PowerPoint Tip: Here’s a Simple Way to Build E-Learning Graphics

PowerPoint tip graphics

Here’s a PowerPoint tip: build your e-learning course graphics in PowerPoint. PowerPoint is great for simple graphic design projects. In fact, I use it quite a bit for this blog and some of the graphics I need in my e-learning demos.

In a previous post, I shared visual design tips for graphics I built in Rise 360 for an e-learning scenario. All of those graphics were built in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint for graphic design example 5

In this example, the images all need to be wide, but short rectangles so that I could get them about the same height as the text and squeeze them as close as possible to the button stacks in Rise 360.

I created a custom slide size 13 x 4 inches. When I save the PowerPoint slides as images that results in an image that is 1280 x 384 pixels.

Here’s a detailed tutorial that walks through the process of creating similar graphics in PowerPoint. I cover a lot of little PowerPoint tips.

Click here to view the PowerPoint tutorial on YouTube.

The links below take you to specific parts of the tutorial. The last two links show how to create the final pill shape with the character’s head extended outside of the image.

The tutorial above shows how I created the images. But here are a few key points to consider.

PowerPoint Tip: Step Away from PowerPoint as a Presentation Tool

If you’ve read much of this blog, you know that I’m a big advocate for using PowerPoint to build simple graphics. It’s easy to use, most people have it, and there’s not much you can’t create with PowerPoint once you learn a few things.

Is it Photoshop or Illustrator? No! And if you have expertise with those tools, then have at it. But for those who don’t have a graphics editor and need a simple solution, give PowerPoint a try.

PowerPoint tip for e-learning graphics

Here are some previous posts that show what you can do:

PowerPoint Tip: Save Slides as Images

Whatever you build in PowerPoint you can right-click and save as an image. I usually save as .PNG. This preserves the color clarity and any transparency. If you save as .JPG, the transparent areas fill with white.

PowerPoint tip right click save as image

For most cases (especially when working with Rise 360), I like to use the slide as my entire image. So I build what I need and then save the slide as image rather than PPTX. While there are a number of image options, like above, I stick with .PNG.

PowerPoint tip save slide as image

PowerPoint Tip: Create Custom Slide Sizes

The default PowerPoint slide is 16 x 9 aspect ratio. In most cases that is fine. It works great for Rise 360. However, there may be times when you want a custom slide. For example, if you want a square image, you need to change the slide size. I usually use 10 inches by 10 inches which gives me an image that is close to 1000 x 1000 pixels (give or take).

Go to the Design Tab and select Slide Size to change the settings.

PowerPoint tip slide size

PowerPoint Tips: Install Studio 360

Many of you are you are using Articulate 360 which comes with Rise 360 and Storyline 360. Those are obviously the go-to apps for building courses. Because of this, many people ignore Studio 360 which comes with Articulate 360.

PowerPoint tip Characters

Even if you don’t use Studio 360 to build courses (why would you when you have Rise 360), it’s still a good idea to install it. The main reason is that you get access to all of the assets including the characters from Content Library 360. And when you build graphics for your e-learning courses, especially as I did in Rise 360, it helps to have all of the characters in PowerPoint.

If you aren’t using a graphics editor or don’t know how, then PowerPoint is a really easy way to build graphics for you e-learning courses.


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


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.

 

Top 5 Highly Discussed eLearning Trends So Far

As time goes, in the field of eLearning industry new trends will take place or any new updations take place in the existing technology. So, to catchup with the technology, eLearning vendors accustom these changes in the technology to provide the learners the best learning experience. Let’s have a look on such trends. xAPI :…

Deconstructing Simple Visual Design for E-Learning

visual design for e-learning tips

The other day I made some images for a course menu page in Rise 360. I spent some time playing around with different ideas. When I reviewed my final image, I realized that there were several iterations.

Today I’ll share some of the different ideas I considered and why I made changes.

Visual Design: The Set Up

I’ll start by stating that most of this is subjective, so there’s not a right or wrong.

With this particular menu, I needed an image that had a 10:3 aspect ratio. In this case, the images are 1280 x 384. The aspect ratio calculator is a good resource if you ever need to figure out an aspect ratio or the resolution of images.

visual design for e-learning aspect ratio calculator

The short but wide aspect ratio creates a challenging constraint with what you can show. And that’s why I played around with different ideas.

Visual Design for E-Learning: Example 1

PowerPoint for graphic design example 1 visual design for e-learning

Because of the dimensional constraints, I started with just text. But the text looked empty and uninteresting. Since these images were part of an interactive scenario, I wanted to add a bit more personality.

