Members Only: Controlling Access To Your eFrontPro Portal – Part 2

We’ve been looking at how to keep people out of your eLearning portal. And that might sound wrong, but it’s actually as important as getting them in! So hop on over to discover the LMS access options you have in your eFrontPro-based portal.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Flipping Training on its Head: Getting Started with a Performance Support Video Solution (Part 3)

Over the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve posted two blog articles in which I discussed how performance support video solutions are flipping training on its head. In the first post, I talked about how traditional training stresses participants learning something at a defined time – and then going into the work area and doing what it is they learned.  I then shared how in my own experience of developing performance support tools. If you have not read that article and you are interested, here you go:

Last week, I talked about the steps required to begin developing such a solution. We looked at taking a process and breaking it down into its unique and discrete steps, so that it can be demonstrated in manageable chunks. We looked at determining the total number of steps required, how to create an index page to each video and the importance of including the length of time it takes your user to view each video. We also considered who you will need on your team and the importance of separating the need to know from the nice to know. Finally, I challenged each of you to engage in the overall process of building a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you missed part 2, here is the link:

Part 3

So how did it go? How many steps did you determine it takes to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? What are they? Take a look at the “school” solution. This is what I came up with. It does not mean it is the absolute only way to do it. It’s just my approach to this project.
School Solution for Peanut Butter and Jelly
Notice that each step that I listed is separate and distinct from each other. That’s why you don’t see a step that reads “Open the peanut butter jar and spread some on the bread.” That is two separate steps.  Users may not remember how to open the jar in this case, but they’ve shown they can remove a spoon of peanut butter from the jar and spread it on the bread. Sure this is a simplistic example, so consider this more realistic situation. “Log onto your computer, then launch Adobe Captivate.” Your learner may remember how to log on, but if it is their first time using Captivate, they may not know what the desktop icon looks like or how to access the program. If you are going to give them just what they need at the moment they need it, then the performance support tool should reflect that. Having one item for “log onto your computer” and a separate item for “launch Captivate” gives users a choice and enables them to get just what they need – and no more.

perfSupport_shotListSo you know the number of steps and what they are, what next? It’s time to develop your shot list. I like to keep mine simple. I number each shot to make it easy to refer to, and then I have two columns: What Learners See, and What Learners Hear.  The “What Learners Hear” column will become the script which I will send to my voice over artist (or if you are like most developers who has to do their own voice over, you now have the script.)

Here is an example shot list for the “Gather Your Materials” step.
Completed Storyboard for one step

Now it is a matter of producing each video, then uploading it to the index page for users to access it.

I am including the complete shot list below.  I hope that this series of blog posts has been helpful as you think about creating your own performance support video solution. This is the method I’ve developed that works for me. If you’ve had success with this approach, please share it in the comments below.  If you’ve got an approach that differs from this but which works for you, please share that too. This way, our colleagues in the community can take something from each and develop a process which works for them.



Here is the complete shot list.

Shot Number What Learners See What Learners Hear
1 Items lined up on preparation surface. Hand points to each as it is mentioned.

To make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you will need:

·         A clean, flat food production surface.

·         Peanut butter of your choice.

·         Jelly, jam, or preserves of your choice.

·         2 slices of sandwich bread.

·         A clean butter knife.

·         You may also want a spoon for the jelly.


Placing the bread slices on the surface side by side.


Cut to flipping the bread slices together as though the sandwich were already made.

Position the bread slices on the clean surface, side-by-side, with one slice face up and the other slice face down.


This step is vital because it will allow the slices of bread to evenly match together when you combine them later.

3 Unscrew the lid of the peanut butter jar. Remove the liner. Cut to shot of the liner being placed in the trash. Open the peanut butter jar by unscrewing the lid. If the jar of peanut butter is new, remove and discard the paper liner attached to the top of the jar.

Scoop out a dollop of peanut butter with the knife. Spread the peanut butter across one slide of the bread.


Scoop out another dollop of peanut butter with the knife and spread it across the other slide of bread.

Using the knife, scoop a large dollop of peanut butter and spread it onto the top of each slice of bread. Use as much peanut butter as desired.


Putting peanut butter on each side will prevent the bread from getting soggy from the jelly. This is especially important if preparing the sandwich ahead of time.

5 Open the jar of jelly. Open the jar of jelly using the same method you used to open the peanut butter.
6a Wiping the knife with a paper towel. Wipe the knife. This is a small but essential step because it keeps from contaminating the contents of the jelly jar with the peanut butter.
6b The subject licking the knife with his tongue – and put the universal “NO” sign on top. Be sure to use a paper towel – and not your tongue for this step.
6c Remove a spoonful of jelly from the jar.

As an alternative, you may use a clean spoon to remove the jelly from the jar.



