Confused by the overwhelming selection of learning management systems that are available to help you build your online course? Here are the pros and cons of my three favourites…
Have you been toying with the idea of creating an online course? You’re not alone. According to a recent report by IBISWorld, online education grew by an average of 8.5 percent per year between 2015 and 2020 – and that number doesn’t take into account the recent boom in the industry.
Rather than being negatively impacted by COVID-19, e-learning has received a boost from the pandemic. Australians are either taking online courses to upskill and stay relevant during these shifting times or creating them as new business opportunities. So, what are you waiting for? Get that awesome online course out of your brain and onto the internet!
While I’d strongly recommend that you get me to build your online course because I’m a profeshonal, I understand that you might prefer to do it yourself. I can also teach you how to use your preferred online course platform (known in the industry as a “learning management system”) to help you get the most out of it and maximise your returns. Cha-ching!
Not sure which platform to choose? Here’s my review of the three learning management systems I use most…
Teachable is one of most popular platforms because it’s super user-friendly and creates beautiful courses.
I can train you to use Teachable to build your own online course or build it from scratch for you.
LearnDash is an affordable Wordpress plugin that’s a great option for those who already have a Wordpress website.
I can train you on how to use LearnDash or build your course for you.
I LOVE this New Zealand-based company and I want to use their platform more often to create courses for clients.
If you want more information about how I can help you with this amazing platform, drop me a line.
If you want to sell small courses through a sales funnel, this platform by the Catalysis Group could be a great option for you. It allows you to:
Lisa Sparkle ✨
It's safe to say that online education has been unavoidable for most of us during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Children are being homeschooled and face-2-face workshops are now delivered via Zoom. I have to say that I'm excited about this....why? Because when people ask me "what do you do?" I always say "I build online courses for companies and entrepreneurs" but the new response I receive is "Wow you must be busy now!" instead of "hmmm how does that work?".
Firstly, yes. I'm super mega busy right now. I have never been busier and I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled for several reasons. Finally, people understand what I do as a job and a passion. Saying "I create online courses for companies and entrepreneurs" is just the tip of the iceberg. I am helping many companies and people to convert their courses or workshops to online content right now. I'm teaching people to create their courses and how to use platforms like LearnDash and Teachable. I'm urgently editing videos and providing voice overs for not-for-profit organisations so they can keep up their good work within the community. This is just a tiny bit of what's been happening. It's been so wonderful to work with these people for many reasons but mainly because they are super smart...
These super-smart people understand the value of online learning. They are quickly moving their content onto online platforms so they can continue working with their current clients and potentially reach an unlimited amount of national and international customers...as a side bonus!
Speaking of international customers, the majority of my clients did not consider their potential global reach BEFORE COVID-19. It came as a complete shock and absolute delight to these people that they will not only be able to educate their local community but expand their offering far and wide once their workshop or course is online.
Do you want to know The best part? The cost of creating their online course has no bearing on the geographical spread of their content. It works like this:
You see, if a locally delivered face to face course 'goes global' in an offline format, think of the cost that would incur. The course facilitator (or their customer) would need to pay for flights, food, accommodation, resources, etc. That is probably a 15-30k investment, right? An online course has NONE of these costs. If the facilitator wanted to provide a live learning environment for their students they could hold a Zoom class for a few hours - a significant reduction in time compared to the face-2-face overseas travel alternative. This is why online education is our present and future for both convenience and cost.
"The e-learning market in Europe is poised to grow by $24.23 bn during 2020-2024" says the TechNavio report released in May 2020. To people in the e-learning industry, this is not a shock. This is/was inevitable. E-learning or online learning or online education is the fastest and cheapest way to educate. Sure it will never replace (nor should it) classroom learning but it is both a fantastic complement, addition, and alternative. It's one of the best ways to educate adults as it can be delivered in a self-paced environment which is perfect for busy people.
So if you or someone you know has been thinking about converting their offline course into an online one then send them this blog and tell them to book a 15-minute free chat with me.
Director - Sparkle E-Learning
Did you know ~ design of language is critical to creating an online course. Knowing WHO your course is intended for is so important when finding the appropriate tone, language and length of text to use.
