As instructional designers, we aim to design eLearning courses such that it reduces cognitive overload and gives a sense of accomplishment to the learner.
But what is the secret sauce to create effective eLearning courses?
Declutter the screen with irrelevant images, graphics and heavy on-screen text. And your 50% job is done. Yes, it’s just that. Whether it is custom eLearning, rapid eLearning, mobile learning or even microlearning; Relevancy is the key. And incorporating infographics in eLearning can take your eLearning courses to the next level. In this blog, we will highlight the relevancy of infographics in eLearning.
Why eLearning Infographics Make Sense?
Infographics or Information Graphics – a visual representation of information or data.
Did you know?
“An infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article.”
Infographics are one of the best visual tools to hook learner’s attention and convey message effectively. It presents well chunked content with relevant graphics to help learners understand the content in less time and retain for a longer duration.
Learners scan the infographics and interpret the meaning well, especially the complex data, when compared to other visuals.
Let’s consider the below example.
If you closely look at the infographic, large amount of content is broken into small pieces and organized in a meaningful structure with suitable graphical representation.
Incorporating Infographics in Elearning
In eLearning, infographic has a major role to play. It will not enhance the effectiveness of eLearning course, but increases its visual appeal.
Based on a rough estimate, one Infographic may convey the message of three to five eLearning slides loaded with text.
Following are the two greatest advantages of infographics in eLearning:
- It motivates learner with its visually appealing graphical representations
- Significantly reduces number of eLearning course slides
In eLearning, infographic can be made interactive and animated.
Notable Areas Where We can use Infographics
We can use infographics in almost all content types, such as:
- Comparative Analysis
- Process and Procedures
Infographics Vs Photographs
There is a famous Chinese saying about image, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words; it’s more true for infographics.
Photographs convey unclear meanings – the learner may confuse or may infer different meaning.
Infographics are self-explanatory; the graphic structure and small content nuggets guide learner to the intended meaning.
Tips to Develop Infographics:
Define goal to focus – Keep related and moderate content
Create scannable content – The graphic structure and content chunks should be skimmable in seconds
Maintain horizontal flow of content – Learner’s prefer to read left-to-right
Draw a wire-diagram – Draw high-level structure to plan size and placements of graphic elements and text
Create graphics – Develop graphic elements; be consistent in shapes and colours
Avoid large sizes – Try to avoid scrolls
If you want to convey the complex information succinctly and help your learners digest the content easily, then infographics in eLearning should be the best choice.
Big congrats to Kevin Siegel and Jennie Ruby, for the recent publication of his their new book on Presenter 11. If Kevin’s name sounds familiar, you may recognize him from his acclaimed project estimation tool – a very cool widget that let’s you calculate / project project costs for eLearning.
This book covers Presenter 11 in solid detail. It approaches the material topically, providing a solid foundation in everything from audio to video and nicely includes quizzing and reporting alongside interactive smart learning components. You can check out the book at the link below.
Congrats again, Kevin and Jennie.
In a world of smart-everything, from cities to televisions, why should eLearning be left out?
With an innovative approach to authoring, content, and total cost of ownership, you can be more creative, productive, and inclusive than ever before.
With Adobe Captivate, put your tool to work! Create fully responsive content, automatically, with all-new Fluid Boxes. Deliver the best experience for your learners’ device without doing anything more. Design with high-quality fonts that are consistent across devices and spring no unpleasant surprises.
Keep learners engaged! Give legacy desktop courses a makeover, as mobile learning. Don’t just tell them, show them, with best-in-class simulations. Bring content to life with the perfect image or interaction from a library of 75,000+ free eLearning assets. Add an audio track with text-to-speech conversion.
Get more value for your spends! Pay-as-you-go with flexible subscription programs for individuals and teams. Sweat assets you already own – roundtrip seamlessly with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and more in Adobe Creative Cloud.
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 best of the features which help you reimagine the way you develop HTML5-based interactive eLearning. This means more flexibility in creating fully responsive multi-device eLearning and mLearning content.
In our last blog, we have covered the new features of Adobe Captivate 2017. So for now, we will take a look at the improved features or enhancements to understand what makes it better than Adobe Captivate 9.
Multi-Device Responsive eLearning Authoring – Enhancement:
With Adobe Captivate 2017, creating multi-device eLearning content has never been so easy. Your eLearning content adapts itself to every mobile device without developing the same slide for multiple times for different views. Now you can use Device-Specific previews to see how your eLearning content looks on any device. One publish for all devices. You’d love this enhancement as it reduces redundancy in development saving you a huge amount of time.
Responsive Themes – Enhancement:
The responsive themes are now loaded with Fluid boxes that enable you to render fully responsive content for multiple devices. You can customize themes for an enhanced look and feel with blended backgrounds, styles, fonts, and layouts. You can also save them for future.
Responsive Motion Effects Without Programming – Enhancement:
Take learner engagement to the next level. Create motion effects using fluid object transitions even for responsive elearning projects without any code. Define motion paths and control how objects move.
