Without color, the world would be bland and boring shades of gray. Color has the power to calm us, to put us on high alert, and to get us in touch with nature. It also allows us to convey certain emotions in our eLearning course design. In this eLearning color guide, I’ll explore the psychological significance of each color, so that you can evoke the right emotion in your online learners.
The eLearning Color Guide: How To Evoke The RIGHT Emotion

As Georgia O’Keeffe once said: “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” Color can stir emotions and hold deeper meanings. This is why it such a powerful tool in eLearning course design. However, it’s crucial to choose the right color palette in order to trigger the desired emotion. You don’t want to shock your online learners with bright and bold hues if the goal is make them feel relaxed. When selecting your eLearning course colors, consider their hidden meanings and uses, all explained in this eLearning color guide.

It’s refreshing, energetic, and sparks creativity. Orange is the ideal color for eLearning courses that need a bit of adventure and excitement while still retaining a professional atmosphere, such as compliance online training courses. Thanks to citrus fruits, it also symbolizes health and rejuvenation. As a result, online learners tend to feel safe and secure when orange is in the picture. Be careful when using this color in large quantities, however, and make sure that the subject matter is in line with its youthful and casual connotation.
The color of peace, calm, and serenity. Blue is the shade of the sky, crystal clear seas, and other elements of nature that trigger a sense of tranquility. It’s ideally suited for eLearning courses that may be more stressful, as it helps to soothe online learners so that they are able to focus on the subject matter. For example, online learners who are exposed to the color blue just before an eLearning assessment may achieve higher scores, due to the fact that they are in a calmer state of mind. In some cases, blue can even signify loyalty, reliability, and authority. However, some may view this color as being cold and depressing. So, be sure to select a shade that features warmer tones if you want to stay upbeat.
Optimism, happiness, and energy perfectly sum up this joyful color. It also signifies intelligence and mental focus. Yellow is a good choice for eLearning courses that need to be more upbeat or friendly, such as eLearning modules that deal with dry and dull subject matter. It catches the online learner attention, without being alarming, and can even seem playful at times, depending on the shade. Just make sure that you use yellow sparingly, as it may overwhelm online learners and distract them from the key takeaways.
The color of urgency, passion, and excitement. Red is sure to catch the eye, but it can also put some online learners on edge. This color is great for eLearning navigation icons, must-read instructions, and other elements of your eLearning course that need to be noticed immediately. It’s definitely bold and vibrant. Therefore, you should use it strategically and only when online learners need to take notice NOW. Bear in mind that many perceive red as the color of anger and frustration. These are two emotions that you want to avoid at all costs, since knowledge retention is tied to favorable eLearning experiences.
Brown is often associated with nature, simplicity, and honesty. It doesn’t have a big wow factor, but that’s what makes it so dependable and reliable. In fact, many people perceive brown as being grounded and organized. This color is ideally suited for eLearning courses that are simple and straightforward, as it doesn’t distract the online learner from the primary topic or task. Some may see it as being dirty or unkempt, however. So, make certain to use a warmer shade, such as deep chocolate browns, instead of duller hues.
When most online learners see the color green two images typically come to mind: nature and money. It also symbolizes vitality, life, and personal growth. The tricky thing about green is that the every shade can hold an entirely different meaning. For instance, a deep hunter green can signify wealth, while lime green can make online learners feel more energetic and youthful. This color is a top choice for ecological eLearning courses, as well as those eLearning courses that deal with money or profit. An example of this would be a sales online training course that is designed to increase company profits.
Evokes feelings of peace, compassion, and love. It is also the color of femininity and nurturing, as well as understanding. Unlike its cousin red, pink is usually more subtle and cheerful. It’s ideally suited for eLearning courses that need to convey a sense of openness and friendliness. Keep in mind that darker hues of pink tend to signify passion and energy, while lighter hues are more soothing and tranquil.
Royalty, intrigue, and spirituality are the three most common meanings for the color purple. This is why many fictional mystics and historic rules are donning this majestic shade. It’s an eye-catching color that will make online learner’s take notice without putting them on high alert. Since it is so vibrant, you may want to use it as an accent color instead of a backdrop to avoid overwhelming your online learners.

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Creating great interactive learning experiences requires a few core building blocks: relevant content, pull versus push, and real-world decisions. With those building blocks you’re able to structure effective learning scenarios that are meaningful to the learner and helps meet the objectives of the course.

