Modern elearning is smart, catering to learners’ individual needs and abilities, and supporting learning from others through social interactions. Elearning is also collaborative, such that learners can provide feedback and you can learn how they use your content. But you can’t get these options from an authoring tool, right?
Well, actually, you can. Elucidat’s authoring tool provides many smart options for relieving production headaches. Here are 10 Elucidat features you may not know about, but which we think are essential.
Bespoke designer meets authoring tool
Having recently joined the Elucidat team, I have to admit that I hadn’t quite realized the full potential of the authoring tool – particularly as someone who’s been used to bespoke learning design for the past 10 years or so. I realize that I’m likely not alone in this, so I’ve constructed a list of 10 things you can do in Elucidat. Some of these will enable you to move well beyond “traditional” elearning, and others are innovations that will allow you to produce top-notch content within seconds.
For learning design wizardry
1. Create adaptive learning experiences
Did you know you can create content that both adapts to a learner’s skill-level and serves up different content based on a learner’s response to questions or or participation in a challenge? You can do the above using Elucidat’s Rules and Links functions. You may want to simply provide an alternative call to action at the end of a topic, based on how a person answers a question at its beginning. Or, you can opt for fully personalized learning experiences that adapt by themselves.
The Rules functions let you set specific conditions, such as scoring less than 60%, or select a specific option on a page. Then, you can decide when to branch learners off (with or without their knowledge) to an alternative piece of content – such as extra help or more practice – that fits their learning level.
This is great for creating microlearning style approaches where one builds competence through involvement in lots of increasingly difficult but discreet challenges. It can even be applied to smart and adaptive learning games. You could also consider quashing misguided thinking by providing challenging stories based on a person’s response to an opinion poll.
2. Tap into gray areas and opinions with social polling
An example from the OU’s Finding the Truth game, powered by Elucidat
Although this feature has been there from the start, it is my favorite because it challenges the long-held view of elearning as stuck in the 10 portion of the 70:20:10 mix.
Just as life isn’t always black and white, neither is learning. In fact, the gray area around subjects is often where we explore, reflect, gain understanding, and make mistakes. It’s an area we often need to travel through to land on an answer – if indeed there is one. Don’t make the mistake of throwing questions into learning content that have a hard true or false, right or wrong angle. This can feel like an “adult-child” or “teacher-pupil” approach, which isn’t very social.
With Elucidat’s Likert Scales, you can create social polling and take a more inclusive, reflective, and conversational approach to adult learning. Ask learners for their opinions – about a statement, story, video, news clip, etc., show them what other learners think using the automatic results visualization, and, optionally, include an expert’s view. This in itself could be your digital design model – you could use one poll per week in your learning campaigns.
Polling is an incredibly powerful way to challenge and change opinion. Read more about the psychology behind it.
3. Data mine for better results, project by project
Elucidat’s built-in Analytics provides data that is gold dust for learning providers and designers. Whether you’re using an LMS or not, Analytics provides data visualization to show where learners are, what devices they have used, how long they have spent in the learning, as well as how they have answered questions. These help you track trends across the board. For example, is there a split between how leaders and other learners answer a crucial poll about company values? Do you need to do more to engage learners in France? Is content performing better on mobiles than desktops, and what might that mean for your next design?
4. Create scrumptious scrolling pages
Elucidat’s Layout Designer can help you lay out your pages however you want. Something that can certainly be missed about this option is that you can easily create fantastic scrolling pages instead of spreading content across many pages.
While some organizations view scrolling pages as the way to present content, we would argue that it works better for certain content over others. For process diagrams, writings about “10 steps to X”, stories, or interactive scenarios that build as you go, a scrolling page is the best choice for a cohesive experience. It can also be great for creating one-page performance support tips and tricks that learners can access on the job.
5. Build animations within the tool
Elucidat enables you to add animation effects to content within the tool itself. Why does this matter? Well, it means you don’t have to create animations separately and then drop them in like you would for a video. It also means you can add some nice effects to those scrolling page builds for a start. So try out these two built-in features to see what you can do:
Time limits – for short, attention-grabber style animations that build automatically.
