Free eBook: The Top 10 Essential Skills Every Employee Training Program Manager Needs Right Now

Employee training programs have been popular for quite some time now. They are the ideal way to help employees develop new skills or build up on already existing ones. An employee training program manager is the person responsible for ensuring certain employee training program standards are upheld. In this article, I’ll present what BizLibrary's free eBook The Top 10 Essential Skills Every Employee Training Program Manager Needs Right Now has to offer.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

8 E-Learning Developers You Should Follow

e-learning experts

In the past, I’ve referenced a number of instructional designers who are active in the community where they share all sorts of free downloads, examples, and answer questions.

Today, I’d like to focus on a few instructional designers and course developers who tend to share more advanced course development tips. They go through the nuances of the software, share hacks, and how to leverage JavaScript when using Storyline.

These are peers worth following.

Melissa Milloway

Melissa is a passionate learner and actively shares what she learns (often while she learns).  She’s also been a presenter at a few of our Articulate Roadshows.

e-learning developers mel milloway

Here’s a good series she did on getting started with xAPI and Storyline.

Kevin Thorn

Years ago Kevin won an Articulate Guru award. From there here’s built quite a presence in the e-learning industry. Many of you probably know him from his iconic Nugget head character.

e-learning developers kevin thorn

If you want to learn how he comes up with ideas and builds his courses, check out his recent series on constructing a gamified module.

Zsolt Olah

Zsolt is a like a zsolt of lightning especially when it comes to talking gamification and how to engage learners. He has all sorts of really neat ideas and hacks to help you learn more. One of the most original and creative people in the industry.

e-learning developers zsolt olah

Check out this example of alternatives to multiple choice questions. Pretty cool.

Nick Shelton

Nick shares all sorts of cool tips and tricks with his unique brand of humor. His site has lots of good tutorial videos and advanced tips.

e-learning developers nick shelton

Check out this example of how to add Cool Overlay Effects in Articulate Storyline with Basic After Effects & JavaScript.

Matthew Bibby

Matthew’s nickname should be the “E-learning Thunder from Down Under.” He presents really organized and detailed tutorials and tips in his blog.

e-learning developers matthew bibby

Look at this post on how to use Google Fonts with a variable.

David Charney

David always shares clever tips and examples. I recall sitting at the airport on my way to London and spending a couple of hours trying to deconstruct one of his demos for the weekly challenges.

e-learning developers david charney

Here’s a video where he shares a way to mask content using the scroll panel feature. And of course, his review of the original Storyline 0.

Owen Holt

Owen does a great job showing how to use JavaScript with Storyline. He’s presented at the Austin Roadshow. He’s also got some popular tutorials.

e-learning developers owen holt

Here’s one he recently shared that’s gotten lots of play: how to add a print button to the course player [video].

Ron Price

Ron is CLO for Yukon where he manages and conducts a lot of Articulate training. Ron is also a fixture in our Articulate Live webinars where he shares all sorts of cool tips and tricks.

e-learning expert

If you’re an Articulate 360 subscriber you don’t want to miss those Friday Quick Tips & Tricks sessions. Here’s a recent tutorial Ron posted where he answered a training question: Why Does My Custom Menu Lose Track of My Progress?

To the ones above, thanks for what you do to support the community and industry. I know that there are a lot more really talented developers worth mentioning. Feel free to give them props in the comments section below.


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

e-learning Articulate workshops

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • Austin: September 12 & 13. Articulate Community Roadshow. Early bird rate expires August 28. Register here.
  • San Francisco: October 10 & 11. Articulate Community Roadshow. Early bird rate expires September 15. Seats limited for this event. Register here.
  • Antwerp: Nov 7. Articulate User Day 2017. Register here.
  • Utrecht: Nov 9 & 10. Articulate User Day 2017. Register here.
  • London: November 13 & 14. Articulate Community Roadshow. Register here.
  • Manchester: November 16 & 17. Articulate Community Roadshow. Seats are limited. Register here.

 

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.

A Three-Step Process to Build Your Skills the Right Way

e-learning portfolio

Recently, I’ve seen dozens of portfolios and work samples that are verbatim copies of the work of others. This isn’t a good thing, especially if you represent it as your own work. There’s a difference between being inspired by others and plagiarism. And not knowing this can hurt your career.

To protect the innocent I won’t mention the names of individuals (or companies) that have ripped off the work of others and represented it as their own. I’m sure some of it is intentional, but I suspect that most are just not aware that what they’re doing isn’t in their best interests.

