E-Learning Through Smart Watches – Finding Possibilities

Smart Watches

E-Learning is the name of the service which delivers learning solutions through any possible electronic platform in the most convenient and effective way for learners. The ever evolving technology offers delivery platforms for learning designers to opt and provide most suitable learning solution products.

If technology meets the imagination, smart watches are going to be new trend in the market. As content developers, we must be aware and prepare for new delivering platforms. Thinking of delivering content on smart watches should not be taken as jumping on every new technology to deliver learning. Still learners can learn sitting under the tree; the most ancient way we know of group learning. The point is to address learners in best possible way. In few days the learners will become users of new technologies and change their living style in accordance to it. We can’t developcontent for older ways/platforms of which learners are not users. The new paradigm is of learner centered, we need to mold our strategies or approaches as per the learner.

Launch of Apple watch is not the first smart watch, already similar products are in the market from other technology giants. This trend will move further with new features and specifications to offer more and more applications of daily life, so the learning. The learning companies should prepare themselves and develop ways to deliver effective learning solutions for these wearable technology platforms.

Transition from Desktop to mobile is still in process, there is a large portion of the industry which still struggling to develop content for mobile devices. Now a new challenge emerged to develop content for micro screens. The companies which are already in developing content for mobile devices may not face it as difficult as those who don’t. Still it is a great challenge to deliver content developed in different styles of content presentation such as animations, diagrams, images etc.

Above all challenges, it has great potential to reach more learners anywhere for more time of the day with wide range of subjects. We can expect applications to come-up in the smart watches market to deliver learning content. Considering its small screen size, developing content again in traditional style of slides couldn’t be a good idea. Content designer should invent new creative ideas suitable for wearable technologies. The one option could be like Branching Scenarios (or Skip Survey) where learner makes decisions based on the situations posed on him/her. The challenge in smart watches is to develop content for small interaction area or small screen to present content like slides (for big screens like desktops, laptops, tabs or large screen smartphones). It is now clear that we can’t go with slide wise presentation of content with wearable technologies; there must be some other way to make learners learn.

An another wearable devices which is much different compare to smart watch is ‘Google Glass’. On similar line, more devices come in future with different challenges and opportunities; as content/learning designers we must be creative enough to deliver content effectively.

Articulate Storyline Tutorials: Part 2 (Enable next button after visiting all interaction)

In Articulate Storyline using States, ENABLE Next button after visiting all interaction buttons

1) Take New Slide and rename corresponding layer in Slide Layers section. For example we will rename it as “Interactivity”.

2) Adding elements to start interactivity in the slide;

a) Click on Insert tab in the ribbon.

b) Select Button from Interactive Objects section.(for demonstration purpose we will take 4 buttons)

c) Select Shape from Illustration section and select a triangle to create content display area.

Button Interactive

3) Add layers for each button in Slide layers section

a) Click on New layer iconto add a layer for each button (bottom-left button).

b) Double-click on each layer and rename them as Button 1, Button 2, Button 3 and Button 4.

(This can be done by selecting a layer, clicking Right Mouse button and selecting Rename option.)

Add Layer in Articulate

4) Creating triggers for each button.

a) Select a button and click on Create new trigger (bottom-left button) from Triggers section.

b) Change to Showlayer in Action Field.

c) Select the desired layer in Layer Field.

d) Add User clicks in When Field.

Repeat the same Process for the remaining 3 buttons.

Button Trigger

5) Make sure every button should have Visited State, As how many buttons have been taken in the presentation.

Visited State

6) Double click on the next slide button trigger under Player–trigger in Triggers section and Click on the Show conditions hyperlink in the Trigger Wizard to perform necessary actions.

Trigger Wizard

7) Enabling Next button after clicking all four buttons listed above.

a) Click on Add a new “AND” or “OR” condition.

b) Click on Shapes in Add Trigger condition.

c) Select Button 1 in If: field

d) Operator should be ==Equal to.

e) Select Visited in State field.

Shapes

8) Repeat the Above step for the remaining 3 buttons to get the desired result.

Please download the source file from below link:
http://www.elearningserv.com/blog/downloads/Enabling-the-next-button.zip

Articulate Storyline Tutorials: Part 1 (Adding Page Numbers)

Adding Page number in a Articulate Storyline will have various routes that users can take?

1) Manually entering page number in each slide:
a) This approach is not feasible one.
b) If we require to add or delete one slide from middle, then we need to change slide numbers of all the slides manually.
c) Even if client request to change the position of page number, it requires manual efforts on all the slides.

