eLearning Prototyping for Beginners on a Budget

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Say, you don’t have the resources to design your next eLearning prototype, like: time to learn graphics software, money to buy images, or a multimedia team to create graphics for you.  You can create a prototype for your eLearning very easily and for free!

As long as you have: the internet, Microsoft PowerPoint, and a little imagination, you can create a slick looking prototype for your eLearning course.

You will get started on your eLearning prototype (I hope!), after you have created a project plan document, identified the instructional goals for the learning, conducted thorough analysis, written your performance objectives, developed any assessment tools, finished the creation of a storyboard, and at some point created a log of your clients’ wishes.

You probably developed your storyboard in Microsoft Word, but maybe you have not added images yet. There are a few places to get free image sources online or in some cases you can get them through PowerPoint, or create them in PowerPoint.

In one of my prototype projects, I created a background for the eLearning in PowerPoint.  My eLearning theme is a classroom environment.  I used a plain blue background as classroom walls, and I created a floor with a rectangular shape, with wood texture added.  I simply used the same background on every slide, and then added classroom elements according to each screen’s detail on the storyboard.

background

Prototypes can either be functioning, or they can be more of a plan or layout of what should work. You should make sure the eLearning software that you are going to be using will support all of your prototype’s functions.

Intro

As you can see in the image above on the classroom background, I added a chalkboard, a question mark chalk image, and a different font for the chalkboard.  All of the images were free for use.

Clipboard

Welcome

The image above of the clipboard has a blank space for where the box for a text input field would be.  I planned on creating the eLearning in Captivate, after creating the prototype in PowerPoint.  I knew that Captivate has boxes for text input fields, so it was all right to add the box. I also knew I could add advanced actions to the text input field and a text field. On the slide with professor Mary after the learner entered their name, the space after “Hi,      ” would populate what the learner entered in text input field on the clipboard.

eLearning Tip:  I already tested my eLearning, and knew it would work before I prototyped. Make sure you know the eLearning you are creating will work on your audiences’ computers or mobile devices. Test first!

The articulate community has great downloads for your next project: http://community.articulate.com/

(I got my chalk board, my photo frames, and my clipboard from there!)

eLearning Art has some characters and backgrounds that you can use in your eLearning: http://www.elearningart.com

There are many other blog-posts with resources for images to create eLearning, here are a few: http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/296752/30-Incredibly-Useful-Tools-Resources-for-eLearning-Professionals

http://www.damnyouartschool.com/communication.html

– Melissa.

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