Here’s a Free Tool to Build an E-Learning Portfolio

free portfolio

A guest post by Elizabeth Pawlicki, Training Program Manager, Articulate.

You need a portfolio! Even if you’re not currently looking for a new job, maintaining a portfolio is important as an archive to highlight your work and experience.

In previous posts, we covered what should be in your portfolio and how to build one (with links to some potential sites).

However, I continue to get questions on how to host and manage a portfolio.  That’s what I’ll cover today.

Free Portfolio Site

Recently I came across a free tool called SpreadSimple, which is really cool because it builds websites out of Google Sheets (something many of us already know how to use). You create columns of information, and it takes a single line on a Google Sheet and turns it into a “card” on the site.

free portfolio demo

Demo Portfolio

I really liked that I didn’t need to do any programming and by adding content to Google Sheets I was able to create a simple website. So, I created a portfolio to test how easy it is to use. You can see it below.

free portfolio

Click here to view the portfolio.

How to Build the Portfolio

Keep in mind, the SpreadSimple site uses Google Sheets to pull in the data for the site. However, it doesn’t host your media. So, you’ll need a place to host your courses and images. There are a number of options here, but I used Amazon S3.

I added the portfolio content to my Google Sheet, added links to courses on Amazon S3, and in no time at all, I had a modern, professional looking web-based portfolio.

I really didn’t need much on my sheet, so I started with my course title, a description, the link to where the course was being hosted in S3, and the link to the course thumbnail, also in S3.

Later, I realized that SpreadSimple allowed for filtering when viewing the completed site, so I added a “Tools” column to my Google Sheet and organized my courses by whether they were built in Storyline 360 or Rise 360.

To give you an idea of just how little you really need to build a site, here’s a behind the scenes look at my Google Sheet.

free portfolio google sheet

It’s really easy to build and manage a portfolio this way. Here’s a quick tutorial where you can watch me add a new course to my portfolio just by adding a new line to Google Sheets, filling in the cells, and refreshing the SpreadSimple page.

Click here to view the tutorial.

If you don’t already have a portfolio, give SpreadSimple a try. The service is free if you don’t need to use any of the integrations or set up a custom domain. I found it quick and intuitive.

What do you think?


Elizabeth Pawlicki


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Here’s a Quick Way to Instantly Have Closed Captions

closed aptions for e-learning

A guest post by Elizabeth Pawlicki, Training Program Manager, Articulate.

If you’re a Google Chrome 89+ user you now have access to Live Caption which is an accessibility feature that provides real-time captions for audio that plays through the browser.

This is a really excellent feature for audio that runs through your browser when viewing courses that have videos or narration, especially if the audio doesn’t have captions. Check it out below.

Initial Thoughts on Google Live Caption

I tested the Live Captions on a few different e-learning products that had audio including courses in Storyline 360, Rise 360, and Review 360. The captions worked well, surprisingly well, as you can see in the image below.

Google Live Caption demo closed captions

I also like that even if you turn off the audio, the captions work. As a user I am no longer constrained by whether or not the audio I am consuming has closed captions built-in to the product. The browser does the heavy lifting.

This is a big step forward for those who require captioned audio. I look forward to how this feature evolves going forward.

How to Access Google Live Caption

Google Live Caption closed captions

  • First, make sure you’re using Google Chrome 89 or higher.
  • Click the three dots on the top right.
  • Then go to Settings and select Advanced>Accessibility.
  • Click the toggle for Live Caption.

Once you have enabled Live Caption, you’ll see an option to toggle the captions on and off without going in and out of the settings.

Google Live Caption closed captions toggle

Key Considerations for Google Live Caption

  • This tip requires Google Chrome 89 or above. If you have learners who need captions and you can’t provide them in time, you at least have the option to recommend Chrome 89.
  • It’s a new feature so there are some limitations such as size, position, and language. However, I assume the feature will be enhanced and my guess is other browsers will play catch up.
  • From what I can tell the caption choices in Windows OS don’t seem to impact the captions displayed in the browser.

Google Live Caption is a step in the right direction and a great tool for those who need captions when they’re not provided.



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PowerPoint Hack: How to Create Hand-Drawn Letters & Shapes

PowerPoint tip

Here’s a cool PowerPoint hack. I had an illustrated character and needed a font style that matched the illustration style. To get the effect I used PowerPoint to create a title font and changed the format. In this post, I’ll show you how.

Free Illustrations for E-Learning

I used one of the free illustrations from Blush which is a great site for illustrations. The paid account gives you a bunch of options to customize. As you can see, the illustration style is organic and looks a little hand-drawn.

free illustration

Creating Matching Font Style in PowerPoint

As you can see below, I added a big, bold font for effect. It’s OK. But how do I get a font to match the illustration style?

PowerPoint hack

Convert Font into Vector Graphics

The first step is to convert the type into separate graphics. In PowerPoint, you need at least two objects selected. I created a temporary oval shape.

Then go to Shape Format > Merge Shapes > select Fragment. That converts each letter into a shape that can be modified and edited.

