Articulate eLearning Inspirations

On March 5, 2013, in Uncategorized, by diyelearning
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Imagine this: it’s the night before your next eLearning project is due and you’ve not started. To make matters worse, you’ve got eLearning block–the evil twin of writers block. What to do?

We’ve all been there, but before you start combing the internet for new jobs, checkout these great links for Articulate eLearning inspirations:

  1. Sponsored by Articulate, the page offers step-by-step tutorials; quick answers to eLearning questions; advice and opinions from industry experts; as well as free downloads for your projects.
  2. Broaden your horizons with 20 examples of everything from sales to recycling.
  3. Checkout the eLearning Coach’s Articulate demo tour, book review, plus some great tips and tricks:
  4. An almost dizzying array of short videos. eLearning eLearning
  5. 35 Free Articulate Storyline Video Tutorials. The name says it all.

Got other great websites? Share the wealth!

 

Top 8 eLearning Audio Considerations

On February 5, 2013, in DIY eLearning, by diyelearning
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Too often we forget the impact good audio has on learners. Indeed, some say finding background music that suits all tastes may seem difficult; however, sounds can aid information delivery and increase knowledge retention–regardless of how..eh…sophisticated ones musical tastes. For example, you cannot argue with this great sci-fi outer space ambience.  


While there are several consideration when integrating sounds, here are a couple big ones. Just for fun, we added some links to SoundSmack.com throughout.

  1. Enhance – Audio and visual effects should work in concert. Actions, text, and photos should all set the stage for sound-effect supplements.
  2. Contextualize – The audience relevancy should drive how much audio to use. For instance, someone in sales or customer service might be more responsive to audio recordings or voiceovers. On the other hand, someone primarily focused on data entry, might responded better to ambient background music. You can also key into generations or office culture like this great 80′s Nintendo example.
  3. Quality – Distorted audio will do more harm than good. Just think about how displeasing feeling you associate with fuzzy radio stations. Make sure to use filters or low levels of audio compressions. Paying a little extra for higher-quality sounds and professional recording equipment will pay major dividends on learning outcomes.
  4. File Size – While quality is paramount, ensuring quick load times is equally critical. Depending on the device, LMS, and connections–internet, external drives–you will need to consider how quickly files can load. This is a delicate balancing act with audio quality.
  5. Tone – This will help set the mood and generate organizational cultural relevancy. For example, an eLearning course on emergency procedures shouldn’t have sleepy-time audio. In the same regard, voice-overs need to be spoken in a similar dialect and, when appropriate, incorporate office colloquialisms.
  6. Playback – Incorporating general audio controls can greatly increase the user experience. This lets the learner move their own pace and rewind, fast forward as needed. This is especially good with voice-overs.
  7. Real People – Actors that are clearly unfamiliar with the material can jeopardize knowledge transfer. Whenever possible, use key icons from the organization, which might include the president, CEO, or organization mascots–assuming they talk.
  8. Accessibility – Whenever using audio, it’s important to consider a range of abilities. This might include adding closed-captioning, frequency ranges, or even volume levels.

Taken together, the above hopes to set the underpinnings of good audio use.

What are some others? Let’s collect them all!

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So you want add audio to your DIY Interactions and integrate them with Articulate Presenter?

No problem–Just follow these simple 10 Steps!

 

Step 1 - Create your DIY Interaction.

Step 2 - Enter the audio file name in the ‘Advanced’ tab. Make sure to include the file extension and desired folder path.

This example shows DIY’s Tic-Tac-Toe Interaction with introduction audio (01_welcome.mp3).

Step 3 - Save the interaction.

Step 4 - Download the *.SWF file to your project. [You cannot hear the audio in the DIY site’s ‘Preview’ mode]

Step 5 - In PowerPoint, go to the Articulate menu and select ‘Insert Flash Movie’.

Step 6 - Locate the DIY *.SWF file, and use the following settings to insert.

  • Select ‘Display in slide’ under ‘How do you want this movie to display?’
  • Under ‘How should this movie behave?’ Select ‘When user clicks next,’ ‘Movie plays independently of slide,’ and ‘0’ seconds into the slide.