2) Adding page number using variables: (This approach is considered as feasible)
a) Click on View tab on the menu.
b) Select Slide Master in the ribbon.

Slide Master

c) Click on the Manage Project Variable icon.
d) Click on Create a New Variable icon.
e) Type <crpage> in the name field.
f) Change Type filed to Number instead of Text. And the value of the number should be 0.

Articulate Storyline Variable

g) Repeat the steps d, e and f but this time variable name can be <totalpages> and the value should equal to how many pages you are going to insert in the presentation. For example: I am using 5 pages presentation to demonstrate.

Total Pages Stroyline

h) Click on OK button in the Variables window.
i) Insert a text field in the layout and the add Variable name by keeping % symbols (%Variablename%) in the start and end. (Where you want to add page number).

Example:
%crpage%

j) Now add ‘of’ text to it.

Example:
%crpage% of

k) Now add <totalpages> variable with % symbol around to it.

Example:
%crpage% of %totalpages%

Total Page Numbers

l) Exit from Slide Master by clicking on Close Master View button in the ribbon.

image005

m) Now click on Create a New Trigger icon in Trigger Panel.
n) Trigger Wizard pop-up window will appear.
o) Select Adjust variable from the Action dropdown.
p) Select <crpage> from the Variable.
q) Make sure the Operator field should have =Assignment
r) Value should be Value and add current page number.
s) Finally make sure When field should have Timeline starts.

Storyline Timelines

t) Repeat the steps from “n” to “t” in every slide to get the continues page numbers.

Thanks for your time, hope this blog helpful to you and let us know your views & comments.

Making Mobile Learning Implementation More Effective

Mobile Learning

The amalgamation of mobile communication and handheld devices has brought about tremendous revolution in the field of learning and education. The world is changing and it’s changing with a faster speed and it’s considered to be the need of an hour to have the flexibility in the context of learning and enhancing the skills on a regular basis throughout the career with more flexibility and convenience.

When we talk about mobile learning, the challenges and concerns which come across our minds are the areas related to implementation. As we all know the technology is growing and ever changing with a lightning speed and all the major players into mobile technology are in to defeat each other in the race to grab better pie in the market. The challenging situation arises for the mobile learning devices as to have the universally acceptable technology to go with all the devices and to keep the clients happy and satisfied for a longer time and giving the clients the value for their money which they have invested for the development of the content. The crucial or the decisive aspects we need to take care while planning implementation of mobile learning will need detailed planning and understanding of the whole context. When we think in context of content designing, mobile learning and its content designing is not very different from other forms of content development. When we comprehend the different aspect of learning they are not really different from mobile learning as such except in terms of context. The different aspects which have to be taken into consideration for the proper and effective implementation of mobile learning will have following dimensions:

  1. Crisp, simple and short content

    It goes the same way as all the other form E-Learning content development designing formats, as we are supposed to have very crisp and simple content to designed for mobile devices, as concentration span for the audience or rather learners using mobile devices is very short so content shouldn’t me more than five minutes as the possibilities for deviation and lack of concentration would play a major role if the content is very lengthy and that will dishearten the learners to have interest in the whole process of learning.

  2. Less congregated information

    If the information or the inputs provided is really complex and tiresome the learners will lose interest and it would dampen the whole process of learning altogether so keeping the learning content simple and interesting will keep the mobile learners interested to hooked to learning. The other context which relates to density of the content is related to adaptability of the content to particular devices. Which might be a concern as there might be certain limitation to devices about the density of the content to be played on them.

  3. Apt use of multimedia

    The utilization of multimedia plays a very important role in the process of E-Learning as to add visual effects compensates the absence of teacher or the trainer. But if we think in context of costing then it’s really crucial that we use the multimedia i8n a more sensible and concrete way as to provide productivity then just add aesthetic value to the content. Splash animations and graphics can be avoided as they are purely aesthetical and they add any extensive value to the content except the cost of the content. We can mention some high end devices as iPads which can be used in offline mode as well, where the download cost can be avoided to an extent. And there might be a possibility in future to have many high end or compatible devices to have cost cutting edge.

  4. Elements of collaboration

    Mobile devices have tremendous scope for blended program. It’s an exceptional technology to facilitate communication between peers, experts, and mentors. It adds tremendous value to human learning as interaction had tremendous scope for facilitating learning.

