Adobe named to 2017 Best of Elearning! Hall of Fame

Adobe Captivate Hall of Fame 2017

Drumroll, please! Adobe has been inducted to the 2017 Best of Elearning! Hall of Fame, in the very first edition of this honor. Established thirteen years ago by the Elearning! magazine, the Best of Elearning! Awards felicitate the creators of outstanding solutions. The Hall of Fame honor was added this year to recognize a brand’s continued contribution towards eLearning. Adobe Captivate, the flagship eLearning authoring tool from Adobe, has been the torchbearer in helping Adobe win the award 13 times – since 2005 – for a range of eLearning solutions.

What lies behind the exceptional track record of Adobe Captivate? How does Adobe consistently anticipate learning requirements, provide futuristic solutions, and exceed customer expectations? These were some of the questions posed to Priyank Shrivastava, Director of Marketing, Adobe, in an interview with the editors of the Elearning! Magazine. Shrivastava gives credit to the “culture of innovation and customer centricity.” He goes on to say that the brand continues to lead the category as the product teams are always clued in to customers’ pain points and work hand-in-hand with the L&D teams of customer organizations to design solutions that address their problems.

Shrivastava also points out: “Our product roadmap constantly reflects changing behavioral trends among both eLearning authors/designers as well as learners.” Adobe entered the world of mobile learning when it was still in its infancy, with the goal of empowering authors to provide awesome experiences to learners – on the devices of their choice – with minimum additional effort. Some of the industry-first features in Adobe Captivate (2017 release) that demonstrate this philosophy are:

  • Fluid Boxes – for creating fully responsive courses without any programming
  • Automatic transformation of desktop-only courses to responsive modules
  • Adobe Typekit integration – to create visually stunning courses using a full library of fonts

Success brings humility and Adobe Captivate is not resting on its laurels. Adobe continues to develop solutions that leverage the latest technologies to facilitate innovative and immersive forms of learning – continuously making it easier for authors to design and for learners to consume anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Read more about the induction of Adobe to the Best of ELearning! Hall of Fame: http://www.2elearning.com/top-stories/item/56974-hall-of-fame-honors-two-extraordinary-brands

Experience the power of the award-winning smart eLearning authoring tool.

Try Adobe Captivate today

Review before Retake?

Goal

This question recently appeared on the forum (thread):

“I’d like to customize the results page at the end of a quiz to display the numbers 1 to 20 (representing the 20 questions in the quiz) and indicate if each question was answered correctly or incorrectly.”

Although I posted an answer, the user never returned to check it. Since I have spent some time to work out that solution, I also discovered that it could be very useful in two situations that are often mentioned as failing in the normal Captivate design:

  • To show the user an oveview of answers on a test with Knowledge Check slides: which anwsers were  correct/incorrect? If you are not sure about the differences between KC slides and normal quiz slides, have a look at this article.
  • To create a Review slide, where the learner would see the same information for normal quiz slides. Captivate has a great Review feature for quiz slides (not for KC slides) but it has some shortcomings. It will not only show the answers by the learner but also the correct answers. Moreover, clicking the Review button will cancel all remaining attempts on Quiz level for apparent reasons. With the solution I propose the user would not see the correct answers, only which questions were answered correctly or incorrectly, and the Retake attempts would still be available.

The work flow is based on a couple of easy shared actions, use of multistate objects (for the feedback checkmarks) and some advanced actions.

Example movie

Watch this movie  which I cannot embed in this location. You can use any device to open this link (it is a rescalable, non-responsive HTML5 project).

You will first see a test with two Knowledge Check slides, followed by a ‘Review’ slide. You will be able to retake this test, or to continue.

Second part is a realy quiz, with 5 question slides. Question slides are followed by a Review slide. In Quiz Preferences I provided 3 attempts. When the attempts are exhausted or you succeeded passing the test, the Next button (was formerly a Retake button) will take you to the official Score slide.

