Using Cutout Characters


In my experiences as a designer and as a learner, I’ve seen cutout characters used in a variety of ways to include eLearning courses. Oh, and please note that I am not limiting “character” to realistic people, but animals and cartoon illustrations as well.

I find that some of my fellow designers and even learners perceive cutout characters as something that is outdated or “corny,” as one learner explained. However, I see potential and frequently witness cutout characters used in ways that seem to enhance or reinforce instructional material.


So, how might cutout characters help create a meaningful learning experience?

Cutout characters can help give a face to instructions and represent the learner as they navigate instructions. An enriching learning experience is more likely to occur if the learner can resonate with the character (i.e., similar physical features or personal traits).

Unlike avatars that represent the learner, a substitute can reduce pressure related to errors and incorrect responses, as the character is not a personal representation but a bystander made to assist the learner’s efforts. The learner then observes the character that acts as an advocate and assumes any learner flaws or errors.

Suppose content is limited to a text format or maybe audio media. In this instance, a cutout character can reinforce the context of the content or better relay concepts that are abstract and harder to comprehend.
Cutout characters can also help to give context and avoid concise but unnecessary verbiage. For example, a character may look dissatisfied and compliment feedback for an incorrect response (opposed to just stating the learner made the wrong selection or action).


However, a designer chooses to use cutout characters; characters should aim to help convey instructions for easier comprehension, better clarity, feedback related to the learner’s choices/actions, or hint to the learner what key ideas to take from instructions.

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My name is George J. Newton.

I am writing to ask if I can contribute an article about  HOW TO REMOVE NICE-TO-KNOW INFORMATION FROM YOUR ELEARNING  to ” “?
What do you think about this idea?

Hope to hear from you soon,
George J.Newton


What are eLearning Devs and IDs reading?

Greetings all.

I am always looking for resources and things to learn from.  I have read some articles recommending books and unfortunately some that seem really interesting I haven’t been able to find, but I will continue to look.

Thought I would pose the question here. What are some good resources that you recommend? They don’t have to specifically be direct to eLearning or Instructional Design, but they obviously can. But if there is something that relates and you feel is interesting, I would love to hear about it.

So, what are you reading and do you recommend it?

Thanks in advance.

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Selecting own comic character using state view and advance action in Adobe Captivate

#Adobe​Captivate, #MultiStateObject​, #Variable​, #ChangeStateObject​

Adobe Captivate give us the power to create own comic character using state view and advance action in any way as we like.

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JavaScript Book Recommendation


Can someone recommend JavaScript, HTML and CSS books for beginners that would be a best fit for Adobe Captivate? I keep researching but do not find anything in particular. However, if anyone can recommend any books that were of great help to you and Captivate, let me know! Currently, I have a few in my Amazon cart but just not sure which would be good. Plan on also heading to a Barnes and Nobles this weekend and see what’s available there.

Thank you in advance!! 			</div><!-- .entry-content -->
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Strategies to Drive Informal Learning in a Remote Working Environment

Humans learn a lot informally. In fact, this is a significant way how we learned as children. In this article, you will learn how to leverage informal learning in today’s remote working environment to drive creativity, innovation, and engagement.

What Is Informal Learning?

There’s been a lot of discussion about informal learning over the years – what it is and isn’t and its place in corporate training. As corporate training departments are scrambling to deal with the implications of a remote working environment, the importance of informal learning is again at the forefront.

Informal learning differs from formal learning in the following ways:

Formal learning is usually mandated by an organization or regulations. It takes place in structured eLearning courses, face-to-face or virtual classrooms, or as a blend.

Informal learning, in contrast, happens organically. It is an extension of the way all of us have been learning informally since childhood. It is self-directed and self-motivated and is usually done in situ. It supports performance when it’s needed.

Why Should Leaders and L&D Teams Care About Informal Learning?

