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This content is taken from the The University of Nottingham's online course, Designing E-Learning for Health. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds In this presentation, I’ll take you through some key points and tips to help you get started with creating your e-learning resource. When we refer to tools, we really mean any way by which you can create a shareable, digital resource. There are many different tools available for creating e-learning resources. And we don’t endorse any one brand or product over another. What you use is your personal preference and is likely to be determined by the tools, apps, software, and kit you currently have available or are familiar with. It’s likely that you’ll own or have access to a mobile phone, a tablet, laptop, desktop PC, or even a digital camera.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds With these devices becoming more accessible, it’s possible for just about anyone to create an exciting and engaging e-learning resource. This is only limited by your imagination and creativity. Here are some examples for you to consider. You may have decided to create a video for your e-learning resource. Video is a great way to provide an illustration. Many of us own mobiles, webcams, or digital cameras, and these are generally good enough. Video is a really effective way to give instructions, for example, how to assemble a piece of furniture. Video can be used for recording webinars, lectures, presentations, or demonstrations. But videos are often let down by poor quality sound and poor lighting.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds You can get the most out of your camera and microphone by choosing an appropriate environment to record in. Unless you’re creating a silent film, sound is likely to be a key element of your video. It’s important to get the clearest recording you can. Low picture quality is more forgivable if the sound that companies it is clear, especially with voice. To allow the mic to pick up the sound, ensure its position is close enough to pick up the sound source, but not so close that it distorts. It may take some trial to get the best setting. Make a test recording to assess the quality before committing to that Oscar-winning performance. The environment can make a huge difference.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 seconds Ensure there is no distracting background noise. It is always advisable to provide a transcript for accessibility.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds Positioning the microphone is difficult when using a mobile, as it’s fixed to the camera. If possible, use a separate microphone. One cheap option is to use the microphone built into the headphones. There are some great videos online showing you how to do this. Video lighting can be more complex than just switching some lights on. But crudely speaking, more light is usually better. Mobiles don’t like working in low light. And images can appear grainy if it’s too dark. Film with the light, not against it. If you’re in a building, switch the lights on and make the best of the natural light available to you from the windows and doors. When filming on mobile, make sure you’re filming in landscape mode.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 seconds This will make sure your video fits the screen. Hold the camera steady. If you don’t have something you can amount it to, adopt a stance that allows you to grip the camera still. Tucking your elbows in to brace yourself can help. Sharing your videos is simple, and one option is to use a YouTube channel. Firstly, you must create an account, which is free. Once set up, it’s possible to create a channel to edit and share your videos. You can even add annotations, links, subtitles, and transcriptions to video using the tools online. Learners can comment and discuss the subject or link to other useful resources alongside your video.

Skip to 3 minutes and 34 seconds Your e-learning resource is likely to be made up of text, images, and some kind of interactivity, such as a quiz. Here are some pieces of software that allow you to turn your specification into something shareable. PowerPoint is good for anyone just starting out. Strictly speaking, it’s not an authoring tool, as it was originally designed as presentation software. It’s probably one the most ubiquitous tools in learning and is loved and loathed in equal measure. Whether you like it or not, it’s available the world over, across multiple platforms, including mobile devices and is capable of creating and outputting a variety of formats. It’s easily shareable, and free version, such as Google Slides, allow you to create slides in collaboration with others online.

Skip to 4 minutes and 15 seconds It’s capable of creating animation, video, and allowing functioning Excel worksheets for calculations. You can also record narration to accompany your slides. It is possible to be really creative using just these simple functions alone. It’s also a great way to demonstrate a sketch for your ideas with developers. It’s how we created this video. Many people choose this option, as they already have familiarity with the software, which makes the creative process a little less stifling. PowerPoint does have some limitations, such as not being able to output directly as a web-based format. However, there is software, such as Articulate Storyline, which is capable of integrating with it and converting your slides into a web-based format, which we’ll look at next.

Skip to 4 minutes and 57 seconds Storyline is presentation-based software that allows you to create interactive, e-learning resources from simple templates, but also to import content from PowerPoint. It is very similar to constructing PowerPoint slides and comes with useful templates to aid development. Although it has simple design tools and templates available, it is possible to create e-learning content from the ground up, using development tools. For example, it’s capable of creating software simulations. You can read more about this on their website. And it’s possible to try the software free for 30 days. Xerte is a fully featured e-learning development environment and similar to a presentation-based software that allows you to create interactive content from simple templates. It was developed here at the University of Nottingham.

Skip to 5 minutes and 40 seconds Xerte allows you to create rich interactivity and is aimed at developers who want to create sophisticated content. Xerte is good for the technical and non-technical user and allows the user scripting to make it a very flexible tool indeed. What’s even better is it’s free. So how do you get your finished e-learning resource to your learners? There are many ways you can share, dependent on your situation. And again, sharing your experience with others may offer some options you haven’t considered. Cloud or web-based sites make your materials accessible to a worldwide audience. It’s also possible to share your e-learning resource locally, for example, within your own organisation or on your organisation’s virtual learning environment.

Skip to 6 minutes and 19 seconds The use of social media for sharing your e-learning resource is not only a really effective way to disseminate information, but also allows learners to collaborate. This engages learners with active learning and shifts the focus to put their interest first. This can heighten understanding of a subject and help the learner to remember what they’ve learned.

Examples of tools and tips

Please take a moment to view the above video.

In the video we share a few tips, tools and methods we know of. Hopefully we can inspire you to turn your ideas into a reality, regardless of your skills or your budget. Many of the tools, apps, software and kit you already own can turn your specification into an E-Learning resource.

After watching the video, think about the following questions.

  • Which tools, that you already own, can turn your specification into an E-Learning resource?
  • How will you author and share your E-Learning resource?


Further examples of tips and tools are available in the Resource Bank. You will need to scroll down to Week 5 Quality and Creation

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This video is from the free online course:

Designing E-Learning for Health

The University of Nottingham