Set up

Checkmark – multistate object

The checkmarks, both on the Review slide for the KC question and for the real quiz, are shapes with 3 custom states:

  1. Normal state: shape is invisible because Alpha for Fill and Stroke for Width are both set to 0.
  2. Correct state: shape is filled with a PNG representing a green tick symbol. This can of course be all you want: text, text + image, text + image + audio. I kept it simple.
  3. Wrong state: shape is filled with a PNG that is the Cross symbol.

Here is a screenshot of the Object styles for the checkmark:

The checkmarks are labeled: Check_KC1 – Check_KC2 for the KC slides, and Check_1, Check_2…. Check_5 for the Quiz slides. The numbers make it easier to select them by filtering in the Parameters dialog box, because they are used in the shared actions.

Retake button Quiz Review – multistate object

That button on the Review slide for the Quiz, is used to start a new attempt because the user will not see the Score slide. I had to reproduce he functionality of that Score slide, where the Retake button automatically disappears in two situations: either the learner has passed the quiz, or the Quiz attempts are exhausted. I solved that by adding a custom state to the Retake button, where the label changes to ‘Next’. To have a non-confusing Rollover and Down state, which would be valid for both the Retake and Next button, I used the text ‘>>’. This is the Object state panel of this button, type Transparent button like the Quiz buttons and buttons on the Score slide: The advanced action (see below) EnterReview will take care of switchnng beteen the Normal and Passed state.

The Review slide for the KC questions doesn’t need that type of button. It has two buttons: Retake for those who want to retry the KC test (answers are always reset for KC slides when leaving them) and a Continue button.

KC/Question Slides – variable v_KC

I changed the default setup to only one attempt for the KC-slides (default =  Infinite attempts). That change made the Last Attempt event availalbe. Contrary to Quiz slides the results of the KC-slides are not stored in exposed system variable. I wanted to show a ‘trophy’ on the Review slide to learners who correctly anwered all KC-questions. To track the correct answers, I created a user variable, labeled v_KC  which starts with a default value of 0 and is incremented for each correct answer. For the same reason, the shared action triggered by the Success event is different from the one used for normal quiz slides. If you import the shared action to another project, the variable will automatically be created.

Quiz slides kept the default setup: only one attempt allowed.

Events for Actions

On KC-slides Success event (Quiz Properties) is used for Shared Action ‘CorrectAnswerKC

On KC-slides Last Attempt  event (Quiz Properties) is used for Shared Action ‘WrongAnswer

ReviewKC slide On Enter event triggers Advanced Action ‘EnterReviewKC

Continue button Success event (on ReviewKC slide) is set to simple action ‘Go to Next Slide’

Retake button Success event (on ReviewKC slide) is set to simple action ‘Jump to slide  KC1’ (first KC slide)

On Question slides Success event (Quiz Properties) is used for Shared Action ‘CorrectAnswer

On Question slides Last Attempt  event (Quiz Properties) is used for Shared Action ‘WrongAnswer

Review slide On Enter event triggers Advanced Action ‘EnterReview

Retake button Success event (on Review slide) is set to simple action ‘Go to Next Slide’

Score Slide On Enter event triggers Advanced Action ‘EnterScore

Shared actions

WrongAnswer triggered by Last Attempt event (KC slides and Quiz slides)

It is a very simple action with two commands: changing the state of the associated checkmark to the Wrong state and going to the next slide. There are two parameters: the checkmark (which is different for each slides) and the state. Although the state always has the same name (Wrong), there is no way to turn it into a ‘fixed’ parameter (one of my feature requesnts). Here is the action with filled in parameters

I like the way it is possible to track shared actions in the Library, look at the Usage panel for this action/ You see that this shared action is used both for the two KC slides and for the 5 Quiz slides.

CorrectAnswer triggered by Success event Quiz slides

It is a similar action, now showing the state Correct in the first command:

CorrectAnswerKC triggered by Success event KC slides

I used the CorrectAnswer from Quiz slides as template to add an extra command that will increment the variable v_KC.

Advanced Actions

EnterReviewKC triggered by the On Enter event of the ReviewKC slide

This is a simple conditional action, to decide if the trophy will show up or not.

