Part 1:Instructional design for Adult Education

creative commons, elearning, instructional design, mooc

The Course:

I saw a post on Linked In asking for people interested in instructional design to work on a MOOC to develop a course in the basic adult education sector for Maths and English. Great! everybody wins. I get a real world I.D. experience, the Adult Educators get an OER course to CCRS (College and Career readiness standards)  and the learner gets a course for free.

My First impressions

  • The course is being run on the Canvas network which looks great and is very intuitive
  • The authoring tool Open Author looks great I can’t wait to use that! very exciting!!
  • It should take about 40 hours to complete and so is a nice side project to get my I.D. teeth into
  • It’s for a non-profit educator which suits my Open Source business ideals
  • It looks a fun project to do!!

adult learn zone

The Course project

The course is aimed at supporting adult learners who have not completed high school and is to CCRS standards and I can chose from the topics below (decisions,decisions!!)

English Language Arts and Literacy, including History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical subjects, and

It’s being created on Open Author with which you can create OER courses. I can’t wait to get started creating more courses with that. Ideas are bouncing around in my head already

  1. Intro to Libre office
  2. Gimp essentials
  3.  plus a few more quite possibly aimed at the Charity sector


Part 2 will continue my journey creating a course in the wonderful world of Instructional Design




De-escalation elearning sample

captivate, elearning, elearning samples, html5, instructional design, powerpoint


From PowerPoint to Captivate 8 (Yes it can be done!)

There are a few I.D’s in the e-learning community who frown upon Captivate 8’s ability to import Power Point effectively. I’m not one of those people. It just needs a bit of pre-thought and tweaking. I did this for a module I created in a hospital setting.

What I changed

My Power Point had an animated hand introducing the module title and hyper-links within images to continue the presentation and to answer questions. I decided to change the animation and re-build the buttons in Captivate a much easier way to do it.

It’s that simple (Click the image below to view the html 5 module)

escalation intro





Non-human characters in e-learning

elearning, elearning samples, gimp, instructional design, open source

The excellent Articulate e-learning community run a weekly challenge to improve skills and share best practice. This week’s was to get a non-human character to ‘talk’. These come in handy especially when I.D. can’t find  a character to suit or in my example below I wanted to reach to a younger audience .

The design

There was always going to be bespoke artwork (I prefer it in my e-learning) so I drew a computer chip, leaving room for googly eyes and a smile. A bit of photo-editing with GIMP ( A Free alternative to photoshop) and I was ready to author.

Captivate 8

Adobe’s authoring software made this bit a breeze, place the photos on the slide, get the timing and audio to match and Boom! it’s a breeze

Click image to launch the sample

motherboar elh #113



My html 5 video intro

adobe, captivate, elearning, elearning samples, html5, instructional design, video

The idea

If you’ve seen a movie or watched t.v. in the last twenty years you’ll be familiar with the production or channel video intro’s before the actual viewing.

The Creation/ Inspiration

I’ve been playing around with html5 animations recently to put in my e-learning courses. Then the idea came to me about creating my own intro video. The movie Trainspotting has a great intro sequence made to look like your stood in an underground tube station as a train whizzes by. THAT’s the look I was after

The Result

Once I was happy with the html5 animation I had to find some music to put to it the excellent http://www.freesfx site has a good selection of piano snippets to choose from but one stood out.

Check out my efforts below


8 bit art in elearning

elearning, elearning samples, instructional design

Stock vs Bespoke images

I’m a believer in using bespoke images where possible when I create an elearning course. I also believe stock images are over used they can also distract and disengage the learner. Pictures can say a thousand words but they can also be interesting and engaging.

Freebie alert

I know Christmas has some and gone but everyone likes a surprise and seeing as the elearning community both at Articulate and the Adobe forums have been so generous, it’s time I shared something.

8 bit icon promo

I’ve created an 8 bit technology icon set I’d like to share with you all.

Look out on this blog for a future full colour version or send me a request


Pantone’s colour for 2016


ELH Challenge #111

This last challenge of the year was to create a template using Pantone’s colour of the year 2016

View Powerpoint here:

ELH 111

I set myself a time challenge also to get it done on time. (to save the poor moderator’s fingers!)