One of those building blocks in creating relevant content or content that is placed in a meaningful context. Essentially, you want to recreate the types of scenarios that are similar to the ones the learner has in real life. This allows them to see the content in a meaningful context.

Learning Interactions: What is the Learner’s Real World Like?
Most courses have the right content, but that’s all it is–content. And the content is usually plastered over a series of bullet point screens. To make a great learning experience you need content in the right context. It needs to be relevant to the learner’s needs and world. They need to see how the content fits into their world, the interactions they have, and the decisions they need to make.

  • How is the course content used in the work environment of the user?
  • Why would they use it? And when they use it what happens?
  • Or if they don’t use it, what happens?
  • Learning Interactions: What Type of Environment Needs to be Built?
    We make decisions all the time and they always produce some sort of consequence. These decisions happen in a real world and usually while interacting with other people like peers, managers, or customers.
    When building relevant content that’s placed in the right context it’s important to understand the world of the learner.

  • Where are they located?
  • Do they need to use any equipment or machines?
  • And who are they interacting with? Peers, management, customers?
  • Learning Interactions: What Triggers the Need for Action?
    When I build interactions in Storyline I always talk through the triggers. I ask, “What do I want to do and when do want to do it?”
    In the same sense, when you build relevant scenarios for your courses where the learner has to make decisions, it’s important to know what the triggers are for those decisions.

  • What do they have to do and when do they have to do it?
  • And at what point are they going to need the course content to make the appropriate decision or take the right action?
  • Learning Interactions: How to Collect the Right Content?
    A great way to get this information is to meet with those people who will take your courses. Ask them to give you scenarios where the course content is important or when they would need to know it to make good decisions.

  • Ask them what’s it like when things are going well? And then what it’s like when it not going so well. And what makes it go not some well? What types of things derail the day?
  • If they interact with equipment, what do they need to know? Where do they go to troubleshoot? What types of cheat sheets or job aids do they reference?
  • If they interact with people, what makes for good interactions? And what causes them to go sideways? How do they fix it?

The key in all of this is that instead of dumping a bunch of new content on your learners, find a way to put the content into a meaningful context–one that makes sense to their real world interactions. And when you do that you’ll be able to create great learning experiences.

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At a recent conference I ran into Ken Haas and John Kostrey who work for Sodexo. They were showcasing a nice gamified course they built as part of the training program for facility management. What I like about the course is that it’s more than the typical linear, click-and-read course. They used a lot of the core building blocks for interactive elearning.

The course is part of a blended program where it’s combined with live facilitated training. Check out the course below.

Here is a list of a few of the things that stood out to me.

  • This a good performance-based demo that allows the learner to explore and make educated guesses. They’ll easily figure out what’s right and wrong. And they get more specific feedback later in the course.
  • They also provide some distractors and incorrect choices that may appear to be initially correct. This forces the learner to focus on their specific task rather than merely identify issues out of context.
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    • Use of gate screen to provide starting instructions. The gate screen stops the learners to orient them on what they need to do.
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    • Created custom navigation rather than use the default player.
    • Timer based interactivity to create a sense of urgency.
    • Progress indicators.
    • Point system.
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      • Contextual map to show where you are in context to what you see.
      • “I give up” is an option. However, the learner doesn’t get the points, but they do get the information.
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        • Summary allows you to go back to review what you may have missed.
        • The course also included a leader board so that others in the organization could have a friendly competition. They used a JavaScript trigger to send the player data to a MySQL database.
        • Go through the course and see how you do. One of the best ways to build better elearning is by looking at different examples, deconstruct them, and then apply what you learn to your own courses. What do you like about this elearning example?

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The training industry is changing rapidly and technology plays a big role in that change, especially social media. However, like any change, there are positives and negatives that come with it.  Today, I’d like to discuss a few pros of social media as it relates to our industry and then I’ll follow it up with a post on some of the cons.

What is Social Media?

Wikipedia has a good detailed definition of social media. I see it as technology that allows people to connect and share information.  To be more specific, it’s about being connected to a community that shares interests and has a desire to share expertise around that interest. The social media technology just facilitates the connection.

The Growth of Social Media Technology

Most people in our industry probably see the following three services as their core social media tools: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Many organization are also using internal social media services like Yammer and Slack .