Shot Number What Learners See What Learners Hear
7a Placing the spoon of jelly onto the bread. Then picking up the knife and evenly distributing the jelly across the surface of the peanut butter. Apply the jelly. Spread it on top of the peanut butter on one slice of the bread.
7b Show jelly oozing out of sandwich – and put the universal “NO” sign on top. Putting jelly on both sides will only lead to a mess with jelly spewing out the sides of the sandwich.
8a Flipping peanut butter only side of bread over onto the side with the jelly. Combine both slices of bread by taking the slice of bread without jelly on it and flipping it on top of the jelly of the other slide.
8b Close-up of completed sandwich. You should now have a layered PB&J sandwich with peanut butter on the top and bottom and jelly in the center.
9 Close up of shoulders/head as the subject eats and enjoys his sandwich, appearing to savor each bite. Eat and Repeat. You can now satisfy your hunger with a delicious, non-soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Repeat as necessary until you are full.
10a Hand placing the peanut butter jar in the pantry. Don’t forget to clean up. Return the peanut butter jar to its location.
10b Hand placing the jelly jar inside the refrigerator door. Place the jar of jelly in the refrigerator.
10c Washing/rinsing of knife and cutting board. Wash your utensils and dishes.
10d Wiping down the countertop with a towel. Wipe the surface where you prepared your sandwich to ensure no bread crumbs or sticky residue is left behind.


7 Tips To Market Your e-Learning Expertise

7 Tips To Market Your eLearning Expertise - eLearning Industry

It is one thing to be an expert in your field, but it’s an entirely different challenge getting clients to pick you among other potential candidates. There are a lot of eLearning professionals vying for the job. As such, you may need to get creative to reach your target audience and land your dream eLearning projects. Here are 7 helpful and actionable tips to get the word out about your e-Learning expertise.

1. Find Your Fellow Enthusiasts

The best source of clients are people who are already interested in the field. Do your research and find online discussions, clubs, and organizations that revolve around your area of expertise. Some of them might already know a lot about the field. But if you have already identified your eLearning career niche, then you might just have something new to offer them. Promote your services to these groups. Ask online discussion moderators if you can post a digital flyer or ask them to point people to your site or eLearning portfoliowhen they inquire. Do not spam these groups with unsolicited mail or friend requests. Instead, take a business approach and work together with them to build a lasting relationship.

2. Create A Website

It might sound simple, but a lot of eLearning professionals forget about this step. The professional blurb along with the skill and experiential overview just is not enough. If you want to distinguish yourself and really market your e-Learning expertise, then you need a professional website. This site should have detailed information about your credentials, as well as a list of eLearning courses that you are currently developing. Place the link to this site in your email signature and on any professional jobs boards that you are a member of to boost your professional image.

3. Add Digital Incentives

Some clients may need a little nudge to contact you for their upcoming eLearning projects. Adding digital incentives and promoting them gives clients just one more reason to enlist your aid. For example, offer a special discount for new eLearning projects, or a referral bonus for clients who spread the word about your unique offerings.

4. Don’t Underestimate Word Of Mouth

Sure, online reviews have gotten a lot of credit for decision making in recent years. But word of mouth can often be just as impactful, especially where eLearning services are concerned. Clients tend to share recommendations about contractors or vendors they’ve used in the past. Especially if the experience was a favorable one. They may even have regular conversations with other companies or organizations who don’t realize they need your services. That is, until they learn about the top-notch eLearning course you just created for their colleague. These conversations are great ways to get new clients to give you a try. At the end of each eLearning project, encourage satisfied clients to add a brief blurb to your social media page. You may even want to create a special referral link or digital flyer they can keep handy to refer your site in just a few clicks.

5. Get Positive Reviews And Promote Them

This is a lot like a letter of recommendation. If someone really seemed to enjoy your working relationship, ask them for a short written review that you can share. It is always best to get the person’s approval to publish the review first. Another way you can do this is by conducting surveys at the end of the eLearning project. If someone leaves a particularly glowing review, ask them if you can use it to promote your eLearning services. Then, place these reviews on your website or promotional information. Having a “Former Clients Say” or “Reviews” section can help increase confidence in your eLearning brand. Make sure these reviews are specific, since vague or overly enthusiastic reviews may seem fabricated.

6. Utilize Social Media

I touched on social media briefly, but it deserves its own section. Social media is an excellent and often free way to attract clients to your website or eLearning portfolio. One popular way of gaining clients is through platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Updating these feeds with useful and thought-provoking content in your eLearning field will show potential clients that you know what you are talking about. Well-maintained feeds can pique people’s interest and give them an incentive to check out your current eLearning course. Then they can see your work in action and be tempted to hire you for their eLearning project. Be sure to pin a tweet or post about your current eLearning projects and a “more information” link to the top of each feed. This gives prospect clients the easiest route to contact you.

7. Circle Back

If you have had successful eLearning projects in the past, then you probably have a list of happy clients. These are the perfect people to promote your eLearning services to, by giving them a “repeat customer” discount. If your former clients have agreed to receive future emails from you, send them a nice digital flyer advertising your new-found e-Learning expertise. For example, you just attended an eLearning tech workshop and have brought new skills and certificates back with you.

