Learning Developments

Using Lessons from Video Games in E-Learning

Learning Developments

I'm a child of the 80's. Everyday I am reminded of that by the marketers who want dollars from the 30-something crowd. The fact that I grew up in the 80's puts me in perfect place to see the evolution of video games. Yes, I played Pong back in the day. The Atari 2600 stole hours of my elementary years. I remember text-based games like Zork and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Castle Wolfenstein brought in the era of first person shooter games for me.

Bullets are Bad, Questions are Good

Learning Developments

Over the years I've encountered several courses about how to write good e-mails. They have all come to me in the same way -- a list of dos and don'ts. Frankly, it's not the way to describe it in a face-to-face setting and especially a bad idea in e-learning. Bulleted lists turn learners into zombies. So the list comes in looking something like this: Use correct spelling. Use correct capitalization. Avoid all caps. Skip lines between paragraphs. Avoid fancy fonts.


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SharePoint Observations

Learning Developments

I've started to work with Microsoft SharePoint for a lot of projects lately. I'm still fairly new to it. I've only started to seriously work with it over the last year. I thought I'd take a moment to share some observations. People Don't Use SharePoint. People don't use SharePoint because it is not easy to access and documents are hard to find. Now, I know this is not true of all teams within organizations that use SharePoint. I'm sure it is a good solution for a lot of folks.

What I'd like to see in the next Adobe Captivate

Learning Developments

Some early reviews are starting to trickle in about Adobe Captivate 7. I use Captivate regularly and I really appreciate its capabilities to create interactive and multimedia content. Nothing excites me quite as much as new and improved software. However, nothing is quite as disappointing as a new version of software that doesn''t address my needs. When Adobe Captivate 6 came out, I could appreciate some of the improvements. But overall, I didn''t see anything ground breaking.

The Ultimate Crash Course in eLearning Visual Design

Speaker: Connie Malamed, Founder of Mastering Instructional Design and Publisher of The eLearning Coach

Well-designed materials can motivate learners, improve comprehension, and assist optimal retention. If you need rapid, easily actionable ways to improve your eLearning and slides, join this session to learn the power principles that will have the biggest impact on your designs.

This, Not This - Open a URL from an E-Learning Course

Learning Developments

"Can the course be linked to this document?". Seems like a simple enough question. Of course it can! However, this can be more complicated than you might think. Follow-up questions to this are: Is the document available as a URL? Is the URL on the INTERnet or INTRAnet? Is the document a commonly supported media type? And if those questions themselves don''t cause you enough complication, if you don''t open the link in a new window, you could have additional usability issues on your hands.

Articulate understands the practitioners.learn the lesson

Learning Developments

I've been in the software industry for a long time and I've never seen the perfect product. As I've been reading all the hype on Articulate Storyline this week, I am reminding myself of that. It looks like a great product. But a game-changer.not likely. A software tool is not a game-changer but a community of practitioners can be. I agree with R.J. Jacquez when he lists Articulate community as his number one reason to appreciate Articulate Storyline.

The Next Generation of SCORM

Learning Developments

I first heard about SCORM when I was working for a software company that created collaborative learning tools for higher education. We were using Microsoft Word to create SCORM compatible content. This was back in 2006 and I remember a lot of folks did not understand the value of converting content to SCORM because it seemed so outdated and there were much more current development projects that needed to get done.


Preview of Articulate Storyline at LS 2011

Learning Developments

I was really impressed with the demo of Articulate Storyline at the Learning Solutions 2011 conference this month. Tom Kuhlmann gave a nice personalized walk through of what the product can do. Here are some of the highlights I remember: It has the same easy user interface you would expect from Articulate but it is much more powerful. Tom created an Engage type interaction in just 1 or 2 minutes.

