This week, David decided us to dole out an easy challenge; I was initially going to develop an interaction-based submission, but it’s not required and I’ve been experiencing a heavy work-week. I will assure you that my recommendations will be just as functional in text as they would have been as interactions. This week’s blog post will be a bit different in that it won’t include the method, just the concept and result.
Share my favourite tools that help make course design easier. There are a lot of tools out there and it’s really up to you which tools you choose to make your course design easier, but I have attempted to compile a list of tools that make me curse a lot less (while working), and I hope they might help you curse less too!
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.
http://community.articulate.com/forums/ – 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 community is like an extended family, and everyone is so positive and eager to help. I consult this resource whenever I have a general instructional design, e-learning, or Articulate product query. The responses are quick and the expertise is phenomenal!
http://colourlovers.com – COLOURlovers is my favourite resource for colour picking because it allows me to visualize colours in palette and pattern situations. As someone who isn’t super creative, this is HUGE for me! I will say that I find it odd the domain spells ‘colour’ with a ‘u’, yet they refer to colours as ‘color’ without a ‘u’ throughout the site – even looking at it spelled that way is weirding me out!
http://adobe.com – There are several Adobe programs I use on a regular basis, namely Captivate and Photoshop. Captivate I use less and less with the emergence of Articulate Storyline; however, I still find myself using Captivate for text-to-speech exports. Photoshop I use whenever I need to manipulate or create images; I only have one license for it, so I seldom use it within my Articulate development, as I need to dual-boot into Windows OS for Articulate use, and my Photoshop license is for Mac OS.
http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html – SnagIt was first introduced to me within my first Instructional Design role, and I was smitten! Why? Because it is such a user-friendly tool for creating screen captures, recordings, and editing. I found SnagIt particularly useful when liaising with Subject Matter Experts (SME) off-site, as I could easily highlight areas I was discussing and copy them into emails, without being burdened by including the image as an attachment.
http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html – I love Camtasia so much that I purchased a Windows AND Mac OS license. I use Camtasia primarily for creating screencasts and editing video files; it’s just as user-friendly as SnagIt (both products developed by tech smith, so makes sense), and it creates high-quality video files.
http://dropbox.com – I use dropbox for filesharing.
http://drive.google.com – Google Drive is great for filesharing AND collaborative working. Un-drive-related – I also leverage google for my primary email provider and Google Hangouts.
http://skype.com – I use Skype for communicating with colleagues and clients; it’s free and I can screenshare.
http://wordpress.com – WordPress is my website platform of choice; I support any movement to a self-hosted site using WordPress, and know many designers and developers if you need assistance. There are tons of themes available, and a TON of customization options.
http://pinterest.com – Pinterest is great for inspiration, from personal interests like finding the best tutorial for rockabilly hairstyles to professional interests like sourcing free fonts or locating templates or tutorials for your e-learning products.
http://creativemarket.com – I use creative market SO MUCH! They release weekly freebies, which are amazing, because nothing is free anymore, and you can purchase nearly anything (icons/stock images/templates) for reasonable prices.
http://fetchsoftworks.com – Fetch is my FTP client of choose because it’s been more reliable than others for me, annnnnd…I’m a dog owner. Appropriate, no?
I’ll add to this list as things change, so stay tuned!