PowerPoint

Assign Colors to the Objects

Once the letters are individual shapes, you can fill them with any color and change the line stroke. In this case I color picked the blue from the illustration for the fill and color picked the hair for the line color.

Then I used the format painter to apply the colors to the other letters.

Apply a Sketched Line

Adding the organic, hand-drawn effect is a matter of using one of the sketched line options in PowerPoint. I applied a line style that works.

Then made the line size larger to match the illustration. And format painted onto the other shapes.

Whatever you create can be saved as an image. To do so, select the object and right-click to save as image. Or got to the file saves as options and save the slide itself as an image.

PowerPoint Tutorial

Here’s a video tutorial that walks through these steps in more detail.

There you go: a really easy way to convert the regular type to individual vector shapes that can be edited to match the original illustration.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out
and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Interactive Label Maker in Adobe Captivate

Interactive label maker in Adobe Captivate that can be used for Product Label as well as learner can reveal it when they needed in courses interaction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmZ1TkTtg5w&feature=youtu.be

The post Interactive Label Maker in Adobe Captivate appeared first on eLearning.

How to Convert Storyline Courses to PowerPoint

convert Storyline PowerPoint

It never fails that after building an e-learning course in Storyline, someone asks if they can get a PowerPoint version of the course. There are many reasons for this request, such as using the content for face-to-face training, wanting a slide deck for subject matter experts, or creating a PDF handout out of the slides.

Today, we’ll look at a simple way to convert what you created in Storyline and make it a PowerPoint file.

PowerPoint and Storyline are Different Applications

Before we get started, let’s review a few key points when working with PowerPoint and Storyline.

  • PowerPoint and Storyline may look similar, but they are two different applications made by two different companies so they’re not interchangeable files.
  • PowerPoint is designed mostly for linear presentations. Storyline is designed for interactive e-learning.
  • PowerPoint has some interactive features and things one can do to hack a certain level of interactivity, but it doesn’t have a lot of sophistication with things such as mouseovers, drag/drops, variables, etc. Thus going from Storyline to PowerPoint is a bit challenging if the original Storyline content is interactive.
  • Storyline has an import PowerPoint feature to convert the PowerPoint slides to Storyline slides. PowerPoint doesn’t have an import Storyline feature.

The above seems obvious, but I bring this up because many people start with PowerPoint content, import it into Storyline, and then later want to export the Storyline content back into PowerPoint as if they are interchangeable applications and file types. They aren’t.

While there is no feature in PowerPoint to import Storyline, there are some simple things you can do to get your Storyline content into a PowerPoint file.

Tip #1: Start All Course Development in PowerPoint

My first tip assumes you know that you’ll need a PowerPoint version of the course.

If you know you need your content to be in both PowerPoint and Storyline, then plan your projects accordingly. PowerPoint doesn’t support all of the interactive features of Storyline, but in terms of what’s visible on the screen, it’s mostly the same: text, shapes, pictures, etc. With some planning, you can have your course content in both formats.

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Build all your content in PowerPoint first (with forethought as to what you want to be interactive and specific to Storyline).
  • Get final sign-off on the PowerPoint content since the content should be the same. The Storyline specific content is most likely more interactive.
  • Import the approved content into Storyline.
  • Make your interactive edits.
  • Publish your Storyline course.

Using this approach, you end up with a PowerPoint file and interactive Storyline file. If you need to make edits, it should be for interactive features only since you got sign-off on the content while it was in PowerPoint.

Of course, this approach does requires that you plan it all up front, which doesn’t always happen (or the client makes last minute changes). I’d tell the client upfront that this is the production process and that edits after sign-off are outside the scope of the project.

Tip #2: Publish to Word & Extract Screenshots

Let’s suppose you already built a course in Storyline and now you need a PowerPoint version of the course. Like I mentioned above, PowerPoint can’t support the layers and interactions, however, most of what’s in the course is a screen with content that’s made up of text, pictures, and shapes.

The following tip lets you capture all of the content that displays onscreen. It is not going to capture your state changes and other interactivity. But it works for most cases and captures all of the slides and layers.

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

Below are the basic steps, but watch the tutorial above for more detail:

  • Once the course is complete, publish the Storyline course in Word. Select to publish layers and large images. This creates a Word doc with all of the slides and layers exposed.
  • By default, Storyline saves to an older version of Word with the .doc extension. This is so people with older versions can open the file.
  • Open the Word .doc and save as .docx. This will allow you to unzip the file and extract the images.
  • Unzip the .docx file to extract the images. I use 7zip (a free application).
  • Insert the images into a new PowerPoint album.
  • Save the file and you’re all done.

The output using this method is a series of PowerPoint slides with each Storyline slide and layer captured. From there you can make simple edits or save as a PowerPoint or PDF file. In any case, you have your Storyline content in PowerPoint format.


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Help! My Subject Matter Expert Needs to Edit My E-Learning Course

subject matter expert e-learning course

You’re building an e-learning course and your subject matter expert needs to review and make edits to the course. But they don’t have access to your e-learning software.

So how do you get them to make those edits? Here are some time-saving tips.

