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Have you ever settled in to design a new project, only to find yourself spending what seemed like hours just staring at a blank slide? Or maybe you’ve started to design a project, only to decide halfway through that it was totally wrong. You’re not alone! Inspiration can elude even the best instructional designers from time to time.

Sometimes inspiration is hard to come by because the course topic is less than thrilling, or maybe you’re just having an off day; whatever the reason, don’t despair. There are plenty of resources available to help you get back on track. In this article, we’ll take a look at six of my favorites.

1. E-Learning Examples

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The e-learning examples hub on E-Learning Heroes is a curated selection of Rise 360 and Storyline 360 demo projects—even entire courses—created by community members and staff. It’s easy to browse thanks to the thumbnail images and descriptive titles. 

2. E-Learning Challenges Hub

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The weekly challenges led by David Anderson are a great source of inspiration. You’ll find a wealth of projects created by members of the community on a wide variety of topics. I recommend bookmarking the link to the full list of challenges for quick access to this endless source of e-learning inspiration.

3. Downloads Hub

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The downloads section of E-Learning Heroes is so much more than just a place to grab free templates. Think of it as a showcase for different design aesthetics. Maybe you like the look and feel of a certain template, but your course doesn’t need a timeline interaction. No matter! Steal that style and make it your own.

And don’t stop at page one of the downloads hub. There are tons of gems hidden in the different categories! Take a moment to browse and I’m sure you’ll find something you can use as a starting point.

4. Weekly Roundups

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Have you noticed that every week on the E-Learning Heroes home page, there’s an article highlighting a bunch of free downloads or e-learning examples? We call these our weekly roundups. Each one centers around a theme, making it easy to find a bunch of downloads or examples on any given topic all in one spot.

5. Browse the Web

When you feel stuck or uninspired, one of the easiest ways to get fresh ideas is to browse for them right from the comfort of your desk chair! Sites like Pinterest and Dribbble are full of graphic design and UI design inspiration. Try a keyword search in Google and then select “Images” to see what comes up.

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A little bit of word association is usually enough to get the ideas flowing again!

6. The World Around You

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If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still stuck, try stepping away from the computer and going for a walk. A 15-minute break can do you good, and who knows what you’ll find along the way! A clever store window display? A stunning skyline? You’d be surprised at what can get those wheels turning.

Having trouble coming up with ideas for learning exercises or activities? Playing a game can help. Seeing how the mechanics of the game come together into a fun experience can inspire fresh ideas you can use in your projects.

Another great source of inspiration? Books. Browse your bookshelves or visit a library or bookstore. Study the book covers that catch your interest. What drew you to that book in particular? Was it the colors? The font? The title? Apply these same principles to your e-learning, and you’ll be engaging your learners in no time.

What about you? What do you do when you’re short on ideas? Share your tips in the comments section. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.