5 Simple Steps to Attach a File in Adobe Captivate

Learning Developments

Attaching a file in Adobe Captivate is simple if you follow these 5 steps. A common reason you may want to follow these steps it to link to a PDF file from your project. These steps assume you have already added a button or click box to your slide. I will show you how to attach the file to the project that you''ll link to from this button or click box. For the ACTION, choose Open URL or file. Enter the filename by typing it into the URL field.

Using New Trends to Revive Your eLearning Strategy

Speaker: Stephen Baer - Chief Creative Officer, ELB Learning

In this fireside chat, leading L&D expert Stephen Baer will discuss the exciting technological advancements in eLearning and how you can choose and implement the right technology for your company.

What E-Learning Tools Do You Use?

Learning Developments

Being a bit of an e-learning nerd, I thought it would be cool to share some of the tools I use at my work. I''ve been working with my current company for over a year now. For the most part, I''m working with the training of field technicians and support folks. I''ve been using Adobe Captivate for basic e-learning courses.

ADDIE, Beware of the Video!

Learning Developments

Getting other departments in my organization to get on board with e-learning is a goal of mine. It’s been a little over a month since my organization has been providing web based training through our new LMS. Being the training developer, I have naturally become one of the leading advocates for getting the organization's training content online and available to employees.


LMSCommit and Timeouts

Learning Developments

Systems and courses timeout. We all know that. A logged in session with a computer only has so long with inactivity before the user is considered to have abandoned their session and the system logs them out. While this is well understood to those in the e-learning industry, it can be confusing for some learner so e-learning developers need to handle this time out gracefully.

Am I a Flash developer?

Learning Developments

As I build up my development skills and try to communicate my skills to others I do business with, I keep asking myself, "am I a Flash developer?" Adobe Flash is a very complicated product and in order to create a Flash application, you need a variety of skills. On one hand, as a software engineer, I am well equipped to write Flash applications. On the other hand, not being a graphics designer, creating applications with amazing animations is not really my strength.

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The Next Level of Sales Enablement: Sales Content Management

Speaker: Deniz Olcay, Senior Director of Product Marketing, and Jake Miller, Senior Product Marketing Manager

In this value-packed webinar, Deniz Olcay and Jake Miller will unravel and debunk the top three SCM myths and explain how to get the most from your SCM solution.

Saba Player Templates and Best Practices

Learning Developments

The question is “what is the best way to create a video based training course in Saba?” When first answering a question like this, I like to look around for best practices. I have a lot of video based content. The videos are 3 to 5 minutes long and I have 40 to 50 videos in a course. In this case, I was unable to find a best practice when it comes to packaging as SCORM to deliver in an LMS. Key Issues to be Addressed The two issues I’m wrangling with are usability versus cost to deliver.

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Using Blank Slides for Feedback in Articulate Quizmaker

Learning Developments

Articulate Quizmaker is a great tool for quickly creating professional looking quizzes. It also contains the concept of a blank slide that can be put any where in a quiz and used for any type of learning, feedback, or reinforcement of learning concepts. I show an example of how to use blank slides for creating rich feedback in Quizmaker in my guest blog post for Integrated Learning Services Crafting Feedback in Articulate. Quiz Articulate

Won't you please, please HELP me!

Learning Developments

I'd like to think my e-learning is so intuitive that there is no need to add help. Pause for applause???) The reality is that no matter how brain dead simple I think it is, there is always a chance that it won't actually be me taking the course. That's right, it will be someone else with a different brain, a different level of experience, and a different familiarity with a web browser.

Using Lectora to Create a Smart Next Button

Learning Developments

I've been using Lectora for almost three years now. Lectora allows developers to take a snippet of code and reuse it on all your pages. This saves time and maintenance costs. You may want that code to work differently on some of the pages. Ideally, you'd still only have that code in one place but set up an exception for how to do this. I show an example of how to do this in my guest blog post for Integrated Learning Services Creating a Smart Next Button in Lectora. Lectora

Create Engaging Scenario-Based Training on ANY Budget

Speaker: Tim Buteyn - President of ThinkingKap Learning Solutions, Inc.

