Check Out These Cool E-Learning Examples

e-learning examples that are nice

Many of you know I’m a big fan of the e-learning challenges posted each week in the community. The intent is to get you to think about different ways to see the tools, be inspired by other examples, and practice using the software to learn new production tips.

I am always impressed with the diverse ideas that are demonstrated each week by both experienced and novice developers. On occasion I like to feature specific participants because they do really nice work and offer some creative ideas.

Today, I’d like to feature Andrzej Jabłoński. He really comes up with some interesting ideas and he often shares the files so that you can learn how he created what he did. This is the spirit of community in action. Here are a few of his recent challenge entries.

E-Learning Example: Leadership Template

This is one of my favorite demos in all of the challenges. There’s an elegance to the template structure and playfulness with the subtle animations. And yet, because he started with an existing graphic, it’s relatively easy to build something similar, especially for the person with minimal graphic design skills who has to work with stock imagery.

e-learning example 1

E-Learning Example: Paper Cutout Effect

I love the visuals in this one and the depth created with the paper cutout look. He always does a nice job with the animations in his demo and this one features some moving next buttons and bring content in and out of the screen.

e-learning example 2

E-Learning Example: Meet the Team Interaction

Great use of the flashcard effect with really nice animations. There are a lot of interesting production tips to glean from this demo.

e-learning example 3

E-Learning Example: Space Game Navigation

This mimics an older arcade style game. This is a great demo to deconstruct so you can learn more about working with keyboard-based navigation. And there’s an off/on audio toggle.

e-learning example 4

E-Learning Example: Miscellaneous

Scenario Ideas

Exploration Activities

These are great activities to build familiarity with content, especially imagery or terms. They’re simple game activities, but can be sued effectively in many e-learning course contexts.

Andrzej is just one of the many talented e-learning developers who regularly participate in e-learning challenges. I’ll feature more in the future.

Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to participate and share some of your own ideas. If not, at least make it a point to check them out each week to see what people share. And take advantage of the free tips and downloads that you can use to learn and build your own courses.

Are there any recent challenge entries you’ve enjoyed?


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

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

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

 

How Do You Credit Your Sources in E-Learning?

citation for e-learning

We all want to give proper credit to our sources when presenting content. Many of us learned to cite our sources when writing reports for school work or research papers. But does it work the same way for an e-learning course?

I had a great question from a blog reader last week:

I am a relatively new instructional designer, but I was an English teacher for nearly 20 years. When I started my new job, I found that other designers and trainers in my company were just quoting and copying resources without stating where the information came from and this really rubbed me the wrong way.

What are some best practices regarding how to cite sources for e-learning? Is there any guidance out there for something like this? It is a bit weird to stop in the middle of a scenario or game to state where the info originated, but attaching a bibliography in a resource tab seems a bit unclear.

I’d appreciate any thoughts you have. 

Credit for Free Assets

I wrote a blog post a while back that dealt with how to credit the source of free assets we find online. We covered a few different ways to give credit to the sources. I assume the mechanics of displaying content on the screen is similar. But that’s still different than citing sources of the content.

citation for e-learning example

Click here to view the demo.

Citing Sources for Web Pages

There are a number of places that explain how to cite online sources and some even provide a way to create the citations. But again, a lot of that focuses on research and isn’t specific to an online course.

Big Question: Citation for E-Learning

Creating an e-learning course is different than writing a research paper. And an e-learning course is different than a web site. Is there a different way to do this? I’ll throw the question out to the community and see if we can glean some best practices.

What do YOU do (if anything) when citing sources in your e-learning courses?


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

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Coming to Australia and New Zealand. 2020

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 Things to Consider If You Build Compliance Training

compliance training

In a recent survey, 68% of e-learning developers told us that they build compliance training. In fact, it’s the majority of what people build. Compliance training is a bit tricky because e-learning contains the word learning, but often compliance training doesn’t really have a real connection to learning. If we’re honest, a lot of it is a big information dump with little real connection to the learner’s day-to-day activities.

For example, you don’t hire a bunch of unethical people and then figure it’ll all work out after they complete their ethics training. Instead, you have ethical people and the training clarifies and reinforces the organization’s guiding principles. But it doesn’t really change behaviors much, unless your work the mob, maybe.

That doesn’t mean there’s not a real learning component to compliance training, it just means that it’s usually more about certification of understanding rather than changing behaviors.

Here are a couple of things to consider when building your next compliance training course.

What does the law say?

“We can’t build good courses because the law requires we do XYZ.”

That may be the case. However, often it’s not. I’ve worked on plenty of compliance training programs that were driven by the myth of legal requirements. I always challenge that statement. If it’s true, it’s true. But prove it.