EnterReview triggered by the On Enter event of the Review slide

This conditional action has two decisions. The first decision will change the state of the Retake button to have a Next button if the quiz has been passed or the Quiz attempts are exhausted. The second decision is about showing an image if the quiz has been passed. It also shows or hides the text mentioning the number of the present attempt.

EnterScore triggered by the On Enter event of the Score slide

This is the ‘trick’. To have the functionality of a Retake button on the previous slide, which is the Review slide, the playhead visits to the score slide, but will immediately jump back to the first question slide. All quizzing system variables are reset in that case. Only when all attempts are exhausted or the learner passed the quiz, will the score slide become visible to the learner.

More is possible…

Several enhancements are possible based on this approach:

  • You can have multiple review slides, if there is not enough space on one slide
  • You can have a review side after a chapter which has some question slides or KC slides; in that case you’ll have to tweak the advanced actions; if you want to track different bunches of KC slides you can either reuse the variable v_KC or use several variables. In the last scenario you’ll have to turn the variable in the shared action into a real parameter.
  • I used a simple checkmark to indicate correct/wrong answers. It is not limited to that: in custom states you can also have audio, text etc…

More ideas? Suggestions?

Digital Learning, Brand and Communications: The Holy Trinity

If you’re a Digital Learning professional at a reasonably sized organisation or larger, you’ll most likely be liaising with both an Internal Brand and Internal Communications team. The three teams can support one another in a number of ways and form an effective partnership.

Brand

Let’s start with how a Digital Learning Team can work with the Brand team.

Brand guidelines are an enabler for a Digital Learning team, despite the outdated notion of the ‘Brand Police’, critiquing work with an unforgiving eye. Speak with your Brand team and immerse yourself in the brand and values of your organisation. Design work is so much easier when there is mutual trust between the two teams.

A bit of work up front will reap rewards. As a minimum: be familiar with the company logo and its use; check that the correct fonts are installed; prepare swatches of brand colours; build a library of approved assets. In short, think like a Designer.

Will the end result be a catalogue of eLearning modules, each a carbon-copy of the last? Absolutely not, unless that’s what you happen to be going for. The aim is good design that bears a brand’s hallmarks, and this will become familiar and engaging for colleagues. Simply build templates as a basis for all modules and then get creative.

Additionally, applying your organisation’s Tone of Voice will improve Instructional Design. Refine your content with Tone of Voice guidelines so that it “speaks to” end users and delights stakeholders. Further, the importance of user “buy-in” should never be overlooked, particularly where learner fatigue may have set in due to a large volume of content.

All things sparkling copy provides a seamless link to Communications…

Communications

The crossover here is very clear. Instructional Designers and Digital Learning Developers are responsible for conveying information efficiently. Thought is given to look and feel, impactful imagery and engaging words. All of which are second nature to Communications professionals.

A strong bond between Digital Learning and Comms is a powerful thing. Comms can proof-read content, get messages out for Online Learning content and even produce full campaigns with a range of media. In turn, Digital Learning can ensure that standard approaches, content and themes are joined-up with those of the Comms team.

In summary

If you are fortunate enough to be able to call on the support of dedicated professionals in their fields, why try and do everything as a Digital Learning Designer, almost certainly to a lesser standard? Think and act like one big team for the best possible results for all concerned.

Steps to Convert PPT into eLearning Using Adobe Captivate 2017

Steps to Convert PPT into eLearning using Adobe Captivate 2017

Adobe Captivate is a one-stop solution for all the rapid, responsive and interactive eLearning requirements.

In this blog we will go through the process of converting PowerPoint presentations (instructor-led training PPT deck) into interactive and engaging e-learning courses using the Html5 authoring tool Adobe captivate 2017.

