With hundreds of interactive templates, page layouts, and environments to choose from, there are many choices to make as you embark on a new eLearning project. The vast customizability of each environment can seem daunting when starting out, but it can be a tremendous boon when used correctly.
People sometimes assume that the thematic elements of each environment should be pretty on-the-nose (i.e., if your course is about essay writing, you should have pictures of pencils, typewriters, and notebooks all over the place). While this can make for great eLearning, it isn’t the only way to go about it. Oftentimes a good eLearning environment can have a more metaphorical or symbolic tie to the material. In other words, is the feel or esthetic of the environment conducive to teaching the material at hand?
One such environment to consider is our “Mountain Ascent” template, which reflects an outdoorsy, recreational feel, and typifies a sense of summiting a formidable peak, giving a sense of accomplishment, a feel that is useful in many eLearning situations. Suppose you were trying to teach the learner about a certain process or journey they will be expected to undertake. An environment such as this can fit very nicely with a course that is suggestive of hard work, exploration, or any other relevant subject matter you can think of.
With unique interactions like those pictured, it becomes easier to incorporate dynamic slides into creative themes. For example, the tent dragger interaction (above) provides a useful word-matching exercise, while still fitting the mountain motif.
Another versatile environment to look at is the “Safety” template, an industrial-looking environment complete with black and yellow safety stripes and a perforated metal background.
With obvious applications in industrial, warehouse, and construction eLearning situations, this environment could also be used in white-collar jobs to teach general “do’s and don’ts” or best practices out of the office. Like the “Mountain Ascent” environment, “Safety” also has a word match interaction, as well as an interactive graph slider allowing you to present multiple graphs comfortably on one slide for the learner’s consumption.
One final environment worth acknowledgment is our “CrossTrain” themed environment. A growing exercise trend in recent years, cross-training is a type of workout routine that incorporates a variety of utilitarian movements with the goal of improving overall health and fitness.
The “CrossTrain” environment works well in personal fitness courses, but may also be used for any course meant to teach a new skill (such as,“Increase Your Sales Fitness”, or “Become a Customer Service Champion”)
This environment has interactions such as a quiz that treats each question as a knot of the climbing rope that cross-trainers use as well as an interesting drag and drop interaction in which each drag item can be separated into two categories, which in this example is represented as labeled tires being stacked into two labeled piles. Tires factor into the cross-training theme as large tractor tires are often flipped over in the course of many cross-training workouts, but this particular slide could also be used in many other contexts such as the industrial or automotive industries.
In the end, each environment is extremely versatile, and infinitely customizable to the point that any project can have the feel you need to communicate with a little creativity.
What are some of the ways you like to customize your environments? Let us know in the comments below.