Beginner e-learner developer looking for help

Feb 18, 2013

Greatings All,

I am relatively new to the world of e-learning and have been trying to develop my first course for my company.  The problem is, I think I am going all over the place and do not have a sense of fluidity to it.  Would someone, anyone out there be able to take a look at my course and be able to help me out with some ideas and concepts with aesthetics as well as trying to best use articulate to my full advantage?  Thanks a million for anyone that is able to help me out in advanced!

31 Replies
Rob Veech

Daniel:  I just uploaded my course on dropbox.  I simply added it to the platform.  As i am very new to this and have no experience with sharing files this way either, would you be able to please email me to discuss further how i can make this course visible to others so i can receive help?


Rob Veech

Good Afternoon Articulate Community:

Please find below the link that will take you to my "first" e-learning course.  Please give me as much feedback as possible (good or bad).  I know this is my first time and that this is not going to be the greatest course ever (not yet at least), but definitely want to make it as good as i can.  If you can give me tips, ideas, tools, demos, anything at all i will be forever grateful.  

Also, please note that the first few pages have voice over only.  i am working on getting the rest of it ready.  

Thank you all again! 

Phil Mayor

Hi Rob, thanks for posting it is always a brave person who asks to be criticised.

I have had a look, I must admit to not going all the way through.

My first thoughts are that the font size needs to increase on the whole project, I try to ensure I do not go below size 16 if possible.

The initial voiceover talks about excitement and adventure is it possible to carry this across into the visuals?  Or are you confined to a corporate template.

The audio does not appear to reinforce the visuals, I seem to get lost because I do not know what the appearing text or objects relate to.

There is also a lot of oddness going on where your objects have selected states and I am not sure why, perjhaps the audio that is missing will explain that.

Not sure how many fonts you have used but the serif font looks strange, also your colour scheme seems a bit random.

I think overall it looks too much like a powerpoint deck, at the moment.

For some quick wins, I would put less on the slides and try and get some imagery and visuals in that relate to the course, sort out a colour scheme, refine the menu.

Not trying to be overly critical and i have only viewed 15 slides, it just needs to be more engaging


Tim Slade

Hi Rob,

Adding onto everything Phil mentioned, I'd agree that it looks very PowerPoint-ish. You mentioned that you are new to eLearning, which would explain this. I remember when I first started with eLearning, especially is Articulate Studio (where you actually build the courses in PowerPoint), I had a hard time getting rid of my PowerPoint mindset and switch to an eLearning mindset. I don't want to reiterate Phil's one thing I noticed was the menu. It's very long and repetitive. If possible, I'd only show one menu title for each topic. That way they don't repeat. I hope that makes sense.

In terms of improving your design skills, I'd take some time looking thorugh the blog posts here or looking at other courses to see how they are designed. Also, if you're realy serious about improving your slides, check out Nancy Duarte's book: Slideology. It's my bible.

Good luck!


Daniel Brigham


I like your basic template, pretty clean. The graphic design chops will come in time. Like everything it just takes a lot of practice.


1. Liked the sound of your voiceover person.

2. Enjoyed the fly in slide transition, but then it got a bit distracting.

3. Put in a seekbar so learners can see how long the slide is, and just as importantly be able to pause the slide.

4. Use bigger visuals, especially of your scenario characters. "Don't be a wimp" as Robin Williams, the designer would say.

5. Use as little text on-screen as you can. You know, if it's a slide that has VO.

6. On the project lifecycle slide: send your orange connecting boxes to the back. They should be behind the other objects I believe.

7. Have a few other basic slide looks that complement the basic white slide you are using. You are going to need some contract. I'd experiment with black and white to start--e.g. half slide black (maybe put text there) and then other have an image. Take a few hours and play around. It'll come.

Thanks for posting.--Daniel

Brenda Heilman

Hi Rob!  Wow, that's a pretty large project for you first work of art!  I LOVE your voice over and agree with all the other comments above, espeically those 3 resources suggestions from Phil (way to go Phil!).  I haven't made it all the way through the project, but wanted to share a couple of slide-specific thoughts I had while viewing the first section.

The Four Steps slide:  I didn't understand the 'visualize' squares animating in...there are 5 of them.  They didn't seem to fit with either the text or the voice over--maybe they would be understood by your audience?  As I listened to the voice, I pictured an image of each 'day' swooping onto the slide, then swooping out to make room for the next one...might be a great use of animations and/or layers.  I've found that a picture really is worth more than a 1,000 words...even if it's just a 'smart art' graphic saved as an image...I can see that working well for your Four Simple Steps.  You could even make it an interactive graphic with hover states, etc to reduce the amount of text on your screen all at once.  White space is our FRIEND! 

The first Basics slide:  this might be because I'm not familiar with the topic (not even a little bit!), but I was distracted by the stuff on the slide, trying to figure out how it and the audio fit together.  They didn't seem to be from the same topic?  The audio speaks of 4 simple processes, but the slide images don't appear to reflect any of them?  Could be another opportunity to use some animations for each of the 4 principles?

The second Basics slide:  perhaps you could use a button set to show/hide each of the defintions?  It's a really 'light' form of interactivity, but at least gets your learners involved a litte.  There's plenty of other options here, too.

The 3rd Basics slide:  I can picture this slide beginning with an 'overall' image of the process, then use zoom regions to draw attention to each one; or a 'selected' state & button set; go 'big' with the first initial of each proces group to emphasize the I, P, E, C, C idea.

Another general idea:  change the color of the orange bar on your slides, depending on what section/module you're some idea of where the learner is in the course.

Not sure if this specific feedback is what you're looking for?  If so, let me know.  If not, just tell me to be quiet!  :)

You show a lot of promise and will one day be great!  Keep reading and digging through these forums--what an awesome free resource!

Rob Veech


I thank you very much for your specific detailed advice!  I have actually been playing around with the first module since I have received feedback from the first person.  Within the next week or so, i plan on re-posting the new link with the updated version of my course.  I will not have the updated or expanded voice over, but will have more animations/interactions/and general changes to my overall slides.  

I would like to thank everyone so far for their feedback to my post and i look forward to keeping in touch and trying to make this course awesome.  If you anyone has more specific information or would like to reach out to me directly instead of on this blog, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email @

Thanks again!

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