E-learning course, explaining IT terms

Sep 05, 2018


How to visualize "software" IT terms like host, DNS, firewall, protocol etc. ? 

We are planning an e-learning module for our field service technicians on the LAN, communication and IT topic. The main goal is to learn the tech an effective way of faultfinding. Then they need to know some basic expressions like IP, host, DNS, firewall, protocol etc. I am struggling to find a good way to visualize these terms which is not directly linked to a hardware module.

Anyone who can share some ideas or samples?

For the more "hardware" related part, like router, cables etc., I plan to use a network drawing where the user can move around and zoom in to reveal information about each parts of the network.


4 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi Espen!

That's a great question! Thanks for posting it here in the E-Learning Heroes community. What I do personally when I'm struggling to come up with a visual / icon / photo / graphic to represent something is I go to a search engine and I do an Images search of some key words. For example, if I check out the images related with the words "IT Hosting" I see a lot of server rooms and big server machines. That might be good imagery to go with. When I look at images related to "IT firewall" I see all kinds of images and visuals that represent that as well. Hopefully this can help get your ideas going and then you can use Content Library to search for the visuals you can use in your course. Remember there's icons, illustrations, and more available in Storyline. 

Mark Shepherd


Hi Espen:

This may sound on-the-nose, but why not download a trial version of Microsoft Visio?

Visio is a diagramming software tool that has loads of drag-and-drop shapes you can quickly and easily add, position, re-size and tweak to your heart's content.  Then you can save it to a standard format, or export it to Word, PowerPoint, or PDF for Printing.

Visio's Networking Diagram Stencils contain loads of shapes that specifically visualize most of the terms you are looking for, such as Servers, Hosts, Clouds, Firewalls, and other Networking and Hardware/Equipment such as PC terminals, and as such, should help you to construct a pretty decent looking prototype of the kind of image you want to build for your project.

The only caveat is, I think the Networking Diagram Stencils and their features are found only in Professional Versions of Visio, NOT the Standard one, so be mindful of this! ;)

Here's a link to a Trial PRO Version of Visio 2013 via Office 365:


You may be able to download Visio Pro Trials using other links or methods, but if you are already signed up for an Office 365 subscription, this might be the easiest way to do it.

Failing that, sketch out some ideas on paper and then brainstorm it with a graphics person on your staff if you have a resource available, and put their creative genius to work(!)

PS: Animations will likely require extra work. I am doubtful that Visio can help you with this part, but you will definitely need an on-staff graphics resource (animator) to help you with making your images move and potentially interact. 

The Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) Suite has loads of great tools to help accomplish this.

Hope this helps!



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