  5. Providing content integrated with tools

    Apart from content, tools should also be integrated. the latest ability to comprehend applications for specific hardware also provide lots of Geo-location based tools, social networking tools, access to search and information database, customized calculators, newsreaders, games, simulation etc. while designing mobile learning, there are certain dimensions which have to be born in mind for the reference mobile devices. This can be done as to target the platform those mobile devices are going to be used.

Factors effecting cost of Elearning

Elearning

“Costing e-Learning is much like peeling an onion… there are many layers, they don’t ever seem to end, and sometimes it really smells. … if you understand the variables involved in determining costs you can take the magic right out of the process. Don’t be misled that it’s easy though; there are a lot of variables to consider!”

With the advent and proliferation of Elearning, The most remarkable feature which is attributed to the Elearning content development is the cost effectiveness of Elearning training delivery. But it’s not as simple as it is stated above and there are many aspects and dimensions which will form the final quotation of costing and implementation. And that again says that Elearning training will always remain to be more cost effective then the instructor based training delivery but the dimensions crucial to be mentioned here will play decisive role in understanding the different ways of variations in Elearning course development to make things clearer and transparent.

The following are few of the important aspects impacting cost of Elearning course development.

The most crucial aspect impacting cost of Elearning course development is Graphics and Multimedia. Since the instructors are unavailable in this mode of training and learning, the interactive addition of multimedia and Graphics compensates the absence of instructors and makes the learning and training more interactive, exhaustive and effective.

In other words we can say that the complexity and simplicity of Multimedia and Graphics will directly impact the cost of Elearning course development and the varied dimensions related to Multimedia and Graphics would the following dimensions:

  • Animated video editing
  • Enhancement and editing of the content
  • Custom made narration
  • Production of custom made video and 3d Animation

Here it is extremely important to mention that complexity or variation in context of Multimedia and Graphics will have strong impact on final costing of the product or the online content and delivery.

In case of linear course development, where the simple text based assessment is involved as the navigation would be standard and typical templates would be used for course development and in turn would take the costing towards the lower spectrum. But when we talk about the training with varied decision points and in that case different custom mapping would be created leaving no room or less possibility of re using the already existing templates.

The Elearning course development where there are possibilities of conditional branching, the cost of Elearning development will surely shoot up. These types of advanced course development would have Large number of hands on exercises, advanced level of navigation, custom pages and conditional interactive components.

Development time for instructional design

The time spent in designing the course ware is crucial from the inception of storyboard to the completion of final content or we can say in other words the kind of effort needed to complete the content plays a decisive role in the cost of Elearning development.

Here again there are some specification as to how the Elearning course development will take shape and what are the other dimensions being involved in overall costing of the Elearning content.

If the basic structure is not ready and there are no storyboards existing, the time and effort would be more and thus the costing would go higher, while in case of basic structure and storyboard in place will speed up the process of content development and would lower the cost of courseware development.

As in the case where there is no structure ready or the storyboard not in place will increase the number of subject matter expert and instructional design hours, resulting in increased cost of the whole development process. In case of highly specialized training modules, the time consumption increases manifolds to facilitate planning and implementation as the content does not exist, except in the imagination of the subject matter experts so planning here again plays an important role in time consumption and formulation of the desired content requirement. In this scenario again the cost goes really high.

The other crucial aspect affecting the cost of Elearning content development would be standards compliance, usability testing etc, which is supposed to be added in overall and final costing of the Elearning content development.

Addressing all the above mentioned specification for content development will make the process of Elearning development effective and user friendly would help the industry to be competent enough to take up the challenges in smooth way and deliver performance and competitive advantage as well.

The understanding of the above mentioned guidelines will enable the industry to have uniform playing fields for all the vendors, in turn would standardize the process as a whole.

Simulations – A way of Elearning

“If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see. But if you let me experience, I will learn.”

The market for E-learning is ever growing and there are clear indications that it would continue to grow tremendously in the future. The concept of E-learning has revolutionized the whole system of education and training. With ever increasing demand of innovation in the field of content development and authoring tools to make the learning more interactive, effective and productive. The integration of simulation in E-learning has taken a major leap. When we talk about simulation in E-learning content development, we emphasize on the content and training modules with engagement and interactive approach towards the whole process of E-learning. Where the learners are given ample opportunities to participate at all the diverse levels of learning with more participation and freedom to experience the training on a wider and effective level. The major challenge faced by the content developers is to devise and design the E-learning content to have maximum possibilities for hands on experimentation, where the learners get chance to maximize their learning by practically doing things and deriving conclusions.