I added a character to the text. This creates a visual connection to the scenario. I also wanted some white space so it was easier for the eye to scan the screen. Generally, it looks good and the white space is nice as the Rise course responds to the mobile devices.

Visual Design for E-Learning: Example 2

PowerPoint for graphic design example 2 visual design for e-learning

I wasn’t keen on the smaller character but as noted before, the height of the image created some constraints. So I played around with making the character larger. This meant is had to go off screen.

I was also concerned that perhaps the larger image would be too busy if it remained in color. So I got rid of the color and then lighten up the image a bit.

I liked the gray image and text overlay. But it just didn’t feel right, especially in the mobile view with the top of the heads cut off.

The second design is OK. But it looks a bit unbalanced. The right side of the menu has text and a strong visual element with the button. It kind of fills the right side. But the left side just looks odds to me.

Visual Design for E-Learning: Example 3

PowerPoint for graphic design example 3 visual design for e-learning

Sticking with the grayscale, I played around with making the character image a bit larger to fill that side of the menu. It does add some heft, but I wasn’t fond of the way the faces were cropped.

I do like it in the phone view because it fills the column and the lighter image with the darker buttons works.

Visual Design for E-Learning: Example 4

PowerPoint for graphic design example 6 visual design for e-learning

In a previous post, I shared an easy graphic design tip that I call the transparent echo technique. The idea is to add the same image twice. One is muted and serves as the background and the other is a focal point.

The image above was my first attempt. The examples in the blog post linked above look nice. But this one felt a bit busy and the eyes were too big. It feels a bit creepy.

So I added a color overlay that I color picked from the button. I also moved the image around and used his shirt and not the face. I like the texture that the echo creates. You can see part of the shirt so there’s some very slight visual context and the texture adds depth which I like better than just a solid color. But the echo isn’t distracting.

PowerPoint for graphic design example 4 visual design for e-learning

The design seems blocky and the buttons are heavy. My original goal was to have white space. Now I have an image design I kind of like, but it’s just too square and heavy.

Visual Design for E-Learning: Example 5

PowerPoint for graphic design example 5 visual design for e-learning

To gain white space and get rid of the block I decided to play off the pill shape of the buttons. That gives it some visual cohesion by tying in the header with the button.

By extending the heads outside the pill shape, it creates additional white space. And the round corners with the characters poking out of the shape feel a bit more organic and informal, which lends itself well to an interactive scenario course.

I also lightened the buttons so that they were a little more subdued and not as heavy. They’re just a bit lighter than the pill shape.

Visual Design Principles

Again, most of this is subjective. But I thought I’d give you some insight into my thought process as I created the graphics and made iterations. While the images are subjective, there are a few core principles to consider when creating the visuals for your courses.

  • Use white space to give your eyes a break. White space also helps to discern what content is there and how’s it related to other content on the screen.
  • Visual consistency between design elements. I like the final image and that it works with the pill shaped buttons. The colors also work to tie the objects together.
  • Play around with color. Remove colors from the images to neutralize them. Then add a few accent pieces or a single color to draw focus. It’s easy to do and a good basic tip for those of us who are visually challenged and opt to over work our images.

In the follow up post, I’ll show how I used PowerPoint to quickly create all of these images and make edits in seconds.

Which design do you like best? Is there something you would have done different?


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


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.

 

„Alles online, aber wo bleibt die Motivation?“

Für das Magazin „wirAUSBILDER“ habe ich vor einigen Wochen einen Beitrag zum Stichwort „Motivation & Lernen“ geschrieben. Jetzt ist die Sperrfrist abgelaufen, so dass ich ihn öffentlich machen kann. Der Teaser enthält die Fragen, auf die ich einige Antworten versuche. Rückmeldungen sind herzlich willkommen!!

„Der Einsatz von digitalen Medien in der Aus- und Weiterbildung ist in vielen Unternehmen und Betrieben angekommen.   Doch das Selbstlernen im Netz  passiert nicht automatisch, nur weil die Auszubildenden mit Internet und Smartphone aufgewachsen sind. Gibt es die selbstorganisierten Lernenden überhaupt? Oder wird die Motivation der Lernenden im Netz noch wichtiger? Und, wenn ja, wie funktioniert sie?“
Jochen Robes, wirAUSBILDER, 5/2018, S.6-9 (pdf)

Bildquelle: Cam Adams (Unsplash)

