What’s In Your Course Design Toolkit? #35

E-Learning Toolkit #35: Challenge | Recap

In a recent workshop someone asked a question about my favorite tools and resources. I replied that I would pull some forum conversations together for her where folks shared their favorite tools. Easy, right?

What do you use, Mr. David?” she asked. Evidently this wasn’t going to be a simple handoff. She explained that what she wanted was a personal recommendation of tools from me. And I get that.

As members of this community, you guys are looked at as trusted sources. You come together in this community but each of you has your own trusted network that you look to you as experts. Anyone can do a search for “Free design tools” or “free writing tools” and find thousands of recommendations. But to the person who looks to you as a trusted source, the only list that matters is the list you share.

Curation is personal. And that’s what this week’s challenge is all about.

Challenge of the week

This week your challenge is to share your favorite, free tools that make your course design easier.

Answer the following questions for each tool you share:

  1. What’s your favorite free tool?
  2. Why is it your favorite?

I know some of you will use this challenge to build out some really neat interactions and that’s great. But you don’t have to. You can skate through this challenge by sharing a short list of your favorite tools and how you use them.

Use the comments below to include your tools or post the list on your own blog. If you post on your blog, be sure to include a link to your post in the comments below.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Color pickers and schemes
  • Image editors (online or desktop)
  • Free storyboarding tools
  • Utilities and production tools
  • Lorem Ipsum text generators
  • Writing and editing tools

Last week’s challenge

Before you begin this week’s challenge, take a look at the instructional design activities your fellow community members shared in last week’s challenge:

More about the e-learning  challenges:

The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. We’ll feature your work and provide feedback if you request it.

Wishing you a productive week, E-Learning Heroes!

Even if you’re using a trial version of Studio ’13 or Storyline, you can absolutely publish your challenge files. Just sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial, and have at it. And remember to post your questions and comments in the forums; we're here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

79 Comments
Stephanie Mahoney
Eileen Cushing-Craig
Stephanie Mahoney
Dana Dutiel
Mary Cropp
Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

K...made TOO many after 5" so I'm stopping now. Not sure I could get anything "pretty" done, and wanted to share some of my favorites that really help my workflow, so here it is in all its "unpretty" form: ORGANIZING Evernote: https://evernote.com/ and/or Google Drive https://www.google.com/drive/index.html How I use: Notebooks with text, images, links; content is synced so always available WRITING http://thesaurus.com/ http://onelook.com/ How I use: Thesaurus: as expected synonyms and antonyms OneLook: type in a word and get links to a large number of dictionaries Also use these to hear pronunciations PROOFING Free Natural Reader: http://www.naturalreaders.com/ In Microsoft Word the "Speak selected text" tool How I use: Listening to my written content ... Expand

Allison Nederveld

oooohhhhhh I am really looking forward to everyone's cool tools. I just played around with the samples on Quandry for a ridiculous amount of time. And the Pattern Library is so cool! Like several folks, I also love Audacity. My newest fave site for color inspiration is Design Seeds (http://design-seeds.com) My team has a subscription to eLearning Brothers, which is a great paid resource, but I also find myself using a lot of free resources for images and sounds to supplement that. I wrote a blog post not long ago about copyright and had a great list of sites including: creative commons (search.creativecommons.org) wikimedia commons (commons.wikimedia.org/.../Main_Page) the internet archive (https://archive.org/index.php) There's also a little tip in there for using Google images... Expand

Alicia Durham
Debbie Richards
Jeff Kortenbosch

So what is in my Superhero toolbox... http://office.live.com The new free online version of Microsoft office. So much better than Google docs. I mostly use Word as I've got a paid version of MS office 2010 but it the ease of use of the new online office, connected to my Microsoft OneDrive really makes it easy to create, edit, store, print and share my documents when and wherever I need. http://www.dropbox.com What can I say, my professional life is in my dropbox. My software, my administration,sSource files. It's all safely tucked away in my dropbox. My computer can crash a gazillion times (as windows machines do) all I need to do is install my dropbox client, leave on my pc for the night and I'm good to go! http://www.bufferapp.com Social media/marketing tool that all... Expand

Scott Lindstrom
Gemma Henderson