See the Timer support guide for more.
Animation controls – for extra control over your animation designs (they pop up in the edit panel).
Innovations that make your life easier
If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, here’s some more fodder for your elearning creations.
6. Use Elucidat as a video platform – simple as
Elucidat allows you to handle video and animation in two ways: by uploading it into the video library where it will be processed for multi-devices, OR by embedding existing content using services such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Brightcove.
This isn’t where it ends though. Our video player for third party applications is based on an iframe, but you can also plug other types of media in to website content, from interactive videos from Wirewax to 3D simulations. You can also add in subtitles or create branching video scenarios, and more.
As such, you don’t have to put “elearning” in one place, and videos and animations in another. Also, if you want smart analytics on your video or animation content, or you want to use a social poll, dropping it straight into Elucidat makes a lot of sense.
See our video support page for help.
7. Apply a change to multiple courses in one place
We get that content sometimes needs to vary for different audiences, locations, and certainly, languages. Through Master Courses, you can make a change to a piece of content in one place, and it will automatically deploy to all your versions. This goes for changes to styles, colors, content, and more. If you don’t want a change to go global, simply select the “only this course” option.
This tool is really simple to use, as you’ll see in our Master Courses support guide.
Look out for our upcoming Variations Manager for even more advanced, smart controls that deal with this production pain-point.
8. “Listen” to the learner via text input
With our Clips feature, you can save time gathering learners’ feedback by requesting for it directly. You can, however, also involve them in the learning and development experience, in that way making the process feel more two-way.
Our clips feature enables you to capture user-generated inputs. You can thus capture what someone said for later replay during the course. You could save things such as their name, their personal performance targets, or the areas they said they struggled with. Elucidat also records their responses to questions, including opinion polls, allowing you to combine this with data you’ve previously captured, about, say, their targets. All this info would enable you to recommend targeted next steps.
Lastly, you can use the feature to elicit feedback on the learning experience and save it as part of your Analytics data. For example, why not capture their thoughts regarding areas for improvement?
9. Create your own layouts, and re-use them in all your projects
Here’s a chance to up the ROI for your creative efforts. When you create your very own layout using Elucidat’s Layout Designer, you can choose to use it for just that instance or across all instances of that page-type. You can also save it as your personalized layout to use for multiple projects.
When adding a new page, choose one of your own or a ready-made option
Why is this such a great option? If you set up a game-like page that presents a video, scores people based on their response, and compares their answers with one-another, chances are you’ll have a need for it again. Equally, if you invest time setting up a branching, non-linear structure, you might want to use it again, though perhaps in a completely different context. Or, it might be that you create a visual menu to re-use for a whole suit of performance support articles.
10. Upload your own fonts
This is a seemingly simple one to end with, but it is one that many perhaps do not know about yet. We know that branding matters, including your ability to create sub-brands for different projects and audiences.
Here you can upload your own fonts and apply them across multiple projects. The same goes for branding and styles. However, you can also decide whether to apply them to all projects, or tailor and tweak both the look and feel for different projects. You’re in control, or, at least, your branding department can be!
How do you do this? Go to Themes/Styles, and then the edit style options.
Take a look at the Styles support guide to find out more.
As one who has always first designed a learning strategy and then sought the technology to best support that strategy, I maintain that technology is only ever as good as what you do with it. You need to begin with a vision.
At the risk of sounding preachy about the many amazing features of Elucidat, I hope that the above list ignites a little fire in your imagination regarding what’s possible. I also hope that this post expands what we mean by “elearning” – particularly via authoring tools. There is no reason for in-house teams to feel held back or disempowered because there’s a ton you can do with smart modern tools.
If you’d like support in shaping your designs, would like some coaching, or want to see demos of what can be done to meet different performance goals, we’re here to help. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to switch to Elucidat? Start your 14-day full-access trial today.
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