Every Picture Tells a Story….or not!

Here is a simple little e-learning module I created.  The original intent was to demonstrate how to use layers and states in Articulate Storyline.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qwdctnbhbuie71q/First_Aid_Exercise.zip?dl=0

I showed this during a recent ASTD monthly session to over 40 people.  One of the key takeaways, for me, was how engrossed and captivated the audience was in doing the exercise.

I purposely did not include any visuals or photos or images or anything other than text and basic buttons because I didn’t want to detract from the lesson of learning about layers and states.

These folks thought the content and approach was compelling, interesting, engaging, and they loved going through the exercise.  And, they said they actually learned something!

I asked them, “did the fact that there were no visuals bother you?”

Many folks said things like, “I didn’t even notice.”; “I created the visuals in my head.”; “I liked that there were no visuals, it allowed me to stay focused and create the scene myself.”; “It didn’t bother me.”

There is so much emphasis in our (e-learning) community about images (use visuals in place of text) and pictures (do we use real people, characters, or silhouettes?).  Yes, there is a lot of talk about scenarios and stories but what I witnessed, from my little non-scientific session, is just how powerful the story really is and all the other “stuff” can make a good story better but it won’t make bad story (or no story) good.

Feel free to download the exercise and tell me your thoughts.  (You should download all the files as listed to ensure it runs properly).

(note: the content for this exercise was found on the internet.  I don’t remember where and I didn’t record where because I didn’t think it would get this far.  I’m happy to give credit and/or take it down if whomever owns it wants me to.)

House Painting and E-Learning…Yeah, They’re Similar

What’s the similarity, you ask?

Preparation.

Painting your house is no fun.  Not for me, anyway.

It took me lots of trial and error to realize that if I would take the time up front to prepare for creating something new (like a freshly painted room), that I could avoid a lot of pain and anguish after the fact.

So, how do you prepare to paint?  You move furniture, put covering down on the floor, tape off baseboards and window sills, repair small holes in the wall, and sand down rough spots.  You make sure you have the right brushes, ladders, trays, solvents, paint, rags, masks, and clothing.

And what’s the pain and anguish I avoid?  Spilled paint on carpet or hardwood floors that may never come clean.  Uneven and splotchy paint on the walls and look unpleasant and unprofessional.  Walls that no one wants to look at.  A big mess that I don’t want to clean up.  Possibly a room that will need to be painted again.

I’m hoping that you are already seeing the similarity to e-learning.

If you prepare properly for the creation of your e-learning module then you greatly increase your chances of having a job that will not only look pleasing and professional, but one where learners will actually learn something.

Next time I will talk about the steps you can take to prepare for a successful e-learning “paint job”.  In the meantime, be thinking about it yourself and see if you agree with me or have some additional steps to add (I am sure some of you could add steps to my house painting preparedness list!).

Until next time…