Author TaniaVer

This may sound familiar to you ….

Have you ever worked on an eLearning project that took forever to complete? With endless review cycles and changes by stakeholders, sending files back and forth and deadlines continuously getting pushed back? …

Here are three top tips to ensure your eLearning project is launched on time:

  1. Set guidelines in the initial scoping meeting
    In the initial scoping meeting, let your stakholders know how many review cycles they can expect during the build phase. Two or three is a good number depending on how long the module is. If possible, put a limit on the number of stakeholders involved in the project. The fewer people involved, the less amount of changes you will receive and less chance of debate over content. After the initial scoping meeting, send out the project plan to all stakeholders involved. This will highlight the dates of all the review cycles that was agreed upon in the meeting. This ensures they know when to expect them and therefore less likely to delay reviews. It can also be a good idea to send out diary reminders for each of these review cycles, this will help ensure the stakeholders remember there is a review coming up.
  2. Get content signed off from the storyboard
    Clarify with the stakeholder that the content needs to be finalised before the build can begin. Get all written content signed off when it’s in the storyboard. It’s far easier to edit content with tracked changes in a Word doc, than it is to make continous text changes to the Storyline file. If the Word doc is saved in a shared folder, then all stakeholders will be able to see the latest version and who has made the changes. This should ensure there are minimal text changes needed in the module during the build – saving you time in the long run.
  3. Use Articulate 360 Review
    Use Articulate 360 Review for fast and consolidated feedback throughout your project. All feedback is collated in one space, so you don’t have to scroll through countless emails, receive duplicated feedback and confuse stakeholders with multiple versions of the module. Comments can be viewed by everyone in the project and stakeholders will see the same/latest version.

I hope these tips help get your project completed on time. Does anyone else in the community have other tips on how to get projects completed on time?

Read More

Colour-your-cupcake

View interaction

Download .Story file

This weeks challenge was to design a colouring-in interaction. So, I decided that I would create a colouring image of one of my favourite things …. cupcakes!

I created the cupcake image using several different shapes in Storyline 2. You can see the outline in the image below. The background image is from: https://www.freepik.com

 

I then created my own cupcake themed colour pallete from https://coolors.co/. To use this pallette creator, you press the space bar until a colour comes up you like. You then lock that colour and keep pressing space bar until another colour comes up that you like, then lock that and so on, until you have all your colours.

I then added the colours as a new theme in Storyline 2. By selecting the Design tab, then ‘Colors’, then ‘Create New Theme Colors’. I added the colours by using the eye-drop tool.

I selected one shape and then created a state for each colour. I labelled each state 1-5, as seen in the image below. To save time doing this for each shape, I used the format shape painter (double click it to keep it turned on) and then selected each of the other shapes of the cupcakes to automatically add all the colours.

I then created a number variable called colour and kept the starting value at 0.

When a colour is selected on the screen, a trigger changes the number of the variable (this also matched each of the state colours.)

I then created five triggers on each shape. To save time, I used copy and paste for the triggers and just changed the numbers.

For the sprinkle shaker, I used multiple motion paths and layers to create this animation. First off, I created a curve animation on a new layer, with a spin entry animation (set to half turn). I then added more motion paths to add the shake effect and changed them to appear one after the other in the triggers list. The sprinkles then appeared on a new layer with a motion path and spin and grow animation. The reason why I used two different layers is because on the shaker animation, I hid the shaker from the base layer. On the sprinkle layer, the shaker returned and the learner can still colour with the sprinkles remaining on the screen.

So, that’s how I created this colour-in interaction. If you have any questions, please comment below.

Cheers!

Read More

Hi all! I have created a created a screen recording showing how to create multiple drop locations using variables in Storyline 2. As the example, I have used a sudoku puzzle, which I have created for challenge #180. As you can see below, each coloured brick could be dropped on potentially three different locations and still be correct. See example here. 

During the screencast you will see some real-time troubleshooting, as I stumbled across an error with the triggers. You will find out in part two how I fixed the error. And yes that is a kiwi accent :p

I have also provided the Storyline file which you can download here. 

Read More

This is my first ever how to video screen cast… and yeeeees I do have a kiwi accent :P. As one of my goals for 2018 was to share more, this is a pretty cool technique I thought I would share with you. To see an example of how transparent icons are used in an eLearning project, see my ELH challenge entry #189 .

This demo is created in Adobe Illustrator CS5, but if you have a later version of Illustrator, it should have the same tools.

Note: I am currently trialling different screen cast software, so apologies that this recording has a big watermarked demo across the middle…gah! 🙁 If anyone knows of any good free screen cast software, please share in the comments.

Read More

At the end of last year, I left full-time employment to go freelancing. It’s been an interesting journey so far, and not at all what I was expecting. I was imagining I was going to be super busy from the get go, with many eLearning contracts heading my way. But what I’ve found is that, starting a business is slow-going. It takes time to develop relationships with clients. They need to be nurtured and they need time to get buy-in from their organisation. I’ve realised it’s going to take time for my business to gain momentum. So, I’ve been using this time to reflect on my goals for the year and think about what skills I want to develop. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. Learn how to run a successful business

So my very first goal of the year is to learn how to run a successful business. As time passes, I’ll learn how to manage my book of work and know how much work to accept, so that I don’t have too little or too much. One of the biggest challenges I have, is learning about finance and tax. It’s taken some time to get my head around how it all works. To help with this, I signed up for a free month of LinkedIn Learning to learn more about how to run a successful business. I’m currently completing a course that’s teaching me about marketing and business strategies. It’s super interesting and teaching me a lot!

