Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • Choosing imagery and graphics for your e-Learning


    Graphics are not just visual breaks in the course. Instead, they are the means of visual appeal and a powerful motivating tool.

    There are plenty of e-learning images of all kinds on professional resources. However, too many options in the menu make it harder to decide what to have.

    Let’s have a look at some advice on how to choose e-learning images when designing your course.

    Define the Type of Graphics

    Define the Type of Graphics

    Make sure you don’t mix clipart and photos. Choose one type for the each course. Ideally, if you’re using clipart, it would be perfect to stick with one style of clipart throughout the course. Keep in mind that both photos and vector images should be of high quality. This will make your course look consistent and professional.

    Mind the Purpose of Graphics

    Mind the Purpose of Graphics

    Images in e-learning serve to reinforce the message, not to distract from it. Of course there are several types of slides which are not that important and have no actual educational goal, i.e. title/welcome slide. Background images can be more decorative and appeal to emotion, which is good, because you are to engage learners in every way you can. However, all other pictures should have learning value.

    Be careful not to overload you course with imagery. Even one picture can speak volumes.

    Consider the Context

    Consider the Context

    Relevance of imagery to subject matter is absolutely important. But relevance to the area where the gained knowledge will be implied is vital. Once you’ve managed to get viewer’s attention, keep in mind their field and expertise. Make sure the images make sense to the learners. The latest researches show that photos of real people who actually work at the company are more memorable than generic stock photos.

    Make Use of Inforgaphics

    Make Use of Inforgaphics

    Visual elements themselves can carry the information. If the content is intricate and difficult to grasp, think over implementing education infographics to the course. It helps to present information in smaller chunks without losing sight of the whole picture. In general, informational graphics allows to greatly improve complex data retention.

    Introduce a Character

    Introduce a Character

    Avatars designed to appeal to the target audience of the course can serve as virtual instructors, guiding the learners through the module and highlighting the most crucial aspects. They can represent different roles, offer insights or give some advice, thus making the complicated content easier to remember. Realistic characters are considered to be more credible than abstract.

    You can prove how effective these tips are by trying them out yourself. For me, as the beginner, they worked out just fine.

    But remember, no awesome graphics covers for poor content.

  • Teach me, Simpson


    Using Characters in e-Learning

    Characters stepped in our live from TV and became our good friends. We meet them not only in movies, but also in commercials, marketing materials and training courses. However, such an "invasion" of fictional characters specialists perceive ambiguously.

    Undeniable advantage of characters over instructional design is that characters enliven the course and help to solve the main problem of distance learning - the absence of direct contact with teacher. To introduce character is a great way to communicate with user, to involve person in training. The character can ask leading questions, identify problems, share his own experience, correct mistakes and give advice. Moreover, the character will help you to create a story. It makes the course more interesting and promotes better learning experience by creating logical chains. It may be particularly effective to introduce characters into the customer service course and into conducting sales, since it helps to construct dialogues.

    Furthermore, who else can cause user's emotions, which increase an ability to remember and to assimilate information and to give strong motivation to learn?

    Introducing character to the course you should be aware of some basic risks:

    1 Do not overload your course by using a wide range of characters. It's exactly the case when one is better than ten.
    2 It's important that character should focuse attention on training rather than on himself. Users have to be focused on information but not paying attention to the character.
    3 It's a scientific fact that people are more likely to trust a pretty companion than be involved with freaks. So the more typical image you choose, the more benefits it will bring. And of course, talking tomatoes, as well as Simpson characters should be left in past. Learning is a serious thing.
    4 The character should cause positive emotions. Therefore, it's vitally important to consider an appearance, clothing, accessories, etc. You also have to be sure that facial expressions and gestures correspond to a slide-show. It should be functionally neutral or positively colored. At the same time you must take into account personal body language. For instance, do not present your characters in a closed, aggressive or indifferent posture.
    5 Please, note: named character is better perceived. However some strange or too simple names may cause irony or confusion.
    6 The characters shouldn't always be on slide. Their presence has to be logically relevant. It would be enough to present a character in the first slide, to show him at the third or fourth slide in the middle and say goodbye in the end.

