Are you looking for some free eLearning templates? Well, we can help with that. Our eLearning Template Library now has a “freebies” category.
Once you create a free user account, you’ll have access to download any free templates that we release. Just visit the Freebies section of the library every so often to see what new templates we’ve released.
Here is a list of the free templates that we currently offer:
Cutout People Images
Cutout People Videos
Reindeer’s Revenge Flash...
Check out these awesome resources to learn more about becoming an Instructional Designer:
Breaking into Instructional Design
Our friend Connie, the eLearning Coach, has a great eCourse for people who want to learn more about Instructional Design and Technology. In her eCourse she answers questions like:
What type of work do Instructional Designers do?
What are the required competencies for this line of work?
Do I need a degree to be an Instructional Designer?
Click here to sign up today for Connie’s free eCourse.
Websites and magazines have been using grid systems for years to design content and layouts. eLearning courses could benefit from applying this concept as well. It will help organize content and make it easier for a user to sort through and “digest”. Here are some details, resources and examples:
What is a Grid System? (From 978 Grid System)
“A grid is an underlying structure in which a design is built upon. It consists of rows and columns that are used to align text and images. It allows you, as a designer, to make placement...
I read a great blog recently by Ethan Edward of Allen Interactions, Improving Your e-Learning Designs: What I Learned from a Flower . In the article Ethan focuses on a story from his youth about a night-blooming cactus. He compares the lessons learned from that cactus to how we can create effective learning events with the elearning courses we design and build.
He focuses on three main principles:
Distinctiveness – Our elearning courses must have meaning and be a memorable experience for our learners.
Concrete, Real-World Context –...
Let me start out by saying that online training is not better than classroom training. It’s different! Both are effective ways of motivating and transferring information. You need to determine your training goals, to determine which training method is best for your organization. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding which training methods will work best for your organization:
How dispersed is your target audience? Are they in clusters or spread out individually? How much travel would be involved? Would the trainer go...
There are many things to think about when creating eLearning. There’s no way that I can mention all of them in this post but I’d like to mention a few that come to the top of my mind.
Course Outline / Storyboarding
Know the audience
Find good SMEs
Always create an outline of the course
Storyboarding allows you to structure content flow
Decide what knowledge/skills need to be taught first
SMEs can take a glance at the flow and content
Content creating will go more quickly (it’s faster than creating content and then starting...
Are you developing online training content (eLearning)? Do you want to save money and time? Are there multiple members on your team and you need everything to be consistent? Are there varying levels of technical expertise on the team?
These are just a few questions that we come across while building online training content. Using templates to build eLearning can address many of the questions above. Before discussing a few points let me describe what I mean by eLearning templates.
Templates can include many different assets. Many common ones...
We have all had project “kick-off” meetings with Subject Matter Experts where they do an information “dump”. They share with us anything and everything they have ever learned about the topic. We are then left reviewing all the content/information that has been given to us and try to determine what is “Nice to Know” and what is “Need to Know”. Of course to the SME, all of the content is “Need to Know”, so it is our job to ask the right questions to sort through all the information.
In Diane Elkin’s blog post Negotiating...
Previously we have talked about when we should test learners . Now let’s focus on writing successful test questions that support course objectives.
Keep these tips in mind when writing test questions:
Write test questions first.
Once your course objectives are defined, write your test questions before writing your course content. This prevents the trap most of us have fallen into of writing test questions as an afterthought once the course is completed.
Create a question bank.
Create a bank of test questions to choose from. If a learner has...
There are many things to think about when creating an eLearning team and creating online training. This posts list 10 DOs and DON’Ts to consider when building your next team and course. It isn’t a complete list but it does cover the main bases. You can also checkout the animated presentation.
Feel free to leave comments on sections that we should add.
1. Old PowerPoint decks kind-of stink
Now-a-days, almost every training course has a PowerPoint (PPT). This PPT is used during class to help the trainer stay on course and to provide...
The Learning eXplosion , by Matthew Murdoch and Treion Muller, is a great read that steps you through how to successfully move your classroom instructor-led training into the virtual classroom. The book specifically focuses on 9 Rules for Creating Effective Virtual Training:
1. The Rule of Continual Change – Learners and designers must always be prepared for change.
2. The Rule of Knowledge Transfer – When transitioning from instructor-led classroom to virtual classrooms, be prepared to think through a new approach to the training...