Step 1:
Open the PowerPoint presentation that you want to convert into eLearning course.

image1

Step 2:
Figure out the required changes in the PowerPoint; and it is recommended to remove the slides which are unwanted.

image2

Step 3:
Open Adobe Captivate 17.

image3

Step 4:
Select “FROM POWERPOINT” from the available options and then click CREATE

image4

Step 5:
Browse your PowerPoint file and click open.

image5

Step 6:
The dialog box “Convert Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations” will appear. Enter the project name and the size of the project in project properties. Select all slides and press OK.

image6

Step 7:
Now you have imported the presentation into Adobe Captivate 17. You can add interactions by selecting Blank Slides from Slides available on top left corner.

image7

Step 8:
From the interactions tab choose the required interaction. The interactions available are “BUTTON, CLICK BOX, DRAG AND DROP and LEARNING INTERACTIONS”

image8

Step 9:
You can add text to the interaction and modify its color and style. Then, click OK. Now, let’s see how we can add questions.

image9

Step 10:
Select “questions slide” from the “Slides” menu

image10

Step 11:
Choose the question type as per your requirement. For example Multiple Choice, True/False, etc.

image11

Step 12:
Once you are done adding content to the question, click “Publish”.

image12

Step 13:
Check the “Enable reporting for this project” checkbox to enable tracking. Then Click “OK” to publish.

image13

Step 14:
Finally click on “Publish” button.

image14

Conclusion:

By following the above steps you can easily convert your classroom presentation into an eLearning course.

Reference link: http://www.swiftelearningservices.com/steps-to-convert-ppt-into-elearning-using-adobe-captivate-2017/

 

 

Create a Vimeo 15 second rewind button

In some situations you may want to limit your learners’ ability to fast forward an embedded video. This would require turning off the embed’s play-bar.  But what if the learner missed something on the video and wants to watch it again.   Here’s how to create a ‘quick rewind’ button.  Note that these instructions are for Vimeo only.

 

1. Embed your Vimeo video by importing the HTML zip file as an HTML5 Animation.  You will need to load the Vimeo API script as well.  For instructions on how to do this, see my other blog:

https://elearning.adobe.com/2017/11/end-of-video-events-with-vimeo/

 

2. Create a button and have it execute the following javascript:

window.frames[0].frameElement.contentWindow.player.getCurrentTime().then(function(sec) {
var rwd = sec -15

window.frames[0].frameElement.contentWindow.player.setCurrentTime(rwd).then(function(seconds) {
}).catch(function(error) {
switch (error.name) {
case ‘RangeError’:
break;

default:
break;
}
});

}).catch(function(error) {

});

(For a fun explanation of this code see below)

 

3. That’s basically it.

If you want to change the duration of the rewind change the line   ‘var rwd = sec -15’ to minus however many seconds you want (ex.  ‘var rwd = sec -30’ would be 30 seconds rewind on every press).

Also note that it will not rewind if the video has not run past the rewind increment amount. (It won’t rewind 15 seconds if you are only 14 seconds into the video).

 

Fun explanation of the code for anyone interested

The Vimeo API (player.js) has a built in getCurrentTime and setCurrentTime function.  Essentially the code here wraps the setCurrentTime function into the getCurrentTime, and passes a new variable (rwd – 15) which sets the time (minus 15 seconds). It’s saying, what’s the current time, subtract 15 seconds from the current time, and now set the time to that.  All the other stuff about error and RangeError ensures that code will not run or break if the intervals are out of range.   It’s all documented in the Vimeo API page

https://github.com/vimeo/player.js

 

Hope this helps someone.  All the best,

5 Examples of How To Use Mobile Learning In Retail To Maximize Your Training Impact

Ways To Use Mobile Learning In Retail Industry And Face Challenges In Employees Skill Development

Skill development in retail industry is challenging. The key challenge is the rapidly changing product offerings and a pressing need to offer “just-in-time” training to the employees. There is the challenge of high employee turn-over and the need for new employees to be trained very quickly to meet the targets.

Employees often work under pressure of stiff targets and deadlines. They need learning solutions that are easily accessible and available precisely at the moment of their need.

While certain training needs can be met through classroom or Instructor-Led trainings, mLearning (or mobile learning) is the most efficient and effective way to mitigate these challenges.