    Learning Solutions identified 3 main functions of character in e-learning process:

    • Expert Instructor – character who acts like a mentor, coach or chief. He should be in appropriate condition to command respect.
    • Peer Coach – more experienced friend helping to learn new material.
    • Co-Learner – a character, who takes classes with user. It should be nice and vivid while learners will associate themselves with character.

    Creating a character is not an easy task, which takes time and efforts. To design bright, eye-catching character is a true art.

    Hot characters are here

  • Steps to knowledge


    Step-by-step instructions: profit or waste?

    How to encourage self-care skills in children? How to teach sales department to strike bargains? How to teach a person to perform some action? The answers seem quite clear. You just need to tell how to do it correctly, or, in other words, to give a step-by-step instruction. And the more detailed it is, the sooner your student will do the job. Therefore, the learning process will be more effective. So, is it right?

    Receiving instructions, the human brain is processing information within 4-5 seconds. Than it gives a direction to perform appropriate action and proceeds to the next level. In this case the previous information is not retained in memory. Have you ever gone to a new place with a friend who knows the way and leads you? Would you be able to recollect the way tomorrow? We must say it would be very hard. But if you had to beat your own way through the streets, viewing a map or asking for a help, so you will surely remember this route for a long time. The secret is quite simple: your brain returns to the same information several times, analyses it, compares and only than – acts. Furthermore, if during a walk you lost your way, the next time you will surely reach the destination even at night.

    Therefore, the issue of the appropriateness of ready-made solution is not so clear. It depends on goal you're pursuing on each certain case. If the main target is to bring user to any result, so the instruction is an excellent tool. But if you want to teach your student to realize and to correct mistakes, to act according to the situation, so you have to refuse to deal with a ready-made solutions.

    In practice, learning is always pursuing multiple tasks at the same time. It means that optimum alternative is to combine ready-made solutions with constructive process. It can be done as follows:

    • To present theoretical materials and than illustrate it with a concrete examples. The other side of this approach is that at the first stage your student will not understand why he needs a theory, so his motivation to learn as his perception efficiency can be reduced.
    • To start with concrete examples to help user to formulate the rules. It's a good way to engage user in learning process, but you may also receive an improper conclusion.
    • To give all possible examples and solutions. The disadvantage of this approach is that to consider all possible outcomes is simply impossible.

    Whichever option you choose, please remember: tasks should be relevant and connected with user's work. Moreover, it should be rather difficult to create a need to solve the problem and to get satisfaction from learning process.

  • What are eLearningchips?


    All you need to create an effective e-courses.

    eLearningchips is an on-line stock that provides various types of vector graphics and e-course templates. Our goal is to create a specialized on-line store which gathered all the necessary items that are used in the development of e-learning courses.

    If you are tired of searching e-learning products on other stocks, with it's dump of goods and poor classification, we're collect all the needful stuff on eLearningchips. That means you no longer need to waste your time seeking the desire content out. Everything is in a right place, just get and enjoy.

    In our large and constantly updated library you will find:

    • ready-to-use vector characters classified according to several categories (man, woman, business, casual, etc.)
    • various backgrounds (classrooms, training rooms, conference halls, offices, etc.)
    • vector graphics (icons, diagrams, callouts, fonts, etc.)
    • Storyline and Lectora Course Player Skins
    • Interactions

    We call it "chips". Since it's rather fresh, tasty and easy to use.

    Our chips are good not only for their quality but for the price too! Learn how to get the best price for eLearningchips products.

    You are a cool designer or developer?

    So, join our eLearningchips team! Become a contributor and profitably sell your works on our site.

    Would be glad to see you in our eLearningchips team. Let’s come together and create the best e-learning courses!

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