart sense about screen layout that will anticipate the layouts that are most likely to rearrange well across devices.

Second, it adds a new solution for automatic reconfiguration of screens called Fluid Boxes. To understand Fluid Boxes, you need to first imagine the various items on the screen are each contained in a virtual rectangle. As the screen size changes, the boxes will intelligently rearrange, remove, realign and resize themselves in order to accommodate the different screen sizes and orientations. The Captivate team has taken this even farther, by enabling some elements to maintain static relationships within any box, and other elements to dynamically stretch, scale and rearrange within any given box.

One of my favorite new features – is that you can now preview all of the changes caused by changes to the scale and orientation, live right in the authoring environment. That means that you can simply drag the scale slider at the top of the stage, and watch as the layout you have specified, changes and scales, rearranges and transforms for the varied screen sizes and orientations.

You can also now use the device specific preview menu to rapidly sample the appearance across a wide range of devices. You can even create your own additional device sizes and add them to the list for quick and easy reference to whatever kind of devices you are using.

As you change the scale, you’ll notice right away that text now scales very smoothly from larger to smaller sizes across the various screens. You have more control of this than ever with minimum size limits in the property inspector. You can also tie the size of text elements on the screen together, so that your fonts remain same-sized (or relative same sized) across the entire page, even while scaling. You’ll also find that some of the problems of text overflow have been solved for you by dynamically enabling ‘more’ text within smaller interfaces. The new Adobe Captivate actually lets you lock the size of a text block, and if the text overflows that limit, it will give the learner a ‘more’ button that they can use to see all of the text on an overlay.

Adobe TypeKit in Browser

An image of Adobe TypeKit running in a browser.

 

Fonts play a big part in Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) as Adobe TypeKit integration is introduced to Adobe Captivate. This means that now course authors can use all of those gorgeous fonts without fear that they will be lost in the void of the Internet. If you’ve authored courses for HTML5, one of your frustrations is no doubt that you have essentially been limited to 5 basic web safe fonts. No fancy curls or beautiful serifs. All that changes with the introduction of Adobe Captivate 2017 integration with Adobe TypeKit.

Course authors only have to point to the fonts in their TypeKit library to share the joy of hundreds of amazing fonts with their learners, delivering a consistent learning experience.

Configure CC in Captivate

Captivate has always been about customization – it is the sort of thing that becomes really important when your boss or a client wants something changed and your tool doesn’t allow you to do it. That’s why the enhancements to closed captions in Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) have clearly reset the standards for the industry. Now you can fully format those captions, place them anywhere on the screen, customize the colors, fonts, backgrounds, alignment and more. All fully responsive, the new closed caption editing controls are nothing short of fantastic.

Asset Libraries are the toy in my cereal box, and Adobe Captivate now comes stocked with more than 75,000 assets that you can use to go nuts with including games, images, characters, templates, themes and more. These are premium assets from the eLearning Brothers collection of more than a million incredible resources, and they will give any project a jump start. If that isn’t enough, you can easily jump over to the eLearning Brothers site and grab the other million assets to make your library complete.

If you are an advanced user, there is something fantastic in the 2017 Release of Adobe Captivate for you too. Combine Conditional and Standard Advanced actions, and LOOP! Yes, really. Now you can create a ‘while’ loop in your conditional advanced actions. Combined with object states you could create perpetual motion cycling through a set of different states, or you could use it to check for a change in a variable, even monitor a network status.

While you’re tinkering with animation, check out the new group animation ability. Now you can animate groups, in addition to animating individual objects. I was easily able to concoct a propeller from smart shapes and get it grouped and spinning around a center hub. Group based animation should ease the process of creating more complex animated elements in your learning projects.

There are a number of additional fixes, enhancements and benefits packed into the 2017 update to Adobe Captivate. There is a cool enhancement to application capture that lets mobile users swipe and pinch the screen for a better view on mobile responsive projects, and editable states on master slides.

Get your own copy of Adobe Captivate 2017 right now, simply by downloading the trial right here. If you are a Captivate subscriber, the trial will automatically activate with your Adobe ID. Best of all, you can leave your copy of Captivate 9 on your machine in case you need to use both for a while. If you are not yet a subscriber, consider subscribing to the service – at @$29.99/mo US, its a great way to get the updates – even a full version update like this one at no additional expense. Of course you can still purchase a perpetual license if you prefer.

10 Criteria For Choosing The Best Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools

Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools give you the ability to design amazing eLearning content quickly and cost-effectively. But how do you find the software that's a perfect fit for your corporate eLearning initiatives? In this article, I'll highlight the 10 criteria for selecting the ideal rapid eLearning authoring tool for your organization.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.