Informal learning provides significant benefits and value for individuals, teams, and corporations:

  1. Informal learning drives collaboration. Employees organically seek out and create bonds within and without teams, breaking down silos.
  2. Within the intersection of creativity and collaboration is where innovation occurs.
  3. Informal learning is driven by the learners and is focused on exactly what they want, exactly when they need it.
  4. Adults find more fulfillment and intrinsic rewards through informal learning.
  5. Informal learning tends to stick better. Learners create mental constructs within which new information is effectively stored in the long-term memory.
  6. While it’s often overlooked by corporate training teams because it’s outside their control, informal learning doesn’t require formal L&D direction, design, or development.
  7. Organizations with a strong culture of learning benefit from greater creativity.

What Are the Challenges of Promoting Informal Learning in a Remote Workplace?

Unfortunately, some L&D departments ignore informal learning because it’s difficult to measure its impact.

Additionally, a remote working environment has accentuated information silos and scattered tacit organizational knowledge, increasing the risk that distributed teams aren’t equipped to proactively share knowledge. Some workers, especially those who are used to traditional face-to-face communication, are more hesitant to remotely contact a coworker.

However, it’s important that leaders and L&D departments acknowledge and face those challenges head-on.

How Can You Drive Informal Learning in a Remote Working Environment?

There are several things that L&D departments can do to drive informal learning.

  1. Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant, is credited with saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Therefore, it’s vital to create a culture of learning built on the foundation of autonomy, purpose, and mastery (explained by Daniel Pink in his book, “Drive”). Employees who find these three things at work will proactively seek informal learning
    1. Most people are driven to reach for a mastery of their profession.
    2. Truly engaged employees find purpose in the work they do.
    3. Many workers have a newly discovered sense of autonomy.
  2. Create a digital social learning space where employees can ask questions, give feedback, and curate content and ideas.
    1. Leaders should model constructive behavior by participating and encouraging others.
    2. L&D departments can reward constructive behavior and participation.
    3. Schedule focused chat and idea exchanges, leveraging things like hashtags.
    4. Establish rules so employees refrain from typical social media behavior, like contentious arguments or banal conversations.
  3. Provide semi-structured forums where coworkers can virtually mingle.
  4. Create pre-course preparation materials like interactive PDFs that summarize foundational information required for formal courses.
  5. Leverage content that’s been granularized into bite-sized pieces – otherwise known as Microlearning.
  6. Source other digital learning solutions and facilitate access to tools such as:
    1. LinkedIn Learning.
    2. Udemy.
    3. Pluralsight.
    4. Blinkist and getAbstract.
    5. Industry-related journals.
  7. Encourage reading by facilitating the creation of virtual book clubs. The 33rd president of the United States, Harry Truman, said “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
  8. Create mentor and coaching
    1. Coaching and mentoring are a great way to augment formal training.
    2. Match training participants in short-term coaching relationships.
    3. Identify high-potential employees and match them with mentors to help prepare for their future roles.
  9. Facilitate informal, small groups and one-on-one virtual interactions.
    1. Encourage participants to opt for live video calls.
    2. Remind participants that in the current age of remote working environments, we need to forgive dogs in the background and hair that’s not perfectly quaffed.

Informal learning, while sometimes difficult to measure and seems like it’s outside the control of the corporate L&D department, is more vital now than ever in remote working environments. Hope this article gives you compelling reasons and measures to help as you seek to unlock its potential.

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Add a Play Pause button to your slide video!

If you are like me. You probably don’t want to use the default playback controls built into Captivate. Personally I don’t like to use them for videos because I want people to watch the video and not scrub ahead. We live in a fast passed environment and if we can find shortcuts we take them!

I also wanted to give my learners a way to pause the video to take notes, answer questions if someone walked up and interrupts their time learning.

Enter… the play pause button!

This uses some simple advanced actions and two image buttons. But this is something that you can save and copy and paste into your future lessons!

Let me know how you may improve this in the comments below! And feel free to reach out if you have issues getting this into your own projects!

Test the file here:


If you would like to download the file you can do that here:

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