In this webinar, Tim Buteyn of ThinkingKap Learning Solutions will explore how to optimize learner engagement with scenario-based training. You'll learn what makes up scenarios, how they benefit the learner, and why this is important to your organization. You'll also dive into real-world examples across a wide range of budgets and look at how typical training content can be completely transformed.

Where's the support calls? Not that I'm complaining.

Learning Developments

At the beginning of February I launched several new web based training modules on a new LMS. This training is available to nearly 22,000 employees. I've been in the web business long enough to know that something will happen that I didn't anticipate. Usually this is because of an odd configuration by an end-user. It can be a toolbar with a pop-up blocker causing problems, a corrupted plug-in, unusual accessibility settings, or a whole slew of things.

Control the Geek and use Wisely

Learning Developments

You know a technology geek when you see one because when they see a new cool technology, their eyes light up. They think new technology is sexy and they want to find a way to incorporate it into their lives. This is what makes them so knowledgeable about technology.they love to tinker with it. Technology geeks find ways to use new technology where they can. They are the first to learn to Tweet, use the cloud, and remote access their home computer from their smartphone.

Self-Paced Success Factors

Learning Developments

This fall I launched a series of self-paced online courses. This was the company's first attempt at self-paced online training. Courses were served entirely online and learner results were tracked. I used a combination of in house custom developed content and 3rd party content. The courses developed in house were based on simulations and interactions. The 3rd party courses were based on video presentations. The courses went well and good positive feedback was received.

My mind (map) is in the cloud

Learning Developments

I love mind maps. They are a great way to brainstorm ideas and organize your thoughts. I've also found them very helpful for taking notes at meetings. I use mind maps at both work and home for these reasons. Because I keep a lot of information in mind maps, I need to be able to access them from where ever I am. Through the use of my smart phone and storing my data in " the cloud ", I am able to do just that.

The L&D Strategy Roundtable

Speaker: Cara North - Learning & Development Consultant, Speaker, & Researcher | Maggie Quigley - Senior Account Executive for US Market Userlane

In this webinar, L&D professionals Cara North and Maggie Quigley will discuss the various factors that affect training and how you can stretch your budget to create an effective L&D program.

Adobe Learning Summit

Learning Developments

I'm looking forward to attending the Adobe Learning Summit in March. There are a few things I'm particularly interested in: Adobe Captivate Widget 101 - I've already created my own widget to marshal communications between Captivate and Lectora so that I can save a learner's place inside a simulation. However, I'm interested in learning more about best practices for creating widgets and see some examples of what other people have done.

Plans for Learning Developments in 2011

Learning Developments

So I guess 2010 is water under the bridge and I'll try to forget that I only managed four blog posts for the entire year. I'm hoping to contribute more this year and get my readers back for some good discussion about developing for learning. I know from personal experience there are not a lot of good resources searchable on the web related to e-learning development and want to address that with this blog. Best wishes in 2011! Jonathan

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Text Animations in Adobe Captivate

Learning Developments

Some times you just need a little animation to spice up an e-learning module. Adobe Captivate 5.5 offers an easy way to create text animations that will catch the eye. These animations can be used to let a user know when a module has been completed or when a perfect score is attained. Or, just use them to draw the learners attention. Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Gesturing and Projecting with Mobile Devices

Learning Developments

I love the progress mobile technology has made in the past 2 years. However, I've always thought the big limiters to mobile computing are the screen size and a clumsy interface to input data. Tiny videos, images, and small text on web pages are just not ideal for those of us past our teenage years. And my goodness, how many times have I had to retype another tweet because my "i" became a "k" when my finger was slightly off the correct letter.

Drips, Bots, and Blogs: A Non-Traditional Approach to Learning Reinforcement

Speaker: Shannon Tipton, Chief Learning Officer, Learning Rebels LLC

Today's work culture requires giving people the ability to control when and where they participate in their professional development. Learn how you can provide valuable, self-directed bites of learning content (and strategies to make that content stick) in this webinar!