What Is mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) And What Is Pushing Its Adoption?

Just look at the way mobile devices are an integral part of our life today, and it comes as no surprise that learning on these devices is a natural extension.

mLearning is an extension of the traditional eLearning and features training that is available to the learners on devices of their choice (read: tablets and smartphones). These solutions are designed for multi-device support and run seamlessly on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

The push for mobile learning is coming from the learners, primarily on account of the following aspects:

  • Change in learner profiles.
    Globally, the workforce has an increasing number of Millennials. As digital natives, this generation is addicted to using mobile devices.
  • Learners’ view on how they want to learn.
    The training deployment is no more limited by the way L&D teams want learners to go through it. Instead, learners ask for learning at their moment of need. The push for “just-in-time” learning aids that are available on learners’ mobile devices is very high.
  • Learning device of learner’s choice.
    Rather than be told how to consume training, today’s learners want the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice.

Not convinced? Take a look at these statistics (and plenty more that aren’t stated here) which clearly indicate the need to integrate mobile learning in your learning strategy:

  • Come 2018, 7 out of 10 professionals would be working on the go, using their personal smartphones.
  • A whopping 60% of employees feel mobile devices are their “most critical work device”.
  • Almost all the workers surveyed admitted to completing the training in mobile format.
  • Close to 47% organizations across the world have already adopted mobile learning solutions to train their workforce.

How Can mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) Help Increase The Impact Of Workforce Training In Retail?

Mobile learning is an effective approach in achieving the training goals with quality and efficiency.

Furthermore, mLearning delivered in microlearning format is probably the ideal approach to adopt, as it provides learning available to the employees on the floor, in short, bite-sized format that are easy to review, internalize, and apply.

How Can You Use mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) To Design Training Programs That Map To Retail Industry Dynamics?

mLearning is primarily known for the flexibility it offers to learners, in being able to access the training on the go, at the precise time when they need it. In addition, presenting information in a format that learners can easily understand, internalize, and apply on the job is crucial to further enhancing the value of training to both, the learners as well as the organization. Employee performance improvement is directly connected to:

  1. Easy access to the training (at the time of need).
  2. Presenting the training in an engaging format that is easy to relate to, learn, and apply in these 2 ways:
  • Using strategies that increase the learnability (or learning effectiveness) of the training.
  • Using strategies that reinforce primary training and help learners apply the learning on the job.

Once all these aspects are in place, the learning would not be acquired quickly but would be internalized for effective on-the-job application. It would be highly beneficial for the learners and will bring the required impact the business seeks.

If we look at retail industry dynamics, the need for flexibility in learning and being able to learn on the move (including within work premises) are critical factors that make mobile learning the ideal training delivery format.

You can use mLearning or mobile learning to train employees in retail industry through the following 3 approaches:

  1. For formal training.
    Do not limit your approach to traditional, structured training delivery formats. Take a step further and offer the learners flexibility through learning paths. Instead of holding discrete sessions, foster a culture that promotes learning as a continuum. This would encourage the learners to invest on learning over an extended period of time, be abreast of the latest updates, and apply the learning to attain a demonstrable gain. You can also evaluate learning portals that integrate microlearning, mobile apps, gamification, and social learning elements to double the impact of formal training.
  2. As Performance Support Tools (PSTs).
    Offering job aids (or just-in-time learning aids) for learners’ access within their workflow is a great way to trigger the desired behavioral change. You can also use PSTs to engage the learners post the formal training and facilitate reinforcement of learning.
  3. To digitize ILT.
    Blending mLearning components with the traditional ILT training format is another effective means to achieving the impact you seek. This can include pre-workshop collaterals, and/or simulations, exercises, and role-plays in the workshop, and workshop assessments. This approach lets you establish and maintain strong relations between the learners as well as between learners and instructors to provide learning nuggets post the workshop. The combination of all these elements is bound to have a direct and lasting impact on learning and application and will help you bring about the desired behavioral change in learners.