If it’s not, then don’t use that misunderstanding to dictate how you build your courses.

Let your learners test out.

Since most compliance training is about certification and many of the people already know the content, why not let them prove it upfront?

Give them an option to take an assessment at the front end of the course. If they can prove they understand the content, then they’ve met the compliance certification objectives (outside of any special legal requirements). If they can’t prove it, they understand why they need to take the training.

Keep in mind that assessing their understanding doesn’t mean it has to be a bunch of boring multiple choice quiz questions. It could be a series of case studies or interactive scenarios.

Some employers don’t want people testing out. The argument is usually along the lines that even if they know the information, it’s a good thing to see it again. I’d start with the cost of training and how forcing people to take courses where they already know the information is not necessarily good stewardship of the organization’s resources. And then take it from there.

Compliance training isn’t always the most engaging content we work with; and it does waste a lot of time. Find out what you really have to do to be compliant. And then create the best learning experience you can.

What do you do to make your compliance training more engaging?


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Coming to Australia and New Zealand. 2020

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.

 

4 Ways to Quickly Do a Needs Analysis for Your E-Learning

We’ve all heard about analysis paralysis where we spend a lot of time collecting data and then worry so much about how to interpret it (or building the right course) that we never get anything done.

I’ve worked on plenty of training projects where that was the case. It was frustrating for the customers, as well as the training team.

Here are a few ideas to help in the analysis and getting things done at the speed of business.

Focus on Relevant Content

Training exists for a purpose. It’s a solution for something. Be sure to keep your eyes on the right goals and objectives. Build training relevant to real needs. Get out of your cubicle and meet potential learners. Find out how they’d use to content in your course. And then build training around those real-world scenarios.

What about compliance training? It doesn’t always meet relevant needs, but it’s important to the organization.

True. Odds are you don’t need to do a needs analysis for compliance training.

Create a Pilot Team to Help

If you can’t get out of your cubicle and go onsite, assemble a team from a pool of your learning audience. They’ll help you see the content from different perspectives. You don’t need a big team. It could be just a couple of people.

If you can’t build a formal pilot team, at a minimum you can send out a survey to collect information and feedback. There are all sorts of free and inexpensive survey tools out there. I like to use Google Forms and SurveyMonkey.

Build Proof of Concept Courses

The nice thing about today’s e-learning tools like Storyline and Rise is that you can quickly prototype your courses and build interactive learning experiences. Then roll them out to test and get feedback. You can send them out to subject matter experts and your pool of learners. Sometimes things missed in the analysis present themselves when used in real life.

I like to use Review to get the courses out there for feedback and then manage it all in one place. That type of simplicity wasn’t available a few years ago.

Who Needs a Needs Analysis?

This may be sacrilegious to some of you, but skip the analysis. Between your customer’s insight and your training instincts, odds are that you’ll be fine without investing a lot of time doing detailed needs analysis.

Now I say this knowing that most of us don’t build overly complicated training. If you work for NASA or are in an industry where the training has life or death consequences than make sure to do a proper analysis so that you get things right. But the reality is that most training needs exist because the client or someone has already identified it. In those case, a needs analysis is probably less critical.

I’m curious, what type of needs analysis do you do when asked to build training? Are there times where you skip it?


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Coming to Australia and New Zealand. 2020

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.

 

Escape from Compliance Training Jail

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - compliance training jail

Every two years I take my car in and have the emissions tested.  The goal of the test is to certify that my car meets specific emissions standards.  If the car passes, I am certified and I can move on.  However, if it doesn’t pass, then my car has to go under a different series of tests (and perhaps repairs) to get up to the appropriate standard and certified.  Of course, this takes more time.

As I was waiting in my car, I was reminded that a lot of what we call “e-learning” is similar to the emissions testing process.  The purpose of the course is not to learn, but instead to demonstrate what we already know.  If we don’t pass the certification, then just like the car, we have to go through a remedial process.

When I worked for a healthcare organization, we did a lot of training like that.  We weren’t really training the staff since they already knew the subject matter.  Instead, we were certifying that they knew it.

Like the healthcare industry, there are many industries that require annual refresher or certification testing that has little to do with learning.  In those cases, the goal is not so much to teach new skills; instead it is to certify existing knowledge.  Of course, when a person doesn’t pass the certification, it identifies a clear learning opportunity.

One of the frustrating parts of the emissions testing is that, while the actual test only took a few minutes, waiting in line to take the test took a lot longer.  This is especially true if you wait until the last Saturday of the month when all of the other procrastinators also show up.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - I know this elearning

Sitting in the car and waiting in line is not very productive.  The same can be said for those people who already have existing skills and yet have to go through an “elearning course” before they can be tested.  The ideal situation is to create an environment to assess the person’s skills and then direct them based on their results.

If the person can demonstrate the skills and knowledge, then go ahead and certify them, so they can go back to work or surf the Internet.  If they can’t demonstrate the skills and knowledge, put them on a path to get it, and then reassess them later.

Compliance Training: A Real-World Example

I was talking to a colleague recently who works for a very large financial institution.  Needless to say, they have many certification and annual refresher training programs.  The problem he ran into with his courses was that many of the employees already knew the information, but the organization still made them go through the entire course before they could be tested and certified.

This was a great source of frustration for the employees.  In addition, most courses took anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete and each employee had to take a number of them throughout the year.

Let’s look at this from a financial perspective.  The organization has over 30,000 employees.  Just a ball park figure shows that 30,000 hours at $50 per hour is $1,500,000…for one course!  That’s a lot of money and lost productivity.

Surely there was a more efficient approach to meet the regulatory requirements and get the employees certified.  There was!  Here’s what his team did to create a more efficient elearning certification process.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - what does the elearning law say

  • They contacted their law department to better understand the real legal requirements and certification process.
  • They found that in many cases they weren’t legally required to deliver a “course.”  Instead they only had to document that the employees were certified and had a certain level of understanding.
  • With this new information in hand (and the legal department’s blessing) they changed the structure for many of their courses by allowing the employees to test out of information they already knew.

And, what type of results did they get?

They found that for the more complex information, if they offered a pre-assessment, about 30% of their employees could skip past the course.  They also found that in some of their simple 15-30 minute courses, almost 70% were able to skip past the course and be certified.  Run some numbers on paper and you’ll see the savings add up quickly.

Our industry is always talking about demonstrating a return-on-investment and this seems to be a slam dunk.  There’s no better way to show your value than to demonstrate that you’ve created a more efficient way to certify your employees.

  The Rapid E-Learning Blog - return on investment - ROI

Of course, this approach doesn’t work for every industry or every elearning course.  But it does for many. If you do a lot of regulatory training, now might be a good time to rethink your elearning strategy.  Get with your legal department and find out what the exact requirements are; and then build a course that helps you meet them.

Many of you are in industries that require certification and regulatory training, I’m interested in hearing some of your best practices.


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Coming to Australia and New Zealand. 2020

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.

 

One Thing All Course Designers Should Do

e-learning tip

I’m asked to review courses all the time and one of the most frustrating things is to go through the course and find the developer has locked every slide. This requires that I have to click through every screen, interaction, and quiz before I can get to specific places for review.

For those asking for feedback in the community, it’s extra frustrating trying to troubleshoot a course and having to click through everything to get to a specific place in it.

An easy solution is to create a secret menu that lets you, as the developer, gain access to any place in the course.

Two Ways to Create Quick Access Points

Create a shortcut button. I usually put a button in one of the corners that gives me quick access to slides. Sometimes, the button just skips the slide. I may do that if it has longer narration or animations. Other times, I may add a link to a menu area where I have access to all of the slides.

  • During production, I keep it visible so I remember it’s there or can easily direct reviewers to it.
  • After production, I either delete it or hide it by making it transparent or use a hotspot. It is nice always having access to it once the course is live.
  • Put the button on the master slide so it’s available on all the slides that use the layout.

Create a menu tab on the player. The benefit of a player tab is that the link to the shortcuts is available regardless of the slide and layouts. It’s ever present. And then when you’re ready to publish, just disable the player tab.

  • Create a slide with menu links. I usually create a separate scene and make sure it’s not visible in the player menu.
  • Insert a custom player tab and link to the secret menu slide.
  • Hide the player tab when the course is published.

One of the benefits of this over the slide master is that the slide master sits on the bottom. It’s possible that the slide content is on top of the button and not available on a given slide.

secret menu in e-learning course

Click here to view demo course.

Above is a demo course where you can see both options in action. I locked the sidebar navigation and each slide is locked for five seconds. The first three slides don’t have access to the onscreen shortcut button.

Create Quick Access to Variables

In a recent post, I showed how to do something similar with variables. Instead of going through an entire interaction (or course) to see if the variables are working properly, create access to a variables dashboard. There you can assign custom values to the variables for testing and to see if everything is working as it should.

e-learning variables dashboard

Click here to view variables demo.

Having quick access to specific slides or be able to jump to certain places in the course is a big time-saver when reviewing the course.

I’m curious how many course designers do something similar and what you do to create shortcuts.


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Coming to Australia and New Zealand. 2020

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.

 

50+ Best Instructional Design Software Tools You Should Bookmark

Eine nützliche Übersicht: „We’ve made an extensive list of the best instructional design software and resources and, for simplicity, divided it into categories, from authoring toolkits to audio-video software and photo sharing platforms.“
Helen Colman, iSpring, 4. Juni 2019

Bildquelle: royalty free (Flickr)

Video-Epilog: Vom E-Learning zur Digitalisierung – Mythen, Realitäten, Perspektiven

Auch wenn es in Teilen ein interner Dialog der GMW (Gesellschaft für Medien in der Wissenschaft) ist, der vor allem die Hochschulen und die Hochschullehre im Blick hat: das Nachdenken über Begriffe wie E-Learning, Blended Learning oder technologie-unterstütztes Lernen ist ja nicht nur auf einen Bildungssektor begrenzt. Zudem weist Peter Baumgartner im Gespräch mit Reinhard Bauer noch auf einen interessanten Punkt hin: Auf der einen Seite sollen Hochschulen ja näher an die Arbeitswelt herangeführt werden (Stichwort „Kompetenzorientierung“), aber auf der anderen Seite bietet diese Arbeitswelt immer weniger Fix- bzw. Orientierungspunkte (Stichwort „Future Skills“).
Klaus Himpsl-Gutermann, Gesellschaft für Medien in der Wissenschaft (GMW), 18. Juni 2019

How to Create Custom Maps for E-Learning

create custom maps for e-learning

Here’s an issue I run into quite a bit: I need a map for my e-learning courses; but I don’t need a detailed map.

Stock image sites are fine for generic illustrated maps but they’re usually too generic. The other option is to do a screen grab of an online map, but then that’s often too detailed.

Recently, I was working on a map demo where I needed a specific map, but I didn’t want a real map screen shot because it was too busy and I knew the stock sites couldn’t provide what I needed because it was too specific. Fortunately, I found this site, Snazzy Maps, that makes it easy to customize Google’s online maps.

Examples of Custom Maps for E-Learning

Here’s why this comes in handy.

Most maps have too much visual information. For example, if I built a labeled graphic map of some historic sites in Washington, D.C. I need a simple map for reference, but I don’t need all of the street names and colors that may distract from my labels. Instead I want a map that gives me some context, but allows the label to be the star of the show.

Washington DC labeled map interaction

In the example above, the real online map has way too much visual info. It’s hard to know where to look first. In fact, it’s difficult to see the markers because of all of the colors, text, and roads. I’m not using this map to drive an Uber so I probably don’t need all of the detail and distracting visual information.

Washington DC gray map label interaction

This next example above is the complete opposite. All of the colors are turned off as well as many of the roads. A gray scale map like this allows the accent colors from the labels to really pop. In fact, one of the best simple tips for course design is to get rid of competing visual information like colors and then only use color to accent or highlight content. In this example, the marker colors are much more distinct.

Washington Dc interaction color map

For this particular interaction, I like having a little color to show the park and monuments in relationship to the city and water. I turned off the titles and some of the roads. You can still recognize it as a map, yet it’s not quite as busy.

Customizing the Maps

To be honest, I don’t have the patience to learn how to use the Snazzy Map site. So I started with one of the maps someone with more patience created. And from there it was just a lot of clicking around to see what I can edit. Most of it makes sense and with a little practice you can get almost any look you need.

Washington DC custom maps examples

If you need a custom map for your e-learning courses, check out the site. I may come in handy.


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Coming to Australia and New Zealand. 2020

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.

 

Can Khan Academy Scale to Educate Anyone, Anywhere?

Die Case Study-Methode ist ja das Herzstück von Harvard. Bill Sahlman hat jetzt eine Case Study über die Khan Academy geschrieben, gegründet 2007 von Salman Khan und eine der erfolgreichsten Lernplattformen weltweit. Ihre Mission: „… to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.“ Es ist die zweite Case Study über die Khan Academy. Die erste wurde 2012 veröffentlicht, und die zweite beschäftigt sich mit der Entwicklung eines kleinen Teams von enthusiastischen Pionieren, allen voran Salman Khan, zu einer Company mit 180 Mitarbeitern. Kurz: Es geht um „Scaling“, um strategisches Handeln und die Einführung von Strukturen und Prozessen. Dafür kam Ginny Lee an Bord, erfolgreiche Managerin in einem Software-Unternehmen.

Die Case Study kostet 8,95 Dollar, aber das ausführliche Interview mit Bill Sahlman steht als Text und Podcast offen im Netz.
Brian Kenny, Interview mit Bill Sahlman, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 18. Juni 2019