Take Command of your next Meeting

Learning Developments

All of us go to meetings and most of us think the meetings occur way too often and last way too long. Instead of formal meetings, I’m a big fan of impromptu meetings with 2-3 people when technical decisions need to be made. I’ve never seen good decisions made when more than 4 people are in the room. However, for large projects, it is important to have regular status meetings where representatives from all aspects of the project are present (i.e.

My Experience Starting Out with Google+

Learning Developments

I got my Google+ invite back in July (Thanks Derek) but it's been quite a busy summer so I put off getting to know Google+ until now. Being the big Google/Android fan I am, this is long overdue. In this post I write up my first impressions. You can get to Google+ by going to [link]. My first reaction after getting into it was very reserved. I found myself making lots of comparisons to Facebook. Indeed it is very similar to Facebook on the surface.

Authoring Tools and Compatibility

Learning Developments

When eLearning designers and developers think about using a rapid development tool such as Lectora, they often think about the time savings they get when creating a visual pleasing project and the ability to create reusable components. A rapid development tool is a great way to quickly breath life into your storyboard. One advantage that many of these tools bring, but is not always thought about, is that these tools can make complying with browser and system requirements a breeze.

The Magic of HTML (and C++)

Learning Developments

All the smart communication devices that are succeeding in the market place have a web browser that supports HTML (and Javascript). On the surface it looks like what computer scientists where trying to accomplish years ago with C++ and Java is now happening through HTML. If you want to write an application that will run on multiple devices and work the same way, you use HTML. Saying this sounds a little weird coming out of a computer scientist's keyboard.


Discover the Secrets to Creating More Meaningful Training Experiences

Speaker: David Kelly - CEO The Learning Guild & Luke Talbot - Chief Product Officer at Userlane

During this webinar, you will learn how to streamline your software training, boost ROI for your systems, and increase employee productivity.

Take Command of your next Meeting

Learning Developments

All of us go to meetings and most of us think the meetings occur way too often and last way too long. Instead of formal meetings, I’m a big fan of impromptu meetings with 2-3 people when technical decisions need to be made. I’ve never seen good decisions made when more than 4 people are in the room. However, for large projects, it is important to have regular status meetings where representatives from all aspects of the project are present (i.e.

Articulate Quizmaker and Saba

Learning Developments

I really like Articulate Quizmaker '09 software. I'm bummed to say I have not been using it much because the focus of the content I've been creating is more on software simulations and not a lot of traditional quiz functionality. However, I'm using it with my latest project and I am reminded again how easy it is to create slick looking quizzes using Quizmaker. I'm working with the Saba LMS for this project. As most developers know, each LMS has a different "attitude" and behavior.

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Thoughts on Managing Ideas and Tasks

Learning Developments

It seems I’m always looking for a better project and task management system. I’ve been through Task Coach , Mindmapping software , Microsoft Project , Remember the Milk , Task Merlin , Producteev , and now Manymoon. These are all great products but none fit all of my needs. I’d like to think that some where out there is the right system for me; however, I’d be a bit of a fool to truly believe that. Managing Idea Productivity.

Your Friendly Smart TV

Learning Developments

The smart TV is an idea that has been around for a long time now. It's an idea that has value but technology and innovation has not quite found the right formula to make it happen on a wide scale. Over the past few years many devices have been popping up with their own formulas. Microsoft's Xbox is a great example of this. I can Twitter, Facebook, play games, watch movies, and voice chat with friends all from my TV (via Xbox).

Authentic eLearning Localization: Challenges and Best Practices

Speaker: Chris Paxton McMillin, President of D3 Training Solutions

People prefer to learn in their native language, so localizing eLearning helps genuinely engage learners and gives them that much-needed sense of inclusion. In this exclusive webinar with Chris Paxton, learn how to ensure that authentic translation and localization work for your organization!