Today I’ll share a few ways to find inspiration from others and use it build YOUR skills the right way. And then use those skills to show off what you can do. The end point should not be an exact copy of the source material. Instead, it should be a derivative work inspired by the source.

Step 1: Find a source of inspiration

Look for ways to be inspired. I focus on visuals and interactivity. E-learning is mostly visual, so it’s always good to learn more about graphics and UX design. And another main point of focus is learning to transition from static content to engaging interactions.

Keep an ideas folder or bookmarks for later reference. Here are some places I like to look for ideas:

  • Design sites like Dribbble where you can see what people are doing. Many will even share free assets.
  • Presentation sites like Slideshare where you can see how people are presenting their content. They also have an easy way to do screengrabs.
  • Mobile apps are a good source of inspiration. I regularly download different apps just to look at how they work and how users interact with them to get content. This gives me ideas for course design. Especially when I want some novel ideas on how to navigate a course.
  • Multimedia presentations are also valuable. News sites tend to build simple interactive multimedia demos for the hot news. Unfortunately, today it seems they spend more on the interactions and less on real journalism, but that’s a blog post for another day.
  • Template sites like Template Monster and Theme Forest are great to see different types of layouts and get ideas for screens and colors.

What are some sources of inspiration for you?

Step 2: Deconstruct your source of inspiration

One of the best ways to learn is by deconstructing things that interest you. Since I work mostly with Storyline, my initial thought is whether or not I can create what I see in Storyline.  Sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t. The goal is to play around with the idea as well as the software.

  • I deconstruct the source of inspiration and try to figure out what’s happening and why the creator may have chosen that approach versus something else. I make notes of what I like and what I may change.
  • I try to build a functional prototype. Sometimes the source content is an interaction I like and sometimes it may be a visual design idea. In either case, I try to replicate it in the software to learn what I can do. One side benefit is that I often discover some new production techniques.

At this point, the concern isn’t a final showcase product. It’s more about building a matching prototype.

Step 3: Apply what you learned to something original

Inspiration should lead to iteration. The goal isn’t to build copycat modules. It’s a small industry and people know when you cribbed an idea from another developer. Instead, the goal is practice and then apply what you learned to something original.

If there’s an animation you found interesting, how would you apply it to your own content? Are there layouts you can build into reusable templates? Can you make the interaction work the same way but in a different context?

A few things to keep in mind:

  • If you do borrow an idea from someone else and share it publicly, give them props. It’s good form and builds goodwill. It also alleviates any accusations when your work looks similar to someone else’s.
  • Share what you build. If you’re going to show off what you built (and it’s not proprietary) it’s a good idea to give something away. Share the source file, a how-to tutorial, or maybe a free template. This helps build your personal brand and expertise.
  • If you see something that looks like your work, understand that people will steal your work. It’s the basis of a popular book. Consider it a form of flattery. Also, people often have similar ideas at the same time. There have been few times I’ve had a blog post in the queue only to have someone in the industry release a similar post before mine’s been released. It shows that a lot of common ideas percolate and often we come to them at similar times. It’s just the way it is.

The end goal in this step is to use the deconstruction as a source of inspiration. And then create a derivative work that is uniquely yours.

Continue to practice and learn your craft. Find sources of inspiration and then apply what you learn to your own projects. And then show off what you can do in your portfolio.


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

e-learning Articulate workshops

Upcoming E-Learning Events

  • Articulate Roadshows. Join us for one or two days of e-learning goodness. Day 1 focuses on more general e-learning topics and Day 2 is centered on learning to build some nice, reusable interactions. They're great activities to help you learn more about the tools. Sign up using the links below. Seats are limited for the events. If you're interested in presenting at one of the roadshows, let me know.
  • Boston: July 18 & 19. Early bird rate expires July 7. Register here.
  • Toronto: August 9 & 10. Early bird rate expires July 21. Register here.
  • Seattle: August 21 & 22. Early bird rate expires August 7. Register here.
  • Austin: September 12 & 13. Early bird rate expires August 28. Register here.
  • San Francisco: October 10 & 11. Early bird rate expires September 15. Seats limited for this event. Register here.
  • London: November 13 & 14. Details coming soon.
  • Manchester: November 16 & 17. Seats will be limited. Details coming soon.
  • There are a couple of other events planned. Once we get all of the bookings confirmed, we'll add the registration page and info.

 

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.