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.

Karen Wakefield

In addition to those already mentioned.... Freeware Tools: Inkscape Vector Art editor Picture Resizer batch photo resizer Quick Color Picker MS ZoomIt Windows Sound Recorder WebEx Desktop Recorder (free with account) WebEx Desktop Recording Editor and Player (free with account) Active Presenter MS Expression Encoder Screen Capture (a legacy version) Irfanview (image organizing & batch processing) Vyew (free small group web conferencing tool with persistent meeting space) Any-Video-Converter LectureScribe (produce animated whiteboards) Resources: Fonts: FontSquirrel.com Music & Audio: incompetech.com, brainybetty.com, danosongs.com, grsites.com (sound effects) Images and vector art: everystockphoto.com, stockvault.net, stockfreeimages.com, freephotosbank.com, freei... Expand

Tracy Parish
Ashley Chiasson

I wrote a blog post for this submission (http://ashleychiasson.com/blog/e-learning-challenge-whats-in-your-course-design-toolkit/), but if you don't want to read through - here are the resources I'm using: http://articulate.com - Articulate products are my favourite authoring tools. I find myself using Articulate Studio less than Articulate Storyline, however, I still leverage Articulate Studio for developing slick interactions to embed within my Articulate Storyline files. There are a few kinks when going between programs, but I’m seldom disappointed. https://community.articulate.com/discuss - The E-Learning Heroes forum is my favourite resource for industry-related content. There is SO MUCH talent within this forum, and it’s nice to collaboratively learn from one another. This comm... Expand

Jackie Van Nice
Paul Alders
Liz Braden
Karen Wakefield

Thanks everyone for sharing your resources. Paul, that is a lovely template and the flaticons site is fantastic. I want to correct some of the URLs that appear on my prior post. I  did not add them myself; they appeared after I posted. The picture resizer I use is Picture Resizer 6.0 from www.rw-designer.com/picture-resize The color Picker is Quick HTML Color Picker from www.allgraphicstools.com My Microsoft Expression Recorder is version 4, and it is not the same file as what is currently offered at the link. The version 4 is a great screen recorder. (I save legacy version downloads just in case my favorite tools are discontinued or change their freeware status.) We are particularly interested in *simple* free screencasting and  screen capturing tools as an option for SME's to record... Expand

Allison Nederveld