Monday, July 28, 2014

Storyboarding your Training Content

What is a storyboard?

Basically, a storyboard is a visual guide to a piece of media. Filmmakers use it to lay out scenes, animators use it to organize sequences and instructional designers use it to map out courses, videos and interactive training content before they start building it.

With that definition in mind, let's talk about what a storyboard is in the world of Instructional Design and eLearning. In the Instructional Design process I use, the term storyboard is a catchall term including the pre-development that occurs after outlining our content.

I call anything I use to make my rough draft a storyboard - whether it's a script, a template or a conventional storyboard.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Taking “Fixed Region” Screen Captures in SnagIt

I don't know about you, but I can be very picky about the look of images I use in my courses, storyboards and job aids. I want them to be the same size and this often means I spend a lot of time editing them in whatever program I'm creating my final project in - resizing, cropping, etc.

Recently, I discovered (and by "discovered" I mean googled…) that SnagIt has a great feature that solves this!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Writing Effective Scenario Questions

The goal of training is often to change behavior and improve performance, but this can be hard to accomplish when the learner is tested on recall and understanding. Effective scenarios give learners the chance to apply the information they're learning, engaging them in the content and showing them why the training matters.

Types of Scenarios

Not all scenarios are the same. Depending on your goal or objective, a different type of scenario may be chosen:
  • Simulation: performance of a process or use of product is simulated; learner may have the option to interact.
  • Observed Story: A complete, linear scenario. May have questions interrupting the flow or at the end.
  • Choose your own Adventure: A branching scenario. Learner makes decisions throughout the scenario and is provided feedback and different results based on the choice.
  • Assessment: short, complete scenarios where the learner must choose the correct solution.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Finding Inspiration

I don't know about where you are, but here in Cleveland summer is in full swing - it's hot and humid, the sun is shining more than it's not and my poor nose has a bit of a sunburn! Summer is the time of year I feel most inspired to create and I've been thinking a lot about inspiration this week. I'd like to share with you some sites I visit regularly to help spark my e-learning creativity - whether it's for visual or instructional design!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Copying and Pasting Text from PowerPoint to Lectora

Do you use PowerPoint to storyboard your eLearning courses? I do. When I use Storyline, it makes sense because I can import the PowerPoint and retain all of my hard work!

When I use Lectora, I actually have a storyboard template that has my Lectora course background and pre-built pages from the course template I use. This gives me a good idea of the space I have to work with in Lectora and I can just copy and paste my text from PowerPoint!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Writing Learner-Focused Course Goals and Objectives

Below is a course goal written in two different ways. Which one makes you want to take the course described?
a. Understand how to drive a car.
b. Drive a car.
Did you choose Objective B? I did - I want to actually be able to DO what I'm learning about!


It's great to understand, know, define, explain and describe things… but how often is that what our learners have to do with the things they learn from us? I'm going to go out on a limb and say almost never. Our learners are DOING - they're consulting, they're brainstorming, they're brainstorming, they're advising, they're creating, they're prospecting - and while they do these things they're using information they've learned, but most likely they aren't giving their customers definitions or memorized statistics.

At least, we hope not, right? Right.