Show, Don’t Tell

In the e-learning world, we’re always talking about presenting subject matter to learners in a more exciting, engaging way rather than just telling them about it. But when it comes to explaining to potential clients what we do, we don’t always practice what we preach.

In this week’s e-learning challenge, David Anderson asked us to create an interactive portfolio or resume, so I got to work. I actually already had created a beautiful image of a parrot in flight over a rain forest, and I thought that would be a great image to illustrate creative impulses taking flight.

Click here to view portfolio

Click here to view portfolio

Choosing Colors
I’ve always found the whole business of choosing a palette of colors most challenging. To help with this, I used the eyedropper tool in Storyline, clicking on different parts of the bird and trees in the background picture to get my colors for the menu items and then added a 50% transparency for depth. For the Storyline Player, I used the light blue color of the bird’s feathers.

Ay Kalimba!
I’m a musician, and a couple years back I had recorded a CD of all original kalimba music. Since kalimbas are often made and played in tropical places, I knew a little sample from one of the songs would work just perfectly with the theme.

My Kalimba music CD

My Kalimba music CD

A lot of people are afraid to use more exotic images in their e-learning courses because they’re worried their corporate clients will want a more buttoned-down professional look. But I think those concerns are not only given too much weight, but also can lead to some pretty stuffy, uninspired e-learning modules.

The Lay of the Land
I broke up my work into two columns: one that focused on the type of subject matter (software, ethics, safety, regulatory) and the other on the type of interaction (games, humorous interactions, simulations, branching scenarios).

The Menu

The Menu

When they clicked on one, they could read a little explanation about why and how I did it or they could just skip right to playing the sample itself (the “show” part).

Description and link to view sample

Description and link to view sample

For anyone who wanted to see my resume, what software I used, or my blog, they could find those links on the upper right of the Player. And finally, on the bottom of the menu I had a link to a easy-to-complete contact form if they wanted to talk to me about working on a project.

I hope my experience in creating this different sort of portfolio inspires you to stretch out and get a little more imaginative. I know it’s work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be any fun.

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