Instructional design ideas for a technical course

Hi, I am creating a course on Microsoft Excel for managers. This course is going to be quite technical as it will cover spreadsheet modeling concepts. I will include many screen caps and examples but am afraid there will be fair amount to text to glance through as well. How can I make the course look professional as well as engaging at the same time?

I saw this excellent elearning course on the forum

It has got me wondering how I can make my course look interesting enough. Any pointers, suggestions, examples are most welcome.



9 Replies
Melanie Sobie

Have you looked at Microsoft's website?  Where I work we are getting ready to migrate from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2010 programs and we were amazed at all the free training resources that were available on the Microsoft website. They have many training resouces that can be downloaded. Not sure what is there for Excel, I haven't looked at that program much, but it might be worth a look there to get resources or ideas.

david stokes

To add to Phil and Melanie's comments above, you could use Camtasia or captivate to capture the live Excel screens, then embed those as Flash movies into Articulate? If the course is lengthy, suggest breaking it down into short logical sections and perhaps link into some of the MS Excel resources that Melanie suggested? Throw in a few questions/quizzes to keep it engaging :o)

Natalia Mueller

Sid, have you taken a look at the free templates on the community download tab? I think they're all still customizable so you may find one that's a good jumping off point or at least get some ideas flowing. I also like to use kuler which is a free adobe site for creating color schemes. When you create or find a scheme you like, it will give you the RGB of each color that you can plug into

Gina Hoekstra

When I was looking for computer"y" images, I got a lot of good ones simply in Microsoft PowerPoint Clipart (by going to and searching under "technology". I found many great images that could be used as backgrounds for slides or cutting up to make side bars...The closest font that resembles the Microsoft logo itself is called Helvetica (bolded and italicized). I even like a couple of the PowerPoint templates that come with 2010 for a "techy" feel (my personal fave right now is "Slipstream"

Sid Gordon

Natalia and Gina..thanks you both (pretty ladies) for the fabulous ideas. The great thing is that I was really lost a couple of days back and today I have so many ideas to explore..thanks to this community.. 

I really like the kuler idea and the Microsoft Cliparts idea. I'm gonna check them out right away..also heading towards the community download tab for some more adventure..wohoo