  1. Keep up-to-date with learning trends

It’s important that I stay up-to-date with industry trends, so I’m able to discuss these confidentially with my clients and put them in to practice. Some trends that I’m going to explore this year include; social learning, virtual reality and micro-learning. I’m looking forward to Learning Technologies at Olympia, London next week, where I’ll see what others think are the big trends for this year.

  1. Learn about xAPI

xAPI is a big buzz word in the learning space. For those that don’t know, it’s a way to track many different types of learning experiences by allowing learning content and learning systems to speak to each other. To learn more about it, I’ve joined the xAPI weekly Learning Cohort Meetings. It’s an opportunity to form teams with other participants and work together on an xAPI project. I’ll be posting more about this experience.

  1. Improve my instructional design skills

Action mapping is a great instructional design technique. It’s a visual approach to needs analysis and training design. To help learn more about action mapping, I have recently purchased the Map It book by Cathy Moore. I’m looking forward to getting stuck-in and reading this book! I will be posting my thoughts on it, so follow my blog to watch this space.

  1. Discover the best ways to evaluating learning

Kirkpatrick’s model is a useful technique to measure how effective learning is. To learn more about data analytics and how to create impactful ROI, I watched Bruce Cronquist’s recorded session of ‘Metrics and Analytics Are Your Best Proof’ from DevLearn 2017. Bruce explains Kirkpatrick’s model, describes what data is useful to different stakeholders, and explores different ways to collect and measure data. I definitely recommend to watch this recording! The sound is a little fuzzy at the beginning, but don’t worry, it clears up early on.  So now before I start any eLearning project, I’ll be asking my clients, “how will you measure the success of the training?”

  1. Learn new tools

As a freelancer, being proficient in a wide variety of tools is very important. I’ve been increasing my knowledge of different authoring tools such as Elucidat – which is one of the best tools I’ve seen for responsive design so far. The next tool that’s on my list to learn, is After Effects, where I want to explore how to create kinetic typography. Kinetic typography is a really cool way to display words, key messages, conversations, quotes or song lyrics.. Check out some cool examples here. Most tools offer a free 30-day free trial. After that you need to decide what tools work best for you and make the investment.

  1. Share more

The reason why I have started this blog up again, is to share more with you guys. I want to take you on my freelance journey with me and maybe we can help each other out along the way. I want to share tips and tricks, cool projects, eLearning examples and new tools I learn with you. I’m always interested in what other learning designers are up to, so I hope you too, find my experiences interesting.

So there you have it, my main goals for the year. I hope there’s something you have taken away from this list. I’m interested in hearing what your goals for the year are. Post them in the comments!

Cheers! Tania

Read More

Forest Friends – choose your own adventure

Elearning heroes challenge 181

This was such a fun challenge. I wanted to create an adventure with an added twist of collecting coins that could be used to purchase items that were needed in the adventure.

Ideally I would have loved to create a extensive game with multiple branching options and different endings. Due to the complexity of the gamification elements, my time restriction only allowed me to create a short branching scenario game. The learner is able to explore all pathways of the game.

Here is the branching view of my game:

I created the moving backgrounds on the master slide. The clouds were images that moved along a motion path that was set to 40 seconds. The frame, the sky and the clouds were all separate elements layered on top of each other. All the objects that could be purchased from the shop were set to an invisible state on each of the navy squares. When each item was selected from the shop the state of each object was set to visible.

The shop was created as a layer on the master slide, this allows the learner to access the shop at any time.

If you have any more questions on how this was created, please contact me.

 

 

 

Read More

So yes, it has been some time since my last post #Londonlife. The last two years have flown by working at Linklaters. I have now decided to try the freelance gig. It’s scary and exciting. This is an opportunity to challenge myself in a variety of different industries, increase my learning technologies network and gain a broader range of experience.

My company, Escapade Learning, specialises in learning games and learning through fun and adventure. This includes scenario based learning, interactive video, games and simulations. When learners are having fun, they are more engaged and therefore absorb and retain more. I have a very keen interest in virtual reality and augmented reality, so I would love to get stuck into a project that involves this.

As I am just starting out freelancing, I am on the look out for new clients and contracting opportunities. I always fancy a bit of a challenge and to develop my skills further.

So, wish me luck on my new adventure!

Read More

Gamification is a hot topic in the elearning industry at the moment. But what is it really about? There may be different ways to explain it, but the way I understand it is; using game mechanics to stimulate behaviours to create engaging and fun elearning solutions. This can be done by using rewards such as points and badges, giving the user more choice, having challenges and tasks, progress meters, telling a story for the user and have an end goal.

Keeping these game mechanics in mind, I decided to build my own game. I really enjoy cooking and baking so thought it would be fun to create a game based on food. I wanted to give the user lots of choice to be able to choose their character and let them choose a style of apron.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 11.55.11 am  Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 11.55.18 am

I started exploring different ways of navigation, as I wanted to give the user a lot of choice of where they could go through the game. Initially I thought an iPad style navigation would work really well and created a menu on the lefthand side. After conducting user testing, users found it slightly confusing on where they were supposed to go next after they arrived at the home page. Here is a link to my initial game navigation. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.46.55 am

I simplified the navigation to make it clearer to the user what was expected of them.

I used Adobe Illustrator to draw the background image of the kitchen.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.01.13 pm

Here is a link to my demo. I hope you enjoy!

 

Read More