By profiling your target audience you are getting into their minds (as much as possible) to learn how they think, react and learn. There is no point providing paragraph after paragraph of text to a tired 30-40 year old parent who has worked all day, dealt with sick kids and then starts YOUR course at 11pm at night. A 2-5 min video plus a summary with numbered actionable steps is going to resonate with them so much more. It will also increase the chances of them actioning those steps. Which is what a course is all about right?!
When designing a course, the most important first step is to know who your audience, paying customers, or students are. Ask yourself these questions....
When you are creating your next course, profile your target audience. It will provide clarity around the language you should use and the words/length of words to avoid.
If you need help in this area, book some time with me. I'm always happy to help :)
Design is something that is very unique to each individual or organisation. Every time I create an online course it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT to every course I've ever created.
Why? Well there are a number of reasons.
So when I came across this blog by Freepik I thought to myself, ooooo let's see what's going to be different for 2020. What can I lean to help my customers?
The two trends that stood out to me were "Movement/Animation and Micro Interaction', and 'Accessibility'. Let me break it down.
Movement/Animation and Micro Interaction
Short cartoons and explainer videos are, as Paris Hilton would say "so hot right now". With software like Toonly creating animations has never been easier and more fun! Check out our little video using Toonly below
These 30 sec videos teach you something quickly and keep you entertained.
They are also perfect for the millennial crowd who are bombarded with information every second of the day and are filtering information at the speed of light.
Honestly, I was shocked to read this as designing for people who are impaired has been ingrained in the e-learning community for many years. It's something we all do!
But what is it you say? design for accessibility is design for impaired people who need assistance using digital devices. This includes, designing graphics and colours that will not hinder a vision impaired persons learning or ensuring content can be read by a screen reader. The list is large but these are a few examples.
I'm so glad that accessibility is now becoming mainstream.
What are your intentions for design in 2020?
Blog 3 of 3 about why staff call in sick
Do your staff know WHY they come to work?
Is it to pay for their next trip to Bali or pay off their excessive mortgage?
As a business owner (and correct me if I’m wrong!) but your sole reason to come to work every day is to do one, some or all the following:
Your staff do not come to your workplace for these same reasons. Sorry, but it’s true.
You need to GIVE them a reason WHY they should come to work. Because paying them is apparently not enough.
Do your staff truly understand the PURPOSE of your organisation?
Do your staff hold a broad VIEW of your organisation’s strategy?
Do your staff CARE about the organisation and provide INNOVATIVE ideas?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you may not have provided the RIGHT kind of professional development to your staff which has caused them to become disengaged and dreaming about their next Bintang
Stay tuned because I'll release 5 ways you can TOTALLY CONTROL these issues.
2 of 3 Blogs on Why Staff Call In Sick
Yep, they are fully sick. And I don’t mean in the cool way.
Your staff are genuinely sick. Colds, flus, stomach bugs etc. You have heard it all!
But do you know what can cause these?
Low immune system and an un-healthy lifestyle.
Do you encourage your staff to look after themselves? YOU DON’T?? Why? Because that’s not your problem, right? WRONG. Mind blown right?
Encouraging your staff to get/stay healthy KEEPS YOU IN BUSINESS!
Healthy people turn up to work every day. They have energy and a clear mind to give their all for YOUR BUSINESS. They make you money, not waste it.
So, do you have a constant flow of sick people in your business?
Does ‘flu season’ roll around 4 times per year?
It is up to YOU to do something about it.
I'm going to share a few tips over the next week about how to keep your staff healthy. But the first thing you need to do is ensure you and your staff are working in a CLEAN ENVIRONMENT.
Here is a great page on healthy offices by Star Express Cleaning.
More information to come so stay tuned!
1 of 3 blogs about why staff call in sick
Are you like the other 159,000,000* people who have searched “Why do staff call in sick?” on Google? *Actual number!
According to Safe Work Australia, WORK-RELATED MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS are a “major concern” in Australian workplaces.
Do you want your staff to join the 7,200 other Australian’s each year claiming workers compensation due to mental health conditions caused in WORKPLACES JUST LIKE YOURS?