View the Powerpoint here


I had a few ideas floating around before I had that light bulb Eureka moment.

Use the colours as filters / Bucket fill a flower

But the challenge was to create a template so I went for an angular design that could separate and highlight the text sections.

ELH 111

The placing of the rectangles leads the eye to the character and the space for the bio. Notice the header texts do the same.

8 bit art

I am a fan of 8 bit characters and have used some I created here from a medical module. I much prefer using original artwork than lame stock images.




E-learning Heroes Challenge #110

adobe, captivate, elearning, instructional design

1st screen wordpressStar Wars!!

Oh boy! I went to the cinema to see the first 3 Star Wars films (showing my age, there) so this was a challenge I simply had to accept. Almost everyone is familiar with the series and its characters /scenes etc so there’s a myriad of options to pick from. But I had to choose only one (shame!)

The inspiration

I wanted to more than just a trivial game I felt my entry needed to be educational in a real sense. The setting would be in the Star Wars universe but the learning would be on planet Earth.

Start Wars Bar and I.D.’s

I hope you’ve seen the original films and know about the famous bar scene. If not check the link here


Basically it’s a rough gin joint fun of unusual aliens and rough types. This was to be my setting for a bar security/ doorman/bouncer to check a stormtrooper’s I.D. and the learner has to spot the fake.

Click on the link to view the sample





E-learning showing conversation

adobe, captivate, elearning, elearning samples, instructional design

E-learning Heroes Challenge #105

This week’s challenge was to find creative ways to show dialogue in e-learning. Which lit my creative side

The idea

I had plenty of ideas for this challenge but I had to whittle it down to one.

Ticker Tape – scrolling dialogue at the bottom of the screen

Translation – Two sentences in different languages

Subtext – Speech bubble for dialogue. Loose text for the thought.

But the winner was

Subtitles- The type you see on T.V. for the hard of hearing.

bbc subtitles

The Design

I set myself an extra challenge which was to shrink the working area by using a mobile phone template. With space at a premium the dialogue had to be snappy. A busy workplace setting sprang to mind. I used text and audio to set the scene.

wordpress promo subtitle

The Result

I coloured the text for each character to help the reader identify who is saying what and used left and right placement to reinforce this.

Having the text pop-up also helped with identification and reading.

Click the image below to view the sample

wordpress promo


E-learning Heroes Challenge #106 Design an e-learning cereal box

elearning, elearning samples, powerpoint

Breakfast cereal don’t get my taste buds going, but this challenge certainly got my creative juices flowing. The wonderful community at Articulate had a great idea to create a cereal box with an e-learning theme. The learning industry is awash with buzzwords all promoting the latest fad, so I went with a new one, which, is also a good one.

Cognitive Overload

‘Thin slices’ created by expert Stephen Myers, explains single-concept learning, where the learner is given information one concept at a time, to help information overload.

Box creation

Once I had chosen ‘Thin slices’ and cognitive overload, I soon had the idea of the look I wanted. The longest bit was get the colour scheme and finding a font that suited the design.


I used Powerpoint for the background and shapes.

Dafont is an excellent font resource. I used  ‘Cut the Crap’ !

Cereal box ELH


I wasn’t overly happy with the image above it didn’t feel cereal enough.

Here’s my updated effort. With more of a story feel to it

cog overlord

Medical Template Challenge for Elearning Heroes #69


Following on from previous posts I’m continuing the medical theme. The excellent Articulate community ran a challenge to create a medical elearning template so elearning creators are more industry specific in their portfolios.

I love a creative challenge, but I needed some medical info to create something. A quick-ish Google and I found what I was looking for.

A generous member of the Elearning Heroes community shared some medical images. This speeded up the creation of the template no end.

I used Gimp (open source photo editor) and Powerpoint to edit the images. I wanted the nurse and the patient to have a different look and a different space to help the learner take themselves  a step back from the scenario.

Have a look at the module here( click on the image)

escaltion q slide