Below shows the settings. 

Step 7 - Publish your Articulate project.

Step 8 - Copy the audio file into the appropriate location. [Do this step each time you re-publish for best results]

This example shows the audio file going into the main folder. [same location as the player.html file]

Step 9 - Show your boss how you spent days crafting the perfect learning tool;)

Step 10 - Ask for a promotion! (Results may vary;)

 

Bonus 1: Follow these same steps for more sounds! Many DIY Interactions, such as Tic-Tac-Toe, allow multiple audio files all at once, e.g, Passed, Failed, Background.

Bonus 2: Got a long Introduction audio? You can insert the audio file directly in the PowerPoint slide. Then just use the Articulate controller.

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Dan Longhouse just returned from the 2012 Adobe Learning Summit. Co-presenting with Bryan Jones of eLearning Art, Dan delivered some of the latest Captivate 6 features in Creating Stunning eLearning Content in Minutes Using Learning Interactions and Actors.

Bryan started with an overview of character best practices. Dan followed with a how-to on creating interactions, and quickly transitioning from storyboard to interactive elements.

We already discussed the Top-Five reasons to attend, but [ah-em] if you still didn’t go, here are the key take-a-ways for your DIY eLearning projects:

  1. Character Use: There are many ways to improve your eLearning project with characters. Some best practices include Avatars, Presenters, Conversations, Scenarios, and Story Developments.
  2. Interaction Student Benefits: e-Learning interactions are one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience. Interactions can deliver the same information without all the boring text, create a better user experience, and, best of all, increase knowledge transfer.
  3. Interaction Developer Benefits: Interactions are the best way to reduce development and learning time. Adobe Captivate’s interactions are free, easy to make, customizable, and publish to HTML5 or Adobe Flash *.SWF.

The presentation concluded with a lively discussion and step-by-step Captivate demo. Make sure you checkout all the new Adobe Captivate Interactions!

Got other points that you liked? Leave us a note!

2012 Adobe Learning Summit

On October 26, 2012, in Adobe Captivate, DIY eLearning, by diyelearning
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The excitement is growing for Adobe’s Learning Summit! With a special opening keynote from Newsweek’s Tech Columnist, Dan Lyons, centered on the “So-Mo Revolution,” all the way to industry-leading presenters like Dr. Allen Partridge, Adobe’s Learn Summit is sure to be jammed-packed with Do It Yourself inspiration. Also, don’t forget to checkout DIY eLearning’s, and The LHT Group’s very own Dan Longhouse co-presenting Creating Stunning eLearning Content in Minutes Using Learning Interactions and Actors.

If that’s not enough, check out these Top-Five reasons to attend:

    1. 96.7% of Adobe Learning Summit 2011 attendees gave ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ rating for overall satisfaction
    2. 93.6% of Adobe Learning Summit 2011 attendees said “YES I will attend Adobe Learning Summit 2012”
    3. 20 sessions, running in 5 tracks, will pack your cranium to the brim with emerging trends, new technology, and ground-breaking techniques
    4. The 5 tracks will tantalize anyone’s tastes: Go Mobile, Go Video, Go Dazzling, Go Deep & Go Measure
    5. Loads of opportunity to interact with Industry experts and Adobe product team

What’s even better, Adobe Learning Solution 2012 is co-located with the DevLearn 2012 conference. You get $100 off if you registers for both DevLearn 2012 and Adobe Learning Summit 2012!

While you’re there, be sure to checkout The LHT Group and DIY eLearning. We’re always interested in meeting new friends, so contact us today to set something up!

See you soon!

 

Free eLearning Illustrated Character Poses

On September 26, 2012, in Characters, by diyelearning
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Trying to decide if illustrated eLearning characters will work well for your learning course or presentation? Then try our free e-learning character poses by clicking download now below. Included in the free download package are free character poses from the Diane character set in scrubs and poses from the Dr. Jones character pack in business attire.

If you want more freebies then quickly create an account and go to the My Account page for more downloads!

