SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Bullets in eLearning: Friend or Foe?

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 11:00 AM


OMG! Did you just shoot the learner?

What did you do? Did you misfire a bullet? Or did you pump in too many bullets?

Be careful. The bullet is a powerful weapon. You must use it wisely to create the right "impact."

We are talking eLearning here. And the bullets are those little black dots that instructional designers are either obsessed with or hate with a vengeance. The former breed litters their courses with bullet lists—an overkill. The latter group avoids bullets like the plague; they probably do not know how bullet lists make learning matter more comprehensible.

As an instructional designer, you have to tread the middle path. Do not pay heed to what the fatalists say. Bullets are not bad. Period. On the other hand, don't be too trigger-happy either. Use bullets wisely to make your courses look good, read intelligible, and make sense to the learner. But before shooting off the tips, here's what you must remember about bullet lists:

  • Bullet lists help to structure ideas and present them in bite-sized chunks that are easy for the learner to skim over.
  • Bullets are like mini headlines. The ideal bullet item is a crisp phrase that presents just the essence of an idea; it is not a rambling sentence that makes the learner trail off midway.
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Topics: eLearning tips

Color Psychology: Use Cool Colors to Set Just the Right Mood for Learning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, May 19, 2015 @ 12:24 PM


It's no secret that colors have an enormous influence over our perceptions of daily life—consciously and subconsciously. For example, warm tones stimulate and energize our senses, while cool hues bring in freshness and calmness. 

This means that we as eLearning designers need to make sure we understand what it takes to make good color choices. A little color psychology may be the secret sauce to produce soothing and productive moods in your learners. 

In this post, we will briefly discuss how you can use cool colors to your advantage when designing your eLearning courses.

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Topics: eLearning design, color psychology

Color Psychology: Use Warm Hues to Energize Your eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 12:21 PM


You might have often noticed how a pop of color can instantly uplift your mood. But have you ever spared a thought about how it can change the course that you are currently designing? If you are not aware yet, the color that you use in your courses can have a tremendous impact on the mood of the learner and how they ultimately absorb the information.

Now you may ask how colors can impact an eLearning course. Well, 70 percent of the information that people capture in their minds is through visual clues. And this is primarily the reason why colors can have a deep impact on your learners. 

There are several ways in which colors can change the entire outcome of your course. Certain colors reduce the stress level while others challenge your grey cells through visual stimulation or pattern seeking. Visual stimulation encourages visual thinking and reduces impassiveness.

Give a thoughtful consideration before choosing a color palette for your course. When colors are chosen correctly, you can influence how learners decipher what they see. 

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Topics: eLearning design, color psychology

Bring Your eLearning Designs to Life with Simple Shapes and Icons

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, May 12, 2015 @ 12:17 PM


Captivating and engaging.

These are the two visual design goals of every eLearning designer. Captivating visuals direct attention and focus on the content, engage the learner’s curiosity to discover more about the topic, and hence simplify communication of ideas.

They make your content memorable.

This post highlights three simple ways you can leverage your existing images, icons and shapes, as well as creating new ones to boost your course design. Happy designing!

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Topics: eLearning design

8 Signs You Were Meant to Be An E-Learning Designer

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, May 07, 2015 @ 12:00 PM


Whether you’re an aspiring eLearning designer or a seasoned pro with years of experience, there are some key characteristics that predispose people to succeed at this industry, and we’ve listed them here. 

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Topics: eLearning tips

DIY Graphic Design Tips to Give Your eLearning a Visual Refresh

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, May 05, 2015 @ 12:37 PM


It’s no secret that people do a great deal of learning through what they see. Because of this, eLearning professionals have the double duty of not only creating informative courses, but ones that are visually engaging with graphics that add to the learning process.

The good news is, with the variety of handy and often free or low cost tutorials, tips and tools to be found online, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist when it comes to design.  In this article we’ll look at easy ways to use basic design skills in order to create new graphics or enhance existing ones.  There’s no need to spend money on expensive graphics or give up control to a freelancer when you can create graphics on your own. 

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Topics: eLearning design

E-Learning Magic: Explaining Complicated Procedures Simply

Posted by Emilia Iñigo on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

If you’ve ever found yourself tearing through your whole house looking for an instruction booklet to fix a phone, tablet or other device that had the audacity to stop working just when you needed it most then you know how important it is to know the procedure for things.

Procedures are action oriented. They help complete a task with detailed, step by step instructions. They guide us through the soul-crushing darkness of malfunctioning electronics and help us complete simple to complex tasks. 

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Topics: procedure training

Graphic Design Essentials to Build Good Lookin’ eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 @ 12:20 PM


While a great eLearning design can act as a tonic and engage the learner at an optimum level, a bad eLearning design can lull the learners to sleep. 

That's right, how your learners perceive the instructional content is more often than not dependent on the design element. Learners ignore cluttered and boring design. They gravitate, instead, to one that’s aesthetically pleasing.

If you are new to design, or looking to brush up on eLearning design best-practices, this post is for you! 

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Topics: eLearning design

7 Brainy Ways to Boost Knowledge Retention in eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:31 PM


We remember the scenes and dialogs from some movies long after we have seen them. Some songs continue to haunt us even though we have not listened to them for ages. We can still recite rhymes and poems we learned when we were toddlers. Do you wonder why? Or if you are an instructional designer, have you wondered how you can create such sticky courses? How can you create courses that learners will remember easily and recall effortlessly long after they are back at their workplaces? It is challenging because forgetting is natural.

Scientists carried out a test on some subjects who had to study textbooks, retain, and recall the information. The results were startling: after a day, the subjects remembered 54 percent of what they had learned and after 21 days, they remembered a paltry 18 percent.

But are you surprised? When we were in school, most of us didn't remember what we learned in the earlier grade.

As instructional designers, you have to create courses that are easy to remember and difficult to forget.

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Topics: brain learning

Max Out Your eLearning Design Toolkit with These +40 Freebies

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:40 AM


There are few things more frustrating than finding an awesome, free online design tool then not being able to find it again. As an eLearning course designer you likely have experienced this problem along with the increasing demands put on you to not only write a course but also to design graphic elements. Because of this, it is more important than ever to have your arsenal of design tools organized and ready so you can work efficiently without working harder.

Over the years we have bump into different tools, sites and free resources that have been very helpful to us, so we’ve collected them and we are sharing them with you!

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Topics: eLearning design, freebies

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