However, everyday there seems to be a new tool and people in our industry willing to hype it up. Look at some of the recent raves about Pokemon Go by the same people who were peddling Second Life just a few years ago. New technology can be both positive and negative. New ways to connect and share are good. But if you use a service and no one’s there, what good is it? Remember Google Wave or even Google+?

Many of the new and novel social media tools will be gone soon enough or they’ll be consumed by larger organizations. Sticking with the three above is probably more than adequate for our needs today.

Does your organization use a social media service? What do you think about it? How have is it helped your job?

Pros of Social Media: Curated Content

One of the biggest values of social media is the content stream. There’s a lot of really good information being shared everyday by all sorts of people in our industry. The challenge is knowing what’s out there and then sorting it by what’s important.

  • Find content curators. Some people are really good at curating and staying on top of things. They’re the curators and you’re the beneficiary. For example, David Anderson is one of the elearning people I follow on Twitter. Even though I work with him, I’m always amazed at how well he curates and posts a lot of relevant links and lots of cool elearning examples—just the sort of practical content our community needs. The same can be said for organizations. Articulate does a great job highlighting it’s customers, free downloads, templates, and cool elearning examples
  • Follow topics not people. Another way to stay on top of the good content is to track topics is via hashtag. Instead of following a person, or everyone in an industry (which can be overwhelming), follow topic-specific hashtags like #elearning or #training. You will stay on top of all posts relevant to that topic.I use Hootsuite to manage what I do, but there are other apps out there, too. Do you use a social media application? Which one?
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The ultimate success or failure of a company depends on a number of things, but there is arguably none more important than proper training. It is a foolish manager who falls into the trap of believing every new hire should already be well versed in every aspect of their new job. Rather, every employee should be given the opportunity to grow at your company from the minute they sign on. Proper training is something that helps an employee to reach their full potential, and benefits both employee and company in multitudes. As such, it makes sense that the top companies are constantly testing and trying new training methods for their employees, and tweaking where necessary. Luckily, in this digital age, it is easier than ever to find a training program that works for everybody. Here are some of the recent advances in eLearning that will improve your company training programs.

1. Mobile Learning

Where training -or any kind of learning for that matter- was once limited to the classroom, advances in technology have opened up a whole world of opportunities that have transformed the nature of training forever. Now mobile learning is a viable option – employees can start and stop their training whenever and from wherever they want.

This has many obvious benefits. First, it’s a much more user friendly experience, one which employees are more likely to enjoy and get more out of, and will thus be reflected in their feelings towards the company. Second, it provides a training experience that is also more beneficial to you, the manager. You can update modules, get in contact with your employees, and change anything you need at the drop of a hat.

2. Gamification

Around 75 percent of your workforce is likely to consider themselves at least casual gamers. While gaming was once reserved for hardcore gamers, the prevalence of smart mobile devices means that almost everyone is playing video games in some form or another – we need only look to the success of Pokemon Go for proof.

It makes sense that gamification would succeed in a work environment. Creating a sense of friendly competition in training taps into most people’s natural competitive instincts, and also allows you and them to view their progress in a concrete way. Gamification and mobile learning go hand in hand, and the former is made significantly easier by the latter.

3. Social Learning

Something that ties both mobile learning and gamification together quite nicely is social media. Of all the technological developments in the past decade, perhaps one of the most surprising was the rise of social media. Of course, in hindsight it makes sense that we would eventually tap into the ability of technology to ease communication and bring people closer together.

Because of this, social media has earned a place in the workplace, and specifically in training the training industry. It not only allows you to connect with your employees, but it allows them to connect with each other, track their progress, and even acquire new knowledge from other professionals in the field.

4. Short-Form Video

Though a physical classroom with an instructor is no longer a necessity, that doesn’t mean the classroom atmosphere isn’t thriving. The rise of short-form video means instructors can speak at length to break down difficult topics and concepts for employees, allowing them to have the same experience they would in a classroom, but from the comfort of their own home.

Since many people are visual or auditory learners, it is not always effective to train employees using masses of text. Visual content is an easy way to break it up and provide some clarity for certain points, especially tasks that need to be watched to be understood. It is certainly one of the biggest eLearning advances that will help your company.

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One of the most effective initiatives to improve a company’s performance is training. During the last few years, eLearning has become an increasingly popular component of enterprise training strategies. Since every corporate goal requires specific knowledge and skills, eLearning materials can be easily designed to impact and develop specific qualifications in a workforce

Here are 5 practical steps to help you build and implement a great business eLearning strategy for your organization.

