June-2013, Davie, FL – I had the pleasure of joining Dr. Tricia Seymour on an eLearning adventure to South Florida recently. We made the four hour drive to attend Articulate’s “How to Become a Rapid E-Learning Pro” two-day workshop presented by Tom Kuhlmann. I’ve watched Tom’s How-To screencasts for years and have learned so much from him. He is a big inspiration to me and I feel he really raises the bar for instructional design.
In addition to sharing some tips and tricks in PowerPoint and Storyline, Tom emphasized the importance of intentional instructional design. Basically, everything that is displayed on a slide should be there for a reason and if it is not accomplishing something, take it off because it is a distraction. He taught that the three basic elements of eLearning are:
1) the content
2) the look and feel
3) what the learner needs to be able to do
It’s important to take the time and really look at what you want the learner to do inside the course as well as outside the course after completion. We looked at how to plan for eLearning and the different ways of arranging content on a slide. He covered the use of color, consistent graphics, and how to pair fonts. He also discussed the difference between form-based and free form design tools. Articulate Engage, for example, can be converted to free form and customized in Slide View to create unique interactions instead of your typical multiple choice response format.
Some books that were recommended during the conference were: Understanding by Design, Backwards Design, and Better than Bullet Points; all of which appear to be packed with helpful tips. Overall, the workshop was a great refresher for eLearning methodologies and I will be sure to incorporate Tom’s quick tips for making attractive and effective interactions into my courses. Here is a link to the workshop webpage if you are interested in learning more: http://articulate-workshops.s3.amazonaws.com/2012/Storyline-Workshop/powerpoint.html