Download Free Illustrated Characters

 

 

Free Illustrated Characters

The illustrated characters can be inserted directly into Articulate, Storyline, Lectora, Adobe Captivate, Rapid Intake, PowerPoint and any other tool that allows images imported. The backgrounds are transparent and these are perfect for mobile devices too!

If you are still wondering when and why you would use illustrated characters in your eLearning courses or presentation then please check out our previous post on illustrated eLearning characters.

If you need additional character poses or the source files to change colors, then don’t forget to check out our full character library!

 

Illustrated eLearning Characters

On June 22, 2012, in Characters, DIY eLearning, by diyelearning
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Why would I use characters in my eLearning courses? Great question!

Illustrated characters are a great visual tool to add personality to your eLearning course. As opposed to standard photographs, illustrations provide more versatility and control. Characters can be placed in any event, scenario, story or simulated conversation in exactly the right way to meet your needs. Having a variety of character poses makes this very simple.

Characters are also modifiable—should you want to update colors, animate or incorporate branding. With all of this flexibility, you can easily maintain a consistent visual style throughout your eLearning course. And compared to stock photography, illustrated characters are a more cost-effective solution as well.

Be sure to check out our newest set of illustrated character poses and talk bubbles. They are an excellent way to create scenarios and tell a story.

 

Speech and talk bubbles

 

 

 

DIY eLearning – the End of Boring Courses!

On August 9, 2011, in DIY eLearning, by diyelearning
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How often have you been faced with the dilemma “We don’t have a lot of time or money, but we need you to quickly create engaging eLearning courses”? This is a common scenario that we run into at The LHT Group when creating custom eLearning courses, and the reason for creating DIY eLearning interactions.

Like most vendors, we use all the different course authoring tools (Articulate, Brainshark, Captivate 4, Flash, Lectora, ProForm, Unison etc.), but we were missing a way to quickly add interactivity that is functional and visually appealing.

To solve this problem, The LHT Group started building an internal library of high-quality, reusable Flash interactions. We have been using this library for several years and now it is offered at DIY eLearning so that anyone can create affordable, high-quality interactions without purchasing Flash!

A recent example – Concentra, a national health care company, requested we create 15 engaging eLearning courses with audio and we only had three weeks. Since the content was already in PowerPoint (PPT), we decided to use Articulate to convert the PPT storyboards and DIY eLearning (of course!) to quickly add fun and engaging interactions and games.

The development process was streamlined by having a graphic design team put together a course template in Articulate that was used for each course. The instructional designer then browsed the DIY eLearning interactions page and added appropriate interactions to the storyboard.

The developer converted the courses using Articulate, imported DIY eLearning interactions, and then published for SCORM compliance. As you probably assumed, three weeks later we had our 15 courses on the Learning Management System and a happy client!

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We’ve received excellent feedback over the past few eLearning conferences about DIY eLearning products. The two biggest requests were:

  1. Remove Flash interaction yearly fees.
  2. Allow users to create and save an unlimited number of versions of each interaction.

You asked and we listened! Now DIY eLearning no longer has a yearly fee AND you can create an unlimited number of versions of each interaction that you purchase. Thanks to your feedback, DIY eLearning is better than ever. Simply log in to DIY eLearning, purchase the interactions of your choice, and create as many versions of those interactions as you want. We know it sounds too good to be true, so check it out for yourself!

Thanks again to everyone who has provided us feedback. We’re really excited about these new changes. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a demo, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Get started today by viewing our interactions.

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We’ve received a lot of questions about integrating DIY eLearning interactions into Adobe Captivate 4, so here is a step-by-step guide. You can use the steps below or follow along with the Captivate 4 demonstration or view the example course.

  1. Create a blank slide in Captivate 4.
  2. Click Insert in the menu bar, and select Animation.
  3. Select the DIY eLearning Flash interaction (SWF) and click Open. Now we want the page to pause so the user can complete the interaction. We’ll do this by adding a button.
  4. Click Insert in the menu bar, and select Standard Object, and then Button. Select No Action for the button and click OK.
  5. In the publish screen, click Preferences and make sure AS2 is selected and Animations is checked under Externalize resources.
  6. Click Publish and your course is ready with engaging Flash interactions!

Feel free to contact us with any questions!

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