At EI Design, we have been crafting mobile learning solutions for the retail industry for over 4 years now. Let me showcase a few examples on how we have used mobile learning for formal training and as Performance Support Tools.

Our retail training solutions have been designed for the following learner profiles:

  • Store management team.
  • Store staff, including sales representatives.
  • Customer care team.
  • Sales team.

The range of our solutions cover:

  1. Induction and onboarding.
  2. Compliance training.
  3. Sales training.
  4. Specific training programs to promote key campaigns.

Here are examples that demonstrate how you can use mobile learning to mitigate training challenges in retail and create high-impact training programs that meet the training mandates.

Example 1: Induction cum Compliance Program For Apparel Retail Employees, Integrating Gamification Elements And Supplemented By Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

The course was a learning journey through 6 interactive eLearning courses, supplemented with Performance Support Tools (PSTs) in the form of interactive PDFs that promoted deep, exploratory learning in all (new and existing) employees.

For immersive learning, each module contained interactive content and a key challenge the learners must complete before moving to the next module. It also included gamification elements like points, challenges, and levels for an engaging experience and for motivating the leaners to learn effectively.

EI Design - Induction cum Compliance program for Apparel Retail employees

Example 2: Gamified Product Training For Cosmetics Retail Employees

This standard product training was converted into a highly interactive, gamified solution to make the learning sticky and experiential. Featuring multi-device compatibility, the complete learning journey was divided into two sections – learn and practice. Learners were given store-like experiences to learn the key aspects of the products and then put in customer situations to handle queries.

To make the course motivating and challenging, the exercises and activities were time based and offered bonus points for finishing the course in lesser time. Upon completing each topic, learners would earn a star, which let them advance to the next level (topic) and finally become a star salesman.

EI Design - Gamified Product Training for Cosmetics Retail employees

Example 3: Induction Program For An eCommerce Fashion Company – Designed Using Millennial-Centric Strategies

This course was designed to train new joiners within an eCommerce fashion company to get them acquainted about the company, its business drivers, and leadership competencies. Since the audience was predominantly Millennials, we used a colorful and responsive user experience, with a fashion theme to match the organization’s primary mission – to “democratize fashion”.

The course comprised three modules that could be taken independently, though they were tied together by a visual menu that depicted a journey through a gallery, a retail space, and an office. At the end of each module, learners were given a fun game that let them check their understanding of the topics covered.

EI Design - Induction program for an eCommerce Fashion company

Example 4: Retailer Engagement Platform For Product Training – Featuring Gamification And Social Learning Elements

This course was designed as a retailer engagement platform that engaged trade partners. It was a meaningful learning journey on products and categories to engage and motivate retailers to come back to it and even share it with peers.

The content of the course was transformed into a gamified learning journey across various product facilities worldwide, and it was called the “Open Tour”. It included real stories from existing content delivered through animations and videos and through stories built and shared by users. Gamification and social learning elements were embedded to promote active collaboration with peers in social media and to impart a sense of social recognition as users earned rewards and feedbacks for activities they performed.

EI Design - Retailer engagement platform for Product Training

Example 5: Interactive Food Safety Compliance Course For Food Retail Employees

This course was designed to spread awareness of the best practices in food safety for a large food retail entity. It used rich, vibrant visuals, interactivities wherever relevant, and animations for processes related to food safety and compliance procedures, to make the training lively and engaging. Questions and activities were used at strategic intervals to test the learners’ understanding of the key processes and best practices.

EI Design - Interactive Food Safety Compliance course for Food Retail

I hope this article gives you insights on how to use mobile learning (with microlearning, social learning, and gamification elements) to create highly effective training programs for employees in the retail industry. If you have further queries or need any specific support, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/5-examples-use-mobile-learning-retail-maximize-training-impact/

Video Games and Instructional Design

For this post I’ll be talking about video games and their impact on instructional design. This idea came to me earlier today while playing Mario Kart Wii with my son. At 36, I’m three decades older than Avery, but as I watched him play, I couldn’t help but find a new appreciation for the Mario Kart franchise that I, too, played when I was younger, in that it serves as a great generational equalizer. You may have another game that allows you to relate to younger ones just as I have with my six year old.