I’ll guess your answer is a fat NO.
Major, but COMMON, incidents in workplaces that result in sick days include:
Your staff may smile at you as you walk by their cubical each morning, but they might be EXTREMELY UNHAPPY with their working conditions...on the inside. THEY ARE JUST AFRAID TO TELL YOU.
Think about the staff you currently have in your office. Are any of them taking more sick days than normal? Ask yourself, do they fall into any of the dot point categories above?
Reason 2 of 3 will be posted tomorrow! After that I'll share the 5 ways you can COMBAT these sick days.
Don't you hate it when you have an awesome e-learning built for your company and then a link needs to be changed? Or a policy changes? Or your branding changes? It can be so frustrating!
Sometimes, we are all so busy that we forget to update previous e-learning courses and then WHAM! you get bombarded with emails from learners saying...."the link doesn't work" or worse...."your information is out of date".
Out of date information, old branding and broken links may not be at the top of your priority list but they do make your organisation appear unorganized and unprofessional. *GASP*
Of course you are neither of these things. You are just busy! But we can help you :)
Updating old e-learning courses is one of our specialties.
If you have e-learning files in any of the following authoring tools then we can amend them: Articulate Storyline 360, Lectora and Captivate.
Depending on the nature and size of the changes, the time it will take us to amend the courses for you could start from 1 hour!
For more information on the types of maintenance you should be considering for your e-learning courses, check out this nifty blog post by E-Learning Heros - E-Learning Maintenance Checklist.
As always, we are here to help!
Have you been unlucky enough to read through a PowerPoint presentation or printed learning guide that involved little to zero personal interaction with the content? I sense you are nodding your head furiously.
Would you prefer that same information presented in an engaging and interactive way; where you choose your own adventure through the material and interact WITH the content? I sense your head is still nodding but now you have a smile on your face!
Learning is only enjoyable and satisfying if the content is ENGAGING to the learner. A printed course workbook or boring Power Point slide deck is not engaging...let's be real.
E-learning is the remedy to this common snooze-fest of a situation.
We turn your one dimensional course content into interactive, engaging, colourful online e-learning.
Customised scenarios give your learner ownership over the actions they take within the course. Up to the minute design concepts, videos, audio and clickable/dragable/text entry keep your learners eyes and hands on the course.
With this kind of learning on offer, why are you still providing less engaging (boring) courses for your learner?
Contact Lisa today for a free consultation.
For more information on how interactive e-learning has changed overtime and what we now offer, check out this blog by Articulate.
Have a great day!
The beginning of a new e-learning project gets me very excited. The clean slate. New ideas. Fresh images and colour. Up until recently, choosing colours for e-learning has not been an issue. I chat with the product owner about suitable colours and we come to a conclusion -simple. However, recently not so simple.
A product I recently worked on was particularly insightful in regards to personal preferences for colours. "That green is TOO green", "that yellow looks like baby poo", "I don't like that purple" were some of the comments I received. To be fair, every time a comment was made I agreed with the person making that comment. I would think to myself...."yes Lisa, that shade of yellow does look a bit like baby poo" and so forth. For background, I used the commonly known Jewel Tones colours shown above. What are your thoughts on this shade of yellow?
During this time of colour conversations, I came across a fantastic web page 50 Gorgeous Colour Schemes for Websites. The page is by Visme, a visual learning centre and incredible source for designing online presentations. None of us are perfect and even the most professional designers need fresh ideas sometimes. Their colour schemes page provides collections of colours that create different feelings and impacts for web based products - like e-learning! Have a look and think about the colours that speak to you the most. Texturised and Dynamic is my favourite.
When developing an e-learning (and completing them) colours can make or break the effectiveness of the course. Some colours are too aggressive, some too plain. Some are boring and others too loud. While I do love a bright e-learning that captures the eye, I understand not everyone feels the same as I do. As such, I try to create something the majority of people will be happy with.
What I learned from this experience.
I would love to hear your feedback or experiences with colour and customers.
As always, I am here to build bespoke e-learning for you and your business. Our Services page outlines what we do and how much we do it for. Be bold and train your staff!
Have a lovely Monday.