Often, due to shortened project timelines, the Analysis phase of the ADDIE process is cut short or skipped all together. This phase might very well be the most important phase of the ADDIE process. It is during the Analysis phase that you uncover the information critical for the learner to be successful in their job.
In Ethan Edwards webinar The 5 Most Important Analysis Questions You’ll Ever Ask , he highlights these 5 questions:
What do you expect learners to be able to DO after completing the course that they can’t do now?
What are the...
I recently read a great blog post by Articulates Tom Kuhlmann, titled Here’s Why Slide Count is Irrelevant to Your E-Learning Course . In the post he mentions the following key points:
- Screen count does not matter to the elearner…what matters, is the interaction built into the course.
- Do not auto-advance the slides in your course. Some people are fast readers, some are not, and some want to review the slide information before progressing through the course. Give the control to the learner!
Finally, three tips for creating productive...
Why is it important to create a course outline or storyboard before building an eLearning course?
A course outline or storyboard will help you to organize both the course content and your thoughts on interactivity (audio, video, graphics, interactions, etc.).
Here are a few things to consider when building your storyboard:
What information is best presented as on-screen text?
How much is too much? Remember, learners typically only scan the on-screen text.
Will or should you use audio in your course? If you...
Who would have thought that simply writing an eLearning course would require the instructional designer to have so many different writing skills? As an instructional designer our writing has to motivate the learner, as well as, instruct them on correct processes, policies, techniques, etc.
In the eLearning Coach’s article 10 Types of Writing for eLearning Connie explores the 10 different writing types we must all remember when writing effective eLearning. Below is a summary of her key concepts…with a few of my own thoughts added in:
Looking for a great way to create scenarios and conversations in your course? Check out our latest product…Thought and Speech Bubbles!
You get 300 different images in 6 different styles. The images all have transparent backgrounds and are ready to drop right into your course.
(By the way, you also get the Illustrator files so that you can tweak them if you’d...
Scenarios are a great way to make courses more engaging, effective, and fun.
We’ve recently launched some new products that can be combined to make some sweet scenarios.
Here are some examples that we created to “get your creative juices flowing”.
To build these examples we used:
Thought Call-outs and Bubbles
Cutout People Pictures
Notes and Paper
A key point in instructional design is to “know your audience”. One of the reasons to do this is because you can tailor the content to the learner’s existing knowledge level.
Connie at the eLearning Coach has done a great series of posts on how to design course content for experts vs. beginners.
Tips when designing for experts:
Quickly Mention Prerequisite Content
Keep it Organized
Get Them In and Out
Don’t Play Simple Games
Assume They’ll Get It
Tips when designing courses for both experts...
“In the beginning there was a blank slide.
All eLearning designers dreamed of the endless possibilities.
Wondrous content could spring into life.
However, something went wrong…
Bullet points sprang up like weeds.
Clip art infiltrated the blank space.
Bad color schemes and ugly fonts polluted the slide.
The dream of engaging, awesome content suffered a great blow.
Would the dim flicker of hope survive?
Would awesome content rise from the bullet points, clip art, and clutter?
I don’t remember how I came across this Google book preview but it has been an interesting read.
eLearning and the Science of Instruction (Ruth Colvin Clark, Richard E. Mayer)
Chapter 8 of the book has some great points that I’d like to share, “Applying the Personalization Principle” (page 160).
Ways to Personalize eLearning
1. Conversational Tone
As eLearning designers have learned over the years that learners want to feel connected to the training. We need to personalize the content. One way to do this is to use...
I’ve often thought that our eLearning courses are like one big presentation. We’re trying to share information but we’re also trying to capture attention. We can’t have our course just “stand there” and use a monotone voice to try and teach. We must engage, motivate, capture, and excite.
Last week at Learning Solutions I ran across Nancy Duarte and a new book that she has written. I’ve seen her work in the past and have always been impressed.
Here are 5 Rules for Creating World Changing Presentations....
Video is becoming easier to shoot, edit, and use in training. However, just because we have the ability to make videos doesn’t mean they are worth watching.
I ran across a nice video series on Butterscotch.com about “How do I…Shoot Better Video?“. It gives some nice tips to make our videos better.
The first two videos give a quick overview around video equipment and how to get good audio. Then the next two videos talk about getting better quality and good techniques.
Tips to Increase Quality
Make sure you have good...