Shared Advanced Actions – Enhancement:
Applying Shared Advanced Actions within the project is much easier now with the introduction of Conditional tab in the Advanced Actions dialog box. You can now convert standard to conditional action and vice versa eliminating the need to copy and paste the shared action. It saves your time and efforts.
The enhancements in 2017 edition of Adobe Captivate enable you to create advanced multi-device learning with improved flexibility. In addition, it is also power-packed with the ability to convert a non-responsive eLearning project to responsive project, customizable closed captioning and many more.
Online content delivery is continuously evolving,and rapid authoring tools are considered as the best tools to design learning courses, keeping down training costs. Ease to track training courses is the major reason why organizations adopt rapid authoring.
This post was first published on eLearning Industry.
I’m always trying to get faster with my development process in Adobe Captivate, and have learnt some tricks over the years, which I wanted to share with you.
I appreciate that everyone will already have their own workflow, but I thought these would help.
Tip 1. Save Files With Version Numbers.
This is something I always preach. Please save your Captivate files with version numbers. An example of this could be a Captivate file with name of ‘Module_1_draft_1. I will save a new version every day, before I start working on the file. This way you are able to go back to previous days in case anything goes wrong and you can’t remember how to fix it.
I can’t tell you how many times this has helped me. Captivate can create backup files of your project, but I find this helps so much, especially when you reach a big milestone in development. I even create multiple versions in one day sometimes when I have fixed any bugs or issues.
It can also be applied to any document you work on. Let’s say you’re storyboard is being updated during development, you could add the version numbers to this and in Captviate make a note when you start using a new version of your storyboard.
Tip 2. Use A Folder Structure System.
E-learning projects can become monsters when they start to grow.
With all of the media, job aids, storyboards, review forms and exports; it becomes difficult to manage. You can have a folder for each type of documents.
I personally have a folder for just my Captivate files, a folder for my published files, a folder for all of my media e.g. videos, photos etc. I also have folders for the review forms and storyboards.
I know it can seem a boring part of the process, but if you do this before you begin, it will make it a lot easier as the project grows.
It’s also important to remember to keep everything within this folder structure. I know how tempting it can be to save things to your desktop or other areas when you are in a rush, but if you keep everything centralised, it will be much easier to find everything. This is especially important when it comes to publishing your project and Captivate needs to be able to find everything.
Tip 3. Use a Jump-to slide Button.
This is a trick I use when I need to jump to a certain slide, but don’t need to go through every slide when previewing the project.
Let’s say you have a project of 50 slides and you need to check slide 30 is working. I would create a button on your first slide and use the ‘jump to slide’ action. Then I find slide 30 in the drop down menu, and tell the button to jump to that slide.
If you haven’t used this before, it will make things so much faster for you when you’re previewing your project and don’t have time to go through every slide.
Important Reminder. I do want to remind you to make sure you delete the button when you’re finished. There have been times when I’ve published my project and the button has been left on the home screen.
Tip 4. Use a Colour Pallet.
Colour plays a big role in the design of any e-learning project, which is why I use a colour pallet to speed things up. When you’re in Captivate, you can create some smart shapes and place them outside of the stage, which is the grey area of the screen.
I put the colours I use most often just above my stage and use the eye dropper tool when I need them. If your orgranisation/client has a specific branding colour scheme, this is especially helpful to have. It stops the process of trying to find the exact colours every time you need them.
If you want the colour pallet to appear on every slide, put them on your master slides and they will always be there for you. The colour pallet won’t appear in the published version of your project, as they’re not in the stage area.
Tip 5. Use Object Style Manager.
The Object Style Manager is a must have in your toolbox if you want to get faster.
It allows you to create default settings for objects you use. This means when you create something like a text caption, you can assign the font you need, the colour and same font size. This means that every you create a text caption, it will always be the same and everything will be consistent.
It isn’t just limited to text captions either. It can be used for buttons, text entry boxes, highlight boxes, smart shapes, quiz objects and so much more.
It can be found in the Edit menu and is at the bottom of the menu.
See How Fast You Can Become
I hope this has given you some new ideas on becoming a faster developer with Adobe Captivate. I believe being fast in your job is so important. As long as the quality is compromised, your clients or employer will love you for getting the job done and notice you’re making the effort to improve.
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: 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:
- They can be developed within 2-3 weeks.
- These projects would be led directly by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who have written the source content.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- When content changes rapidly.
- When content has a short shelf life.
- 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:
- Identify the time frame to go-live and evaluate if the project (and content) is apt for rapid eLearning development.
- 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.
- Readiness of the source content.
Confirm if the existing raw content needs further processing or it is ready to hit development.
- Explore the authoring tool and identify the right templates that provide the desired visual impact and will aid learners retain this effectively.
- Engage the learners through relevant interactions.
Use scenarios and pause and reflect templates to help them understand the real-world dynamics.
- 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.
Authoring tools are used by most of the organizations to reduce technical overload, providing interfaces that allow users to fulfill their eLearning needs.
This post was first published on eLearning Industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.