I confess. I love my PLN (personal learning network). Engagement is the key. I am not the most extroverted person. In fact in junior high I was one of those guys standing uncomfortably next to the wall while the “cool” guys asked all the girls to dance. That’s ok, I never liked Spandau Ballet anyway. While I have definitely overcome that paralyzing shyness, I am still not one to “work the crowd” as they say. So, the social media thing kind of threw me for a loop as far as engaging with people. [Read more…] about I love it when a PLN comes together
One way to decrease the size of your PowerPoint file, which in turn decreases the size of your published .swf file is to use the Save as Picture function in PowerPoint. For instance, if you insert a Clipart photo, you can dramatically reduce the size by using the following process.
1. Insert your image.
2. Right-click on the image and select Save as Picture.
3. Save the picture file with your other assets.
4. Delete the original Clipart image.
5. Click Insert Picture and select your newly created picture.
Actually, it is probably good practice to save the original image in case you need to go back and edit it. A good way to do this is to use two separate PowerPoint files; one for your images and one for your course.
Don’t think using the Save as Picture function can help decrease file size? Take a gander at the file size comparisons below.
The first is a .pptx file with the image inserted directly from Clipart and then saved. The second file used the Save as Picture process above and inserted the new image. Notice any differences in file size? Granted that isn’t gonna break the bank, but think about all the images you put into your e-learning course and how quickly that file size grows to monstrous proportions.
Another great point Tom Kuhlmann advocates is using slide masters as much as possible. To decrease your publishing time, put as many of your assets that you can on slide masters. It makes your publishing speed faster which makes you more efficient and productive.
In my previous job I designed instructional materials for clinicians learning the electronic medical record (EMR), the majority being nurses. We would start classroom training about 8-10 weeks prior to implementation. The switch was flipped and the system went live. During those first few weeks, my team provided on-site support at the hospital, continually making rounds to see if each unit was having any issues with the EMR. Part of this go-live support involved providing a paper job aid that could be carried around in a lab coat pocket.
As you can imagine there is only so much information that can fit on a card that size (approx. 3.5″ wide by 5.5″ tall). One challenge I had while developing a job aid for surgical nurses was the number of screens they had to click through to complete their documentation. I solved the problem by cropping like an Iowa corn farmer and layering the different steps.
Here is a screen shot of part of the final product.
And here is the process I used to create it in Microsoft Publisher.
- I listed the steps with as little text as possible.
- I then took screen shots of all of the separate steps.
- In Photoshop, I started with the first step and pared it down to the bare minimum, put a blue border around it, and added the yellow numbers to correspond with the stepped out list.
- I added a layer on top and put the second screen shot with border and numbers.
- I continued this process, layering the shots on top AND dropping them down so the viewer’s eye naturally flows down the page.
Using this process several times allowed me to put multiple screens of content onto a small pocket-sized job aid.
Here is a short Screenr on how to add that cool flooring look to your e-learning slides.
I ran across this quote from George Lucas a while back. I really like how he describes the Star Wars universe and his role in it.
I am the father of our Star Wars (1977) movie world – the filmed entertainment, the features and now the animated film and television series. And I’m going to do a live-action television series. Those are all things I am very involved in: I set them up and I train the people and I go through them all. I’m the father; that’s my work. Then we have the licensing group, which does the games, toys and books, and all that other stuff. I call that the son – and the son does pretty much what he wants. Then we have the third group, the holy ghost, which is the bloggers and fans. They have created their own world. I worry about the father’s world. The son and holy ghost can go their own way.
Being thrown back into the job hunting market has made me acutely aware of the fact that nobody understands what I do. Methinks it’s time for an intro to my world and what it is I actually do. I do not design software. I do not fix computers. I do not produce marketing materials. And I am not restricted to only working in the industry of my last job (healthcare).
I am an instructional designer. What exactly does that mean? I get a lot of blank stares and misinterpretations about my profession. First question posed to me: So, you are like an architect/interior designer? Half the time it’s architect, the other half it’s interior designer. Not so much. [Read more…] about What the heck is an instructional designer? – Part 1