Archive for October, 2009

How to Quickly Convert PowerPoint based Content into a Quality eLearning course.

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

elearningblackboardIf you have a PowerPoint to source your content, use software to convert it to web viewable content.  It looks much better than anything that comes native to PowerPoint.

 Tools like Adobe Presenter, Articulate, Presenter and Camtasia can translate these PowerPoint animations to web friendly flash web content.  My next post will give an analysis of these 3 tools.

 

 

 

  1. Make sure you have professional audio narration.
  2. Use a picture on every page, sometimes use 2.
  3. Sprinkle in some animation, it is easy to do in PowerPoint, (no flash know-how needed at all), and the tools listed above can do the flash translation for you when they process the entire PowerPoint.
  4. Use SmartArt in PowerPoint.  This is a very effective way to make well balanced diagrams without having graphic design skills
  5. If you are stuck with lots of bullet points, split them up into multiple screens, and don’t forget the picture on each screen when you split them up.
  6. Photo sources include dreamstime.com and istockphoto.com.  The dreamstime.com subscription is the best deal, but sourcing photos seems to be quicker with istockphoto.com.  I have used both of these sites, and a comparison seems like a great topic for another blog entry
  7. When using photo sites, buy the smallest size possible.  These work fine, 72 pixels per inch is what is displayed on a computer monitor, and looks fine.  Bigger files also weigh down your presentations, and slow down load time.
  8. Sprinkle in some quizzes to reinforce learning content.  You will need to make these quizzes in a PowerPoint flash conversion tool.  You cannot do this native to PowerPoint
  9. Don’t be afraid. Download a free trial of flash based PowerPoint software and give it a whirl.  Please let me know if you want to see some simple demos of how to use some of this software.

10 Questions to Test an eLearning Professional

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

questionseLearning is a brand new field and there is no formal accreditation process.  How can you tell if someone who calls themselves an eLearning professional is truly what he says he is?  Ask him some of these questions.  If he crosses his eyes with Question #1, go find another professional.  Maybe you don’t know the answers to these questions, but if he doesn’t either, you are not seeking help in the right places.

  1. Is the output Scorm-Compatible (without going into too much detail, this affects the portability of your ultimate courseware, and is key).  Yes is the right answer, No is the wrong answer.
  2. What is the recommendation for setting up a user registration system?
  3. How much is it going to cost to have a single user sign up for your course?
  4. What course authoring system will be used?  Heavy hitters that produce SCORM content and have a large user based include Articulate, Camtasia, Lectora, and Captivate.
  5. Where will your course content be hosted?
  6. If you want to make changes to the course later, how difficult will that be?
  7. Is it possible to have a test out/ adaptive learning scenario?  (e.g. if a student know some or all of the course content, can they take a quiz and move to more meaningful content?)
  8. Is it possible to add interactive content to the course?
  9. Do they have instructional design skills, or do they expect to have the course basically created?
  10. Is there a creative team in place?