Watching him have so much fun with a game I also love got me thinking about how this phenomenon can be applied in the work place.  And there’s no mistake about it, it is a phenomenon. As a father, I’m in uncharted waters in my family in exploring this method of connecting with Avery. When I was his age, video games were just coming to market (The Nintendo Entertainment System, for one). And sure, my dad could play the games with me, but he didn’t have the nostalgic privilege of reacquainting himself with characters he met as a child.

The same is true for today’s workforce. With millennials on the rise in the workplace, I would be a fool not to consider ways to lessen the generational gap when developing corporate training modules. Take a look at the image below (from Mario Kart Wii) that players are presented with after a Grand Prix – a series of four cumulatively scored races – and try to pick out the instructional design concepts that are in play on this screen alone. Then, read on to learn my take on it.

IMG-2888

Here’s what I see when I look at this image:

  1. Object States – Think of each box that displays a character name as an object. After scanning all of them, you’ll see several differences. Each difference, no matter how minute, is considered a different State, and serves as a way to provide meaningful information to players…I mean learners.
  2. Opacity – Still looking at those objects from item 1, let’s ‘focus’ on opacity!  And that’s just it; altering opacity allows designers to direct learner’s attention, or focus, on a particular area of the screen.  In this case, Adam (the player) can find himself among several others with a quick glance thanks to his solid color state which really stands out among the other transparent ones.
  3. Alignment – Naturally, our eyes initial scan anything we look at until something ‘catches our eye’. And we do so primarily in a left-to-right fashion. Notice how the winning team (red in the image above) is positioned on the left of the screen. Upon this screen loading, our eyes don’t need to scan for too long before their attention is caught!
  4. Animations – Even though the image above doesn’t show motion, I assure you that fireworks flew in celebration of Avery’s top score. If you don’t believe me, see that pink streamer coming up from the bottom right of the image? Boom. I wonder if fireworks would bombard the screen in the event that Avery lost the race, or if there would be a gigantic trophy rotating triumphantly in the background?
  5. Audio – Ok, so maybe this was a bit of a trick! The image doesn’t have any sound, but the game certainly does. And for winning the race, any guesses on whether the jingle was of a celebratory or ominous tone? (HINT: ‘Ding, ding’, as opposed to ‘Dum, dum, dummmm’.)
  6. Leaderboard – In addition to all of this, we are presented with a leaderboard, which allows learners to gauge their progress among their peers. I realize, as a designer, the potential implications with displaying other’s scores that may land a bit scornful on some learners. But take it from me, consider de-identifying learner names in order to build anonymity into a scorn-free leaderboard you can present to users. Talk about ‘Ding, ding’!
  7. Branding – Here, I’ll reference the Mario Kart franchise as doing a great job in branding their characters, courses, and clickables in a way that a 36 year old who hasn’t played Mario Kart in over a decade, can easily recognize the brand at a glance!
  8. Consistency – The image above is just one of the over five dozen different race results screens in the game. Is there any question that any of the above would differ in any way, shape, or form in the many other results screens? My point exactly.

Lastly, by no means do I claim this to be an exhaustive list, and am certain I’ve overlooked or missed some things entirely. Let me know what you see, or your thoughts on my explanation, by leaving a comment below.

Until next time, go BE the YOND!

Choosing an LMS – it doesn’t have to be this hard

Quite probably, anyone who has spent any time at all researching online platforms for publishing their Cp content will have had the same two thoughts as me:

There really seems to be no end to the number of elearning system providers.

They all claim that they are the ultimate solution.

It is easy to get a little despondent when conducting research as to which Platform/LMS/LRS you want to use. Hours disappear as you wade through a seemingly never-ending ocean of similar looking websites all promising to solve your problems. Get excited about one then have your hopes crushed as you see the per-user pricing. Spend time reading reviews of another only to find out that it only uses its own course editor and nothing else. It is a vast, fractured landscape and the sheer amount of choices means that it is piratically impossible to compare like for like. Here’s a list of over 300 alone.