Marketing your e-Learning expertise is an important factor in making sure you develop a successful and fulfilling eLearning career in the field. Carefully cultivate your marketing approach and don’t be afraid to incorporate new platforms and approaches to attract clients. The most important thing to have is solid sample eLearning courses to back up your advertising. If you have the best eLearning content, then the marketing will flow easily and site visitors will convert into new clients.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guide that explores the ins and outs of eLearning career success? Download our Free eBook How To Build A Successful eLearning Career to learn everything you need to know about embarking on the exciting and rewarding eLearning career path.

Originally published at on July 13, 2017.

Top 6 Questions To Ask While Designing Mobile Learning

Designing for mobile devices is like designing for any other medium, in that many of the underlying principles remain the same. But there are some important differences. Let’s look at the top questions to ask while designing mobile learning.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

What’s next for MOOCs?

I’m not going to get in to the detail of whether MOOCs have been the disruptive element for learning as many opined four or five years ago, many have written much more eloquently on this than I ever could. For more just search for related terms or read this and this and this and this.

I will, however, pass a few words and a little judgement on one aspect of some of the developments I’ve been following for ‘online learning’ – accreditation. 

Firstly, has anyone else noticed that the original MOOC platforms don’t refer to the courses that are offered through them as MOOCs anymore? Even the platform that pushed ‘free online learning’ at every opportunity has dropped the ‘free’ from nearly all pages and courses. Obviously the ‘free’ business model was never going last long once the platforms realised that they had massive overheads to cover (staff, hosting, support, development, etc.), and that doesn’t cover the costs incurred by partners to develop the courses either.

For me online learning, whether it’s an degree awarded from an established College or University or a ‘free’ MOOC-esque course, has always been about the value the course is able to offer the student taking it. That value is both about the actual content and subject as well as the value the new knowledge has to the individual who has taken (and presumably passed) the course.

This value could be the

  1. personal satisfaction in gaining new or further knowledge,
  2. learning about a new skill or subject that has semi-professional interest (a subject at the periphery of the individual’s profession, but is not essential to it) or
  3. something that is specifically relevant to the individual’s immediate role or career progression.

Learning is but one side of the reason someone will invest time and effort into learning. The learning needs a purpose – undertake a course on Shakespeare because you’ve always like his plays and want to know more about the plays and playwright. A family member is diagnosed with dementia and you want to know and understand more about the condition, etc. This is all well and good, but people who take courses for these reasons are unlikely to buy any kind of certificate or further learning opportunity from it. They are likely to go on and take other related courses, again to further their understanding.

People who take online courses who are doing it for a professional purpose (changing job or role, career progression, professional interest, etc.) are more likely to purchase some form of certificate, but it’s still not guaranteed. I’ve taken (well, started!) a few MOOCs related to my job and interests, and finished one (the #EDCMOOC)! 

For me, the future of this kind of learning is what the course can really offer those people who complete it. A certificate is not enough – being able to show I completed 75% or 95% or another arbitrary number of the steps and all test questions means next to nothing. The certificate does not give any indication to whoever I show it to about what I had to do to get those steps completed or whether the test were 5 questions or 50. Did the course have an active educator or was it facilitated by an academic (not the course creator) or student from the partner institution? Was it facilitated at all, or just a click-next learning journey with a few tests or discussion points?. No, for me, if I’m going to pay for the course ‘certificate’ it needs to show something much much more. It needs to show how valuable it is to the industry I work in. Sometimes even the institution that created course isn’t enough pull for the certificate to mean anything.

A medical MOOC certificate would mean so much more if it was accredited by the International Council of Nurses, a marketing course accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, etc. Not only could / should the course offer the opportunity to earn valuable CPD points but the accredited course outcome should be something a current or future employer would look at and immediately see the value to them; that this candidate is coming to work here with a good resumé, has shown initiative by taking further learning opportunities and is showing the skills to find and evaluate the courses that will offer them the best opportunity to further themselves.

I don’t think the way forward for MOOCs is for degree-credits either but it’s a popular route, probably as it’s easier to sell to the University partners than anything else. Only time will tell. 

Wie Facebook & Co. das Lernen verändern

Soziale Medien sind in aller Munde und prägen in weiten Teilen unseren Alltag. Facebook, WhatsApp & Co. sind aus der privaten Kommunikation nicht mehr wegzudenken. Doch wie können soziale Medien auch zum Lehren und Lernen eingesetzt werden? Dieser Frage geht das Forum DistancE-Learning, der Fachverband für mediengestütztes Lernen, am 6. November 2017 auf seiner Tagung in Berlin nach.


Wie Facebook & Co. das Lernen verändern

Soziale Medien sind in aller Munde und prägen in weiten Teilen unseren Alltag. Facebook, WhatsApp & Co. sind aus der privaten Kommunikation nicht mehr wegzudenken. Doch wie können soziale Medien auch zum Lehren und Lernen eingesetzt werden? Dieser Frage geht das Forum DistancE-Learning, der Fachverband für mediengestütztes Lernen, am 6. November 2017 auf seiner Tagung in Berlin nach.