What Should Happen

Before you start building the e-learning course, you should have a signed and approved script. And then you work from that. Obviously, there will be a final review and there’s always some editing to be done. But there shouldn’t be a ton, or not enough that requires someone else make significant edits.

Of course, that’s not how it always works.

I’ve been on projects where it seems things are done and then marketing steps in and throws a wrench in the process. So you end up making a bunch of edits to fit the organization’s brand.

Another common issue is when training that involves the legal team. I have nothing against lawyers, but I swear, they can really create a lot of extra work, especially with compliance training where every word means something.

To combat this issue, you should bring all those teams to the table when you develop the content and prior to sign-off before you start assembling the course.

That’s how it should work in an ideal world: the project and content is reviewed and you get final sign-off.  But that’s just not how it ends up working for a lot of people.

How to Get the Subject Matter Expert to Make the Edits

Storyline has a feature to export the course text for translation. It gets exported to a Word doc. From there, someone can review and make text edits. When done, the Word doc is saved and imported back into Storyline. Why not use that feature for your subject matter experts?

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Publish the course to Review 360. They can see the course in action. Of course, they can add comments, but you don’t need them since they’ll be making edits in the doc.

subject matter expert reviews edits course

  • Export the course for translation.
  • Forward the Word doc to the subject matter expert with instructions on what to do.
  • The subject matter expert reviews the course and makes text edits in the Word doc.
  • The subject matter expert forwards the Word doc.
  • Import the edited doc into Storyline.


Watch the tutorial on YouTube.

That’s a pretty easy process. It allows your subject matter expert to review a published course. And where they want to make changes, they do so in the Word doc. Super easy and it doesn’t require that they have access to your e-learning application.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • April 20 & 21 (Brisbane). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • April 23 & 24 (Melbourne). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • November 9 &10 (London). Details coming soon.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out
and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Two Apps to Help Manage Your PowerPoint & E-Learning Media Assets

manage multimedia

When I’ve completed PowerPoint presentations or e-learning courses, I like to save all of the media assets I used in the presentations and courses and put them in a single location. During production I have multiple versions of the files, which is fine. But when it’s all over, I like a single place for all the media assets. It makes it easy to locate and not have to dig through all of the versions and duplicate files.

In today’s post, I’m going to show you a few simple tips to manage the media assetsin your PowerPoint presentations and e-learning courses.

It does require a couple of free tools which you can download here:

Use Storyline’s Media Library to Locate and Export Media Assets

If you’re using Storyline 360, the easiest way to locate your assets is via the Media Library. From there, you can select the ones you want and export them. Media Library filters by images, characters, audio, and video.

manage media assets e-learning media library Storyline

Steps to export the media:

  • Open the Media Library under the View tab.
  • Filter media by type.
  • Select the media files.
  • Select export and the media files will be saved to a folder of your choosing.

Here’s a quick tutorial on exporting the media files from your Storyline projects using the Media Library.

Click here to watch the tutorial on YouTube.

Use 7-ZIP to Extract the Media Files from PowerPoint & Storyline

7-Zip is a free application to compress and extract files. Both PowerPoint (.pptx) and Storyline (.story) use compressed file formats. Use 7-Zip to extract the file, locate the media in it, and then copy the media to a temporary folder.

manage media assets e-learning PowerPoint 7-zip

Steps to extract the media from PowerPoint or Storyline files:

  • Locate your file.
  • Right-click and select extract.
  • This creates a new folder with the file name.
  • Locate the media folder inside the extracted file folder. In PowerPoint it’s in the “ppt” folder and in Storyline it is in the “story” folder).
  • Copy and paste the folder to your archive location.

Here’s a quick tutorial that shows how to use 7-Zip to locate the media files in both PowerPoint presentations and Storyline files.

Click here it view the tutorial on YouTube.

Use Microsoft PowerToys to Rename All of Your Files to a Single Project Name

Recently, I shared how to use PowerToys to preview SVG files. Today, we’ll review how to quickly rename all of those media files you just dug out of PowerPoint or Storyline.

The steps are pretty simple:

  • Locate the folder with the assets.
  • Select the files you want to rename.
  • Right-click and select “PowerRename” and rename the files.

manage media assets e-learning PowerPoint Microsoft PowerToys Rename

If the titles are something like image1 and you want to rename all instances of “image” to Safety101, that’s going to be real easy. However, the PowerToys renaming is pretty powerful and with a few simple variables, you can do all sorts of things.

Check out the tutorial below where I go through the basics of renaming and how to change the name when all of the text is a bunch of gibberish or not easily found and replaced (which is probably more common).

Click here to watch the tutorial on YouTube.

I’ll admit, I am not always consistent with how I manage my media assets. Sometimes I keep them in a big media folder and sometimes I keep them in project-specific folder. Ultimately it doesn’t matter. When everything is done, I can follow the tips above and quickly have all of my media assets in one folder that I can share or archive.

 


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • April 20 & 21 (Brisbane). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • April 23 & 24 (Melbourne). Postponed until September. Details coming soon. Articulate Roadshow: Learn more and register here.
  • November 9 &10 (London). Details coming soon.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out
and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.