The most critical contribution in the process of learning is offered through our senses. And the four critical stages forming the learning web are watching, thinking, feeling and doing.  Among these senses the most important is learning while doing things on our own and that adds subtlety to the whole process of learning. In earlier E-learning course development the idea of interactivity was not given ample importance or sometimes this crucial aspect has been completely ignored but now with changing scenario and latest technological advancement the need for more extensive and exhaustive authoring tools are in demand. Putting up challenges to content experts or developers to have more intensive and interactive courseware. The simulations in E-learning bring the learners close to the real life situations. Where they relate to their past experiences and that helps them get the final outcome or the conclusion. Thus simulation in E-learning opens a horizon of doing and learning, in turn the training where the students are involved directly with their learning, keeps them motivated and involved as they play a decisive role in learning itself, instead of just being guided.

Simulations can be categorized depending on the level of complexity offered through instructions (Source: William Horton, 2000), they are as follows:

1.One shot Simulations: As the name says it all, these simulations are utilized for the courses offered for one time learning. The software and process training utilizes this type of simulation for the execution of courseware or training. The learners are given ample opportunity to learn while doing. And they are also provided with option of correcting mistakes and then moving forward through the ladder of learning and experimenting. This gives the learners ample space to do and redo in case of mistakes and the freedom and the ownership plays critical role in the process of training.

2.Simulations through examples: Under this category the simulations are provided in terms of situations. In turn creating enthusiasm to intervene and to determine and conclude the following relevant steps to take up the course to the next level. Every little step is crucial and critical for the final outcome. And the learners get the option of trying many times to get the required outcome. Which keeps them motivated and involved throughout the learning process. This type of simulation gives the learners an opportunity to think logically and derive conclusion cognitively.

  •  In this scenario learners listen, read or view about a situation, often describing the conflict between individuals.
  •   At every level the learners are offered with some choices to give them clue as to how to proceed.
  •   All the different choices pave the way for different outcomes and results.
  •   The outcomes would not be categorized into right and wrong but clear cut guidelines are offered to the learners to decide which route they want to follow and how they need to reach the conclusion. The real life examples help them to reach the conclusion in a more decisive way.

3. Microworlds: In this scenario the learners are offered a virtual representation of the real environment.

In this form of Simulation which is known as Microwords, the learners get an opportunity to physically interact with all the elements and learn from their experience.

The other striking discipline emerging is the Gamification, which uses game thinking. The software integrated with social psychology helps to develop programs that eventually enhance business prospects throughout the organization and almost all the industries. Simulations or business war games are used as powerful tools to aid decision making, improved strategic planning and foster enhanced team building and collaboration. These tools can be utilised over a wider range of fields  such as strategic development, education,psychology and academic areas.

We at swift Elearning are at par with the current trends in the field of E-learning content development integrated with simulations. We have a team of highly skilled experts to develop E-learning content with simulations and Gamification.

Articulate Storyline, an incredible tool for e-Learning courses

Articulate Storyline

One of the greatest authoring tools in the field of E-learning appears to be in the form of Articulate storyline. Articulate storyline is the extension of Articulate ’09 suite with advanced and robust features and technological advancement. Articulate has been an integral part of the E-learning industry for a long time for its Articulate ’09 suite edition. The E-learning authoring tools include Articulate presenter, Articulate Quiz maker, Articulate engage and Articulate suite as well. Then a Stage came when it was realized to have robust and technologically more comprehensive tools.

E-learning authoring tools have seen the advent of a revolution with the merge of Articulate with storyline. The E-learning content development through Articulate storyline has made the e-learning authoring tools more innovative and interactive; the course developed through Articulate storyline is relatively comprehensive and strongly visual, Which makes it a rapid authoring tool for E-learning content development.

Many of the articulate tools were considered to be user friendly, But apart from being user friendly articulate was lagging behind in terms of vigorous advanced features to make the E-learning course development more comprehensive, ground-breaking and interactive. In turn the need for a robust and powerful tool has facilitated the contraption of storyline, insertion of story line with articulate has brought about fabulous growth, adequacy among all the genre of learners and E-learning developers. The articulate storyline is extremely compatible with mobile devices and that makes it more versatile, handy and effective. The E-learning content development is easy and convenient and caters to the needs of varied level of learners and platform as well. Publishing the E-learning content on multiple devices and formats make it interactive on all the devices as iPads, desktops, laptops and more.

