SHIFT's eLearning Blog

3 Tips for Improving eLearning Usability

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Feb 04, 2016 @ 12:43 PM

How would you like it if vegetables at the supermarket were stocked with meat or milk? You wouldn’t find the produce in the first place.

There’s a reason why the Table of Contents is placed within the first few pages of every book. There’s a reason why the streetlights are not tucked away amidst a maze of store signs.

The reason is usability or how easy or difficult it is to find your way through a user interface. And judging by how difficult it is to find houses in certain streets or make your way through software, it seems that it is easy to goof up UX design.

Bad usability can inhibit your learners from learning what they need from a course. So, to avoid this, here are 3 tips you can use to create killer eLearning designs:

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Topics: usability elearning

5 Character Archetypes You Can Use in Your eLearning Courses

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

Pretty much anyone can present information, but an honestly good eLearning course designer knows how to make that information stick with learners even when that audience isn’t interested. Because that’s the nature of an eLearning course: sometimes your audience is enthralled with the subject and sometimes they’re just being pushed to learn because of a job or class. It should be your goal to make content memorable no matter your audience’s interest level.  

One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate engaging and unique characters in your courses. A learner might not remember every piece of content you present to them, but they will remember an aqua aardvark appropriately named ADDIE. While that might be too cartoonish or “out there” for many courses, I think you can see the point of how using a character gives your audience something to visualize and hold onto in the sea of new information they are being immersed in.

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Topics: storytelling

10 Statistics on Corporate Training and What They Mean for Your Company’s Future

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

Benjamin Franklin once said “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, and we think Mr. Franklin got it spot on. Training isn't something that's 'nice' to have in your organization. It's an absolutely vital part of a company's long-term investment and growth strategy. 

This seems like a simple point, and it's something that nearly all companies, and L&D managers alike, will agree with. But do companies provide enough training? And what does current research say about the state of corporate training and eLearning? In this post, we look at ten key statistics, and what they mean for your company's future.

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Topics: workplace learning trends, corporate training

Don't Frustrate Your Learners! 7 Rules for Creating User-Friendly eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 12:27 PM

What if the secret to life existed but it was locked in a box that no one could open? Well, you’d pretty much just have a box, wouldn’t you? And that is also what you have when you design an eLearning course without taking usability into consideration. It matters little how relevant information in a course might be if your audience can’t access that information.

While engaging students and making sure content is entirely covered are critical parts of course success, it is just as important to go through and make sure your user interface (UI) ducks are in a row. Taking the time to go through and check for user-friendliness will help ensure that your students don’t lose out just because the course is difficult to navigate.

Keep in mind that an eLearning course often isn’t a choice for most people. They are taking this because they have to and will have little patience for guesswork. Make it clear what the user needs to do in order to advance in the course. Learning is difficult enough without the added annoyance of having to hunt for what to click on.

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Topics: UX tips

Massive Shifts Happening Right Now in the Corporate Training World

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 @ 03:00 PM

Embrace the race or get left in the dust. While the world of e-learning design might not seem as fast paced or ever-changing as other environments, it is still a business, and there are changes in motion that designers need to be aware of to to stay relevant in the field. In the same way, that education has begun to leave the classroom and is now accessible from mobile devices, technology is still evolving to make the new learning arena better, faster and more widely accessible. Companies now have options they never did before for providing training. Being aware of these changes means keeping your courses relevant for students and keeping your design skills in demand.

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Topics: eLearning trends, eLearning

The Final Touch: 7 Tips & Tricks For Outstanding eLearning Storyboards

Posted by Marisa Keramida (M.Ed.) on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 @ 11:58 AM

Developing an eLearning storyboard is one thing, but turning it into a practical guide for anyone involved in the eLearning project is of utmost importance. In this article, I will give you 7 tips & tricks you can use to design outstanding eLearning storyboards.

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Topics: eLearning storyboard

What Do Modern Learners Actually Want From Your eLearning Courses?

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

Consumers of corporate training and eLearning (aka. Your learners) are changing – fast. Their priorities, training needs, and methods of learning are diverging from the well-beaten paths we've mapped out in the past.

So, as you're probably wondering from the title, what do 2016's learners want? Well, we're glad you asked...

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Topics: modern eLearning courses

How Do I Produce Video for My eLearning Courses? A DIY Guide

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 12:12 PM

In this post, we'll be diving into the murky waters of eLearning video. Most of us agree that video is a wonderful tool for aiding the learning process. It's fun, visual, and appeals to more learning styles than a 'rote-learning-read-this-100-times' approach. What's more, according to KZO Innovations, 98% of organizations are predicted to use video by 2016 in their digital learning strategies. So video is useful, widespread, and fun - no downside, right?

Not quite. Video comes at a cost, and not a metaphorical one. Staying in budget is a big concern for most eLearning professionals, and video is renowned for eating up that budget quicker than you can say “it's not that expensive!”.

A viable alternative is to produce your own video, cut costs, and personalize your eLearning program. But, before you put on your director’s cap and grab your iPhone, there are a few things you need to know first. So grab your notepads and buckle your seatbelts, let's get going.

The Small Print: While DIY video is an option, it has to be taken seriously to have the desired effect. This means that if you shoot an eLearning video on your 2008 camera phone, you may have some very awkward meetings with your boss in the immediate future. Video has to be allocated the resources, manpower, thought, and rigor that it deserves. So while doing it yourself can cut costs drastically, make sure you know what you're getting into.

So, without further ado, here are the five main steps you should follow for producing your own video for your eLearning courses:

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Topics: eLearning video

A Practical Guide On How To Start With eLearning Storyboards

Posted by Marisa Keramida (M.Ed.) on Thu, Jan 07, 2016 @ 12:18 PM

What an architectural plan is for civil engineers, an eLearning storyboard is for eLearning developers. Exactly as the architect conceptualizes the building, and provides a plan to be used by civil engineers and constructors, in the same manner, the Instructional Designer conceptualizes the eLearning course deliverable and writes down every single detail of it, providing a complete guide in terms of content, audio, visuals, and interactive elements to be included, so that all members involved in the eLearning project can be on the same page throughout the eLearning course development process. In this article, I’ll provide you with a practical guide on how to start working with eLearning Storyboards.

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Topics: eLearning storyboard

Our Top Picks for Where to Find the Best Free Images for eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

It can be challenging to find images for your eLearning courses that are stunning, high-resolution and most importantly, free. With the availability of current resources, it’s no longer necessary to use clip art or the type of generic (or cliché) images that make training look dated.

Whether you lack the skill or simply the time to create the images for your eLearning courses, we have compiled a list, of what we consider the best free stock photos on the Internet right now. Each of the following websites contains free high-resolution images that can be used for personal and commercial use.

We encourage your to visit and bookmark any (or all) of these sites today!

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Topics: freebies, free images for elearning

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