To save you time and heartache, I would strongly recommend deciding on only two criteria and keeping them at the forefront of your mind as you conduct a more focussed search, they are:

Your budget (both time and money)
Your must have features

Your must haves should be only that, the things that will prevent you from publishing your coursework if they are not present. With the sheer amount of different platforms available, they should have to fit in with your requirements rather than the other way round. Why should you have to use software you don’t really like just so they will accept your material?

Cp gives a pretty clear idea from the outset of what it is and isn’t capable of exporting. The main draw for a lot of people will be xAPI/SCORM support. Lack of this will immediately disqualify a good number of platforms (be careful, as I mentioned in another post, xAPI/SCORM support is a good excuse for providers to demand more money over their basic tier).

Your time budget should be just how much of it your are prepared to spend on the backend of the process. Typically ‘turn-key’ solutions are more expensive because you don’t have to do any site administration. The cheaper you go, the more you’ll have to do yourself. Support can quickly evaporate for the less well known products.

Get everything ready before you start any free trials. It is amazing how quickly the time will go if you get distracted with other projects. Having a defined list of features that you want to try will save time which might otherwise be spent idly clicking around a platform. Have a variety of Cp projects ready to upload, have test videos ready to embed. Make use of support both before and after, if you identify exactly what you must have, send this list to any platform which catches your eye and have them confirm for you if they can help or not.

Ultimately, it is unlikely that you’ll ever be completely sure that you’ve found the perfect solution. I personally spent far longer than I should have researching LMSs and in the end had to just accept that my final choice was simply the best combination of factors that I’d seen up to that point. I’d by no means compared every product available.

  • Identify your must-haves
  • Identify your budget
  • Set a deadline for making a decision
  • Accept that there will always be other platforms which may look like better options

Gareth

 

End of Video Events with Vimeo

A few people asked how to create trigger an end video event with Vimeo, so here goes.

1. Create an html file (paste it into a notepad, and change the extension to .html)  with the following:

<!doctype html>

<html>

<head>

<meta charset=”utf-8″>

<title>Untitled Document</title>

</head>

<body>

//ENTER VIMEO EMBED HERE

<iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/XXXXXXXXXXX” width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

<script src=”https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js”></script>

<script>

    var iframe = document.querySelector(‘iframe’);

    var player = new Vimeo.Player(iframe);

    player.on(‘ended’, function() {

//ENTER END TRIGGER FUNCTION HERE

        alert(“Your Vimeo video has now ended”);

    });

</script>

</body>

</html>

2. Go to your Vimeo account, copy and paste the embed code into the html.  Also modify your ‘player.on ended’ function.  I just put in an alert to test it, but you can trigger virtually anything. I typically modify a captivate user variable so that the LMS will ‘remember’ if the video has finished or not each time a learner logs on.

3.  Zip your HTML file (use any compression program like WinRar)

4. In captivate, create a new HTML5 animation and select your newly created zip folder

5.  Test your Vimeo movie to make sure the end event is triggering.

Additional Notes

1. I typically turn off the playbar as an option from the vimeo website so that the user cannot fast forward the movie to trigger an end movie event. No cheating on my watch

Importing Microsoft PowerPoint into Adobe Captivate Quick Tip

When importing PowerPoint presentations into Adobe Captivate, how high has your blood pressure gone? If you get error messages about damaged PowerPoint presentations, a lack of system resources, or both, I’m betting it’s pretty high:

Here are a few quick steps you can take that almost always resolve the error messages shown above.

  1. Open your copy of PowerPoint, and open the file you want to import into Captivate. Use Save As to re-save the file. (This makes your copy of PowerPoint the last program to “touch” the file and helps prevent “permissions” errors.
  2. Close the PowerPoint file, but keep PowerPoint running (with no PowerPoint files open). This step is so simple but it usually takes care of the message about damaged PowerPoint presentations and the message about a lack of system resources.