Articulate storyline publishes to Flash, which in turn is compatible on almost all the personal devices and to the Articulate mobile Player, A native iOS application that maximizes the utility of the authoring tool on iPads. The Articulate storyline is used for the development of the content on HTML5, which offers an extensively popular option for E-learning development, with the richness of multimedia and immense scope of interactive learning.

The Articulate storyline offers wide ranging options in terms of innovative and interactive content development. The following are some of the remarkable features related to Articulate storyline;
  1. The interface and customer delight- At a time when applications are invented and introduced on daily basis, it’s important that the users have an exceptional experience in the first go. So it has to be robust, interactive and dependable precisely. Articulate storyline offers excellent user experience.
  2. Simplicity of the Articulate storyline- The authoring tools are hassle free and simple as to give ample support to the content development experts who are not familiar with power point. Instructions and directions are clear that even a naïve can work efficiently on content development.
  3. One stop availability of images and resources- Its extremely critical to have suitable images to create life like scenario and robust visuals. Articulate storyline offers in built options for images depending upon the requirement and suitability. Apart from free images and visual effects, it offers specialized images to buy as well.
  4. Screen recording- It’s an exemplary feature, Articulate storyline takes up an incredible approach altogether. When we record the screen, we end up in a high revolution video, which can be shown or shared with the learners with the help zoom and pan features.
  5. Compatibility of Articulate storyline with HTML5, Flash and mobile learning. The content developed through articulate storyline is compatible with HTML5, which helps the learners to utilize the course on their iPads with ease and comfort.

Swift Elearning services provide E-learning course development through Articulate storyline, Specializing on requirement and background of the learners. We are equipped with latest technology and E-learning course-ware development experts to cater to the needs of our clients universally.

Numerous questions arise on E-learning outsourcing

E-learning Outsourcing

E-learning outsourcing? a big question weather to outsource E-learning content or not? The vital role of E-learning outsourcing plays around cost, quality and Time. Considering things In corporate houses where the need to upgrade the skills of the employees has become fundamental, the demand to develop high quality courseware has intensified too. And to cater to the growing demands, many corporate houses take the services from Elearning vendors to cope up with the requirement and time deadlines. In turn making the online training and E-learning outsourcing more convenient and hassle free.

The far most important is the quality of the E-learning content, which has to be monitored under strict guidelines. As the production of large volume of courseware and meeting the time deadlines shouldn’t hamper the quality of the content. The E-learning outsourcing plays a pivotal role in providing the customized training depending upon the requirement of the organization. The high quality content development through E-learning outsourcing will make the whole process more prolific and efficient.

The million dollar questions arises for E-learning outsourcing as
  • How to create quality courseware?
  • How to keep a vigilant eye on the whole process of E-learning development?
  • What considerations have to be borne in mind before deciding the external resources?
Following are some of the very crucial aspects to be taken care of, while outsourcing the E-learning courseware development
  1. Extensive interaction with the E-learning developers would be the first step towards the development of quality content. As gathering and directing appropriate knowledge flow and content would be the most crucial step towards in the process of course development. In case of external or internal SMEs the frame for time, availability and the deadlines should be prepared well in advance to have smooth and hassle free execution of the project.
  2. Developing custom E-Learning content through well charted out process is of utmost importance. The process management has to be well organized and adherent to the guidelines in terms of proper execution. The client’s expectations should be well documented. The responsibilities and the offerings of the eLearning vendors should be transparent. The task allotment should be very clear to have a streamlined and productive process.
  3. The unremitting interface between the client and the purveyor plays a major role to have better eminence. As regular inputs shared between these two most important players of the process would bring excellence in the courses content.
  4. And last but not the least, stringent quality check is needed to see if the content of eLearning courses is up to the mark and ready for absorption or not. The important aspects related to quality check would be linguistic and technical appropriateness and perfection of the content. The linguistic testing should make sure the developed content is free of grammatical errors and suitable for the learner’s background, while technical testing makes sure that the content is adaptable to the technical capability of the client.
  5. The utilization of the pre existing content is also crucial and time saving. Depending upon the prerequisite of the organization content can be remodelled and utilized for Elearning courses development.

Swift Elearning services has the ability to provide custom elearning outsourcing solutions in courseware design and development. We develop online courses with interactive & engaging content at reasonable cost and get them delivered in time.