  1. Define your goals.
    It’s safe to say that the most efficient eLearning programs are constructed with specific goals in mind. Before you start to prepare the learning materials, think well about what you’d like to achieve with this training. Analyze the need for a particular training course at your organization. If a training doesn’t meet the strategic objectives of a business, it’s not worth pursuing. Once you decide that the training is relevant to corporate goals, define its requirements – the specific focus or perspective. For instance, a marketing training can focus on social media marketing.
  2. Design the course.
    How shall you design an eLearning course that will be interesting and efficient, and will bring a real value? Keep it relevant by offering high-quality content to engage and motivate your audience. Don’t stray away from your topic and provide lots of information to make learners more knowledgeable about the subject. An interactive eLearning strategy offers many components, which are hard to build in other types of learning. Reality-based scenarios are perfect to show your audience how the knowledge offered at the course can be applied in real life. A short quiz or test at the end of each module will keep workers on their toes, allowing you to check which parts of the learning material should be repeated.
  3. Create a learning environment.
    eLearning resources are just technologies and won’t bring you real benefits as long as they aren’t situated in a learning environment. Among your top choices are blended learning environments, which combine live eLearning with self-paced learning, as well as other technologies and face-to-face elements. Sometimes, your audience might benefit from a live instructor – the interaction between learners, mentors and the learning community is crucial to add a sense of humanity to the learning process. A collaborative learning environment will be perfect for testing the knowledge gained through eLearning in group exercises.
  4. Keep your program on track.
    Most people think that training is finished when an event – a class, workshop or course – comes into completion. This is a major mistake – especially in business, where it’s your job to make sure all the skills and knowledge gained during training are now being implemented in the organization. And this usually takes practice. The vast majority of workers will require a reinforcement or the newly gained skills will simply be lost. What you need is an active follow-up on the course, including group support or an automated e-mail sent to all training participants reminding them about their progress toward learning objectives set by the organization.
  5. Test and evaluate your eLearning strategy.
    Once the training cycle comes to an end, it’s time to evaluate your business eLearning strategy and change its components to make it even more relevant and effective when used next time. Try surveys and employee feedback forms to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits brought by the course. Test your employees to see how much of the newly acquired knowledge they managed to retain. Have a close look at how the trained skills are being used on-the-job. If they are actually being incorporated into the daily routine of your employees, you can consider your strategy successful.
    Training is essential to keep your workers qualified and help them achieve new skills – following these tips will help you make the most from the potential of your business eLearning strategy.

Source : https://elearningindustry.com/5-steps-building-business-elearning-strategy

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Which ecommerce sites are setting a great example for others to follow?

I’ve been asking the Econsultancy blog team, as well as a few ecommerce experts, for their suggestions of great ecommerce sites.

I’ve picked the rest, some because they offer an excellent all round experience, others aren’t perfect, but were chosen for specific aspects which others can copy/learn from…

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How To Recover from Google Panda Effect – Definite Guide

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Google Panda was one of the most controversial algorithm update from Google, but with time it helped a lot to remove low-quality websites from search engine and overall it improved the quality of search results. Though for many webmasters, Google Panda updates are still a headache and at unknowingly many good websites lost their search engine ranking due to Panda penalty.  If you are one of those bloggers who lost their web site traffic after latest Google panda algorithm update roll out,  Here I will be sharing tested tips to recover from Google..read more

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A Comprehensive Guide To Keyword Research By Juggernaut Method..delphide blog 3

Words are really important when it comes to search engines, because honestly everything starts from here. It’s the absolute beginning. If you master the science of finding words which your market is currently searching and typing in the box, then I’d say you’ve got the key that leads towards success. Keyword is just a fancy way to say problems — yes, I call them problems because market is searching for a possible solution, a product, information or any other thing that works like a first-aid kit to their keyword. If you know what people are..readmore

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Search Engine Value: The Not So Secret Mantra for SEO Success..

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Now-a-days social media has come out as a giant when it comes to driving traffic but it’s undeniable that SEO is still the most profitable & free way to drive highly targeted traffic to our blogs & websites. After investing about four years of my immortal life online, I had many things to write about as per my experience concerning SEO, & so is this article all about it. There are many guides available here at ShoutMeLoud to bring traffic to your site through search engine, so I wanted to come up with a new term & hence I coined it as ….read more

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