Posts Tagged ‘top tips’

This short post is an edited excerpt from the updated Spicy Learning Guide, an essential compendium of 101 tips to improve your learning strategy. We’ll be releasing the new Spicy Learning Guide at Learning Technologies 2013, so visit us at Stand 33 to collect your free copy!

A learning management system isn’t just a place to host e-learning courses. It’s an essential part of the way learners experience your content. So here are our top five ideas to improve your learning management system.

1. Make it a go-to destination

Create genuine ‘what’s in it for me’ reasons for learners to login besides the standard ‘welcome message’ on your LMS. Include an internal blog and links to useful web-services like the holiday booking system and the company wiki.

2. Allow users to upload content

Many learners ‘store’ and share files related to learning (like presentations) via the email system. This isn’t ideal. How about allowing them to upload private files to share with others to the LMS itself? It’s another reason to return.

3. Make it a game

There are many ways to ‘gamify’ your LMS and reward learners for participation. One measure is to introduce a personal dashboard which tells learners how active they are and how that compares it to the average.

4. Build in social feeds

Help your learners move from courses to resources by including live feeds of online content-hubs like Twitter, Youtube and Google Reader. It’s very easy to include a widget or plugin which allows learners to search in Wikipedia from within the LMS.

5. Make it mobile

Mobile learning has arrived. e-Learning courses (not just resources) which work across all devices will be widespread very soon. This means your LMS needs to be mobile optimised. The newest versions of most common platforms are – make sure you aren’t left behind!

Visit Saffron Interactive at Stand 33 to try out our new learning platforms, or request a demo.

Clarity and legibility are essential in e-learning. Here are Saffron’s top tips on how to use some of the basic principles of typography not only to achieve legibility but also to bring interest and energy to your e-learning projects.

1. Create contrast

Always ensure that there’s a good contrast between the text and the background; never sacrifice legibility for aesthetic reasons. Contrast is also necessary to emphasise key points and focus the learner’s attention. This article describes the key principle of typographic contrast that every designer should know.

2. Build a hierarchy

Use typography to indicate the importance of the elements on the page. Have a strong and clear focal point and ensure that all other elements are arranged accordingly. Items that are logically connected should be grouped together, whereas elements that are not directly related should be arranged as separate entities.

3. Use a grid

Avoid random layouts by using a grid. This helps you to visually connect items with each other and achieve a more logical and structured layout. Mark Boulton describes how to use grid systems for web layouts in this article and although e-learning screens may require a simpler grid, similar principles can still be applied.

4. Allow space to breathe

Do not overcrowd the area with unnecessary elements. The blank area (‘white space’) is necessary to draw the learner’s attention to the key content and make the text easier to read. Create white space by increasing the leading (line height) and by maintaining clear margins around text and graphics.

5. Be consistent

Make sure your use of typography is consistent across all screens and if you are using a grid then make sure you use the same one throughout. Each screen of your course should provide a look that flows together as a clearly defined single project, and not as an autonomous entity with an individual layout.

Check back soon for a downloadable version of these tips, and don’t forget to visit regularly for top tips on all things learning and technology related!

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