Virtuelle Lernorte: eine Übersicht

Für Einsteiger ins Thema hat Martin Ebner diese Übersicht geschrieben. Vorgesellt werden Web-Based-Training, Learning-Management-Systeme, E-Portfolio-System, MOOC-Plattform, Personal-Learning-Environment, Immersive Lernumgebungen. Braucht es für diese Liste den Begriff „virtuelle Lernorte“? Nein. Ist diese Liste vollständig oder abschließend? Nein. „Eine Einteilung und Kategorisierung ist nicht einfach, weil die Übergänge fließend und nicht trennscharf sind“, schreibt der Autor. Wie gesagt, für Einsteiger.
Martin Ebner, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb), 21. März 2019

Bildquelle: Alexas_Fotos (pixabay)

Three E-Learning Tips to Help Build Better Courses

e-learning tips

Even before I started working at Articulate, I made it a goal to answer five questions each week in the e-learning community. It’s a great way to connect with others, especially beginners, and offer some help as they’re learning.

However, for me, it’s a great way to stay on top of the tools as it forces me to think through the software in different contexts. It enables me to play around with different ideas and production techniques.

Here are three recent tutorials that I created to answer some questions in the community. The tutorials offer little bonus tips and focus on some production nuances that aren’t always apparent to new users. They’re good if you’re just getting started.

Here are the three files I used for the demos in case you want to look at them and follow along.

E-Learning Tip: Simulate Right-Click Interactions on Mobile Devices

In this tutorial, we review how to go through software training on a mobile device when the software simulation requires the user to right-click which isn’t possible on a mobile device.

Features demonstrated:

  • Setting True-False variables to indicate if the user is on a mobile device
  • Use variables to simulate right-clicking
  • Showing/hiding objects based on variable values

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

E-Learning Tip: Combine Animations to Create Fast-Slow-Fast Animations

In this example, the question was how to make an object slow down when passing through another object and then speed up when it was done passing through.

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

Features demonstrated:

  • Create motion paths
  • Set options
  • Apply relative start points
  • Relative animation
  • Alignment

E-Learning Tip: How to Keep Objects Persistent and as the Top Layer

In this tutorial, we look at how to ensure that the custom course navigation is always on the top layer and not hidden when going to other layers.

Features demonstrated:

  • Launch layer based on timeline
  • Create persistent layers on top of other layers
  • Use empty layers to trigger and redirect

Click here to view the tutorial on YouTube.

I usually do 5-10 of these tutorials every week. If they interest you and you want to see more, let me know.


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


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.

 

E-Learning Variables 101

Building e-learning courses is usually a matter of pulling together the appropriate content, visuals, and some level of interactivity. Most courses I see are linear with some simple interactions like tabs and labeled graphics.

However, there’s a way to make e-learning content and the learning experience more dynamic when using variables. Variables help create custom user experiences such as personalized visuals, conditional navigation, and adaptive learning paths.

The challenge for many e-learning developers (who aren’t experienced programmers) is learning more about variables and how to use them.

Today’s post is a recap of some previous getting started content that introduces the basics of working with variables, a few practice activities, and additional resources.

Also, be sure to check out our upcoming e-learning workshops below. I just added a bunch of new sessions.

Learn About Variables for E-Learning

Here are some previous blog posts that go through the basics of variables and how to use them.

Practice Activities to Learn About Variables for E-Learning

Here are some resources from previous workshops where we learn to use variables in a simple gamified context. There’s a published version with practice files and a series of tutorials that go through each slide individually. If you want to practice using variables and need some resources, this is a good place to start. You’ll only learn to use them when you use them.

variables 101 for e-learning example

See a published example.

Tutorials

E-Learning Community Activities to Practice Using Variables

Here some recent challenges to practice using variables in real-world contexts. Even if you can’t participate, look at some of the examples shared by community members.

Tutorials to Learn About Variables for E-Learning

variables 101 for e-learning

If you haven’t used variables before, now’s a good time to get started. If you do use variables, what do you find to be the most common use cases in your projects?


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


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.

 

How to Become a Successful E-Learning Developer

get started e-learning

Between the blog posts, community interactions, workshops, and webinars one of the most frequently asked questions is how to get started with e-learning or become a better e-learning developer.

I’ve written about this in several previous posts that cover how to build your skills, create your personal brand, and maintain a portfolio. You can find previous posts and a really cool interaction below.

How to Build Your Skills

Here’s a list of some of the posts on personal development.

Just Getting Started?

You know what’s better than reading a bunch of articles? Seeing it all in an e-learning module.

Sarah Hodge of SlideSugar recently shared a really great example of how to get started with e-learning. Not only is the content valuable, but it’s a demo worth deconstructing to glean ideas for your next e-learning course.

get started with e-learning

See e-learning example here.

Be sure to check out the articles and Sarah’s e-learning example above.

What tips would you give to those who are just getting started or want to improve their e-learning design skills?


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

Upcoming E-Learning Events


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.

 

How to automate elearning project operations to save time and money

What Do We Mean By eLearning Automation?

Commonly, automation stands for minimizing or eliminating human interaction in a process.

With the development of technologies, automation had an impact on every industry. We take many automated processes as a usual thing. For example, you sign-up for any software online and immediately receive welcome Email with your name included, after making a purchase the receipt is instantly sent to us. It’s a basic example of an automation process that includes email marketing and payments, but there is more in online learning.

The most common implementations of automation are quizzes generation, answers check, providing a student with immediate feedback and instantly showing results without human interaction.

The future of elearning automation is behind artificial intelligence (AI), where the learning process will be personalized to each user and the system will adapt to students performance. We have talked about it among elearning trends for 2019.

How to improve your elearning platform through automation

Authoring automation

Automation helps more effectively format and distribute content to users. For example, before starting a course, a student can take a quiz for the system to understand what areas the student is familiar with. The platform can then tweak the course modules according to the learner’s level of knowledge. Such an approach increases engagement and helps learner stay interested and move through the course quickly. Moreover, LMS can generate quizzes and exams from your assessments and create a unique learning path for each student.

If talking about corporate training, automation can save time for managers and HR departments in the way that employees are automatically enrolled into the right training modules for them.

Automated notifications and feedback

You can automate announcements of new courses and modules as they are published to save yourself time on manual sending and students benefit in staying up to date. Educators can automatically be notified with who and when have passed or failed test and immediately sent their results.

In addition, learner satisfaction surveys can be held automatically and generate reports for you.

Create a personalized learning experience

Automation of some elearning processes don’t just save time and money, it can completely transform the learner experience and make it more personalized. We have seen personalization in work on YouTube and ecommerce industry, it’s time to start implementing it in elearning.

For example, the learner fails a quiz. After that the system is triggered to send an email with some additional materials covering the topics, a student has failed on. Moreover, a user of your elearning platform can be enrolled to an additional course according to his final exam results. Students will have their own learning paths and can learn on their own pace.

Customer service and support

Modern technologies allow automating even such human tasks as support and Q&A. You can save yourself a lot of time and reduce the number of employees by creating rich FAQ page or even whole help center with search function as we have done for one of your clients.

In addition, chatbots can better customer satisfaction with an instant answer to questions.

Automated Report Delivery

It is possible to create automated report delivery and moreover, in different formats. For example, you would like to have a monthly report of your course performance in PDF format and Excel table with financial reports. In addition, they can be automatically sent to your inbox each month.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your platform’s integration with CRM can bring your business to the next level and we are not talking about just managing your customers. By monitoring learner performance and discovering patterns, CRM can bring valuable process automation.

For instance, some of your students abandoned learning on some module, CRM can detect that and send an email to users for encouraging them to continue the course.

Customer relationship management allows to control the stages, students are on and interact with them with relevant information. This also provides students with personalized experience.

Bottom line

Elearning automation can save you time, money and create a personalized experience for your users. As a result, the performance of your course or training should increase and the learners get better results as the system optimizes for their own pace and level of knowledge.

The post How to automate elearning project operations to save time and money appeared first on eLearning.

Lernassistenten und Instant Messaging als neue Lernformen

Seit einigen Jahren taucht diese nützliche Übersicht auf vielen Slides und in unzähligen Artikeln auf. Sie sortiert Lernformen, eher spielerisch als akademisch. Auf der vertikalen Achse geht es vom „individuellen“ bis zum „kollaborativen“, auf der horizontalen Achse vom „formellen“ bis zum „informellen“ Lernen. Drei Lernformen haben die mmb-Experten jetzt, 2019, hinzugefügt: Internet-Kollaborationstools (z. B. Google Docs), Instant Messaging (z. B. WhatsApp) und Persönliche Lernassistenten (z. B. Alexa).


„Bemerkenswert ist, dass alle drei neuen Formen nicht ausschließlich für Lernzwecke konzipiert sind und als kostenlose Anwendungen schon länger auch für viele andere Zwecke genutzt werden. Werden unsere Lernwerkzeuge daher in Zukunft vermehrt „Universal-Tools“ sein, bei denen das Lernen eine Funktion unter vielen ist? mmb wird dies weiter verfolgen.“

Lutz Goertz, mmb Institut, März 2019

Bildquelle: mmb Institut