Create a screen-recording with Skype for Business

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This post appeared first on LinkedIn.

Doing more with less

I often talk to L&D professionals that share their concerns regarding the lack of budget, resources and tools. Recently I spoke with someone, let’s call him ‘Bob’, that wanted to start recording quick how-to videos but he stated that he did not have the right software and wouldn’t be able to get the budget to acquire it. Low and behold, Bob didn’t realize he already had a tool he could use only he never thought of using it that way…

Ever since attending the session of Jane Bozarth and Jo Cook at Online Educa Berlin’16 I’ve had an extra eye out for such ‘I can’t’ remarks. It’s true that in ever faster spinning hamster-wheel of life we often overlook what is right in front of us. During their session Jane and Jo highlighted how you can do more with less. Make better and smarter use of what you’ve got by looking beyond how tools are commonly used and start looking at how you can use them to meet your needs.

So getting back to Bob. I asked him if they used an online meeting platform. They did; Skype for business. As you may be aware, these kind of tools often have the possibility to record your meeting session. Slides that have been shared, including the narration are recorded and available as some sort of movie file. When I pointed that out to Bob he told me he had done that a couple of times but doesn’t use it often. Cool! he’d actually used that before, so he knew how to record an online meeting.

I said:”What if… you host a meeting with just yourself, share your desktop or application and record the how-to videos?”. A little twinkle appear in his eyes…

A day later he contacted me, overjoyed, that he had just finished his first set of screen-cast videos. He had shared them with his manager and both were happy with the result!

As you can see, there is a solution for every problem it’s all a matter of #doingmorewithless. It might not be a perfect solution, but at least your moving forward!

Never let perfection stand in the way of progress.

Want to give it a go yourself? Check out the quick steps below:

Creating a screen recording with Lync or Skype for Business is fairly simple.

  1. Plan a meeting with yourself and access the meeting.
  2. Share your desktop or program (e.g. PowerPoint)
  3. In Skype go to the more options section – The ellipse (…) icon
  4. Click start recording to record your session.
  5. Do your presentation, talk through your slides.
  6. In Skype go to the more options section – The ellipse (…) icon
  7. Click Stop recording (you can also pause here)

The recording will be processed and stored locally as an .mp4 video file. Share it via your intranet, add it to an e-learning course or upload it to a video server such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Record and play back a Skype for Business meeting

For more detailed information check out this Microsoft support page on how to record a Skype for Business meeting.

#FREEBIE: Minimalistic Storyline player menu and navigation controls

Hey everyone,

I’ve been playing around with a new menu with navigation controls.

Check out the YouTube video right here

The template contains

  • the menu plus nav controls on the left and right side of the screen
  • Dark and light grey versions for left hand section
  • Dark and light grey, blue, red, green and yellow versions for the right hand side

Everything is put on a Master slide so you can adapt anything you want right there. If you have any questions or comments drop me a line in the comments or contact me directly.

Play with it here  |  Download the Storyline2 source file here

Enjoy!
Jeff

 

This post appeared first at community.articulate.com

Creating a Switch/Toggle button – Motion Paths vs. Object States

motion-vs-state

This week I was working on Articulate community e-learning challenge #97: Toggle, Switch, and Slide Your Way to More Creative E-Learning Buttons. I contemplated various ideas and built a quick prototype. I was pretty happy with it and moved on to the design of the interaction. Building a toggle button/switch is a game of ‘states’. You’ve got an on state and an off state. Pretty simple right. All you have to do is choose what you want for your overall look and feel so I googled for ‘switch button design’ and was presented with a ton of possibilities. Some very trendy, some very cool, some rather boring. I did a similar search on Pinterest.

switch
Plenty of design options when creating a switch/toggle button.

To be thorough I even added ‘CSS’ to my search which added in a couple of nice animated buttons (example1 | example2| example3) and that set me to created animated switch buttons.

The first thing I did was rebuild Kevin Thorn’s example. It has a sweet, smooth motion path sliding the button back and forth. It’s a real beauty. It took me about 10 minutes to setup, test if I added all the triggers and conditions correctly and to see if the motion paths are properly aligned and basically do what I expect them to do. As usual I had to do a little tweaking with the order of the triggers to make sure the up and down movement was working properly but after 15 minutes I had myself a schwéééét animated switch button. I started to create a second button and started to copy and adapt it, making sure the new variables, motion paths etc were set-up correctly. Once testing it I noticed I missed something (again) and fixed it. I was quickly getting annoyed with all this tweaking. I was spending a lot of time with just a couple of @#$%^&! buttons.

I started thinking about time spent and effectiveness and the added value of the animation on the button. I thought, how long would it take me to build a regular button with a ‘normal’ state and a default ‘selected’ state. 2 minutes later I had an identical, yet non-animated, button. It worked perfectly, it required no variables or triggers to change states and and play various entrance and exit animations. It just worked. Making a copy was even quicker as I didn’t have to make any changes to any triggers, variables, motion paths and conditions. And the end result looked pretty good.

So, what to do? Should I go with the animated switch buttons or should I go with the effective ‘default’ button? Let’s put them together and decide…

 

Powered by elearningfreak.com

So there you have it.

It’s a bit like comparing a Ferrari with a Volkswagen. The animated button is a thing of beauty. When looking at them together I instinctively know I want it. The default button is just so… default. However… although the animated button is awesome it is, like a Ferrari, a costly thing. It takes more time to build, test and work to get it going as well as doing maintenance to it, then it does to create 20 regular buttons that are still pretty nice and get the job done. Is the additional time spend really adding value to your project?

So what would you do? Would you spend the time or save the dime? Would your client and users love you or hate you for your choice?

Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Create a highlight effect for your software simulations in Articulate Storyline

Are you creating a lot of software training simulations or interactions? Then this might be a great tutorial for you.

I started out creating a lot of software training using Adobe Captivate. The recording feature in Articulate Storyline is one of my favorite features. It allows us to create super cool software simulations very fast and very easy. Another thing I find really cool is that Storyline allows us to add our own interactions to those software simulations once they’ve been recorded.

The other day I was watching a lynda.com tutorial and the presenter used in really simple, but cool highlight feature. Unfortunately such a feature is not default in Articulate Storyline but… we can easily create it ourselves.

Take a look at the video above and see how you can create your own highlight effect using Articulate Storyline.

Getting started with pixel art!

Let me start off by telling you that I’m not a pixel art expert. I’m just a regular guy. To be honest, I have done pixel art but that was over 25 years ago, and I would not really call it art. I was 10 years old and I created black and white pixelated images of superheroes that I liked.

Lo and behold I have seen the rise of pixel art in the past year. And I love it. But how could one start creating pixel art from no real experience? I asked a twitter group but I go little to no reply. Next up, Google search. I found a couple of cool tutorials on deviantart.com that explained the basics of creating shadow highlights also called dithering. That seemed just the right place to start.

I also found out that Photoshop is used the most in pixel art tutorials, however using Microsoft Paint will do just fine. Since I’m fairly familiar with Photoshop and I saw a couple of essy tutorials on how to set up my basic grid, I decided to give that a go.

So, what to draw? I want to create something really really cool, however cool stuff is usually really really difficult. So I decided to go for something simple first. In a previous post I shared how you can create your own graphics in PowerPoint and we did not start out with very difficult things, we created simple items.

So again this time I started out with simple items a monitor, computer, that kind of stuff. Check out some of the stuff I did below.

pixel-art-by-jeff

As you can see this looks pretty cool and it was really easy to make simple lines and bringing the whole piece together. It’s important to know what you are going to draw so making a quick sketch can really help you out. Alternatively you can grab a simple picture and trace it. Tracing is a great way to learn how to draw.

Once you feel comfortable drawing basic pixel images start with something more challenging or try adding more detail. For some reason I long to draw superheroes once again…

So that’s it, open Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, or any other graphics program that you’re comfortable with and start trying to create simple items. Go ahead, you’ll love it.

Pixel-Minion

Got any questions or comments? Let me know below and please feel free to share this article with your friends.

WEBINARS FOR LEARNING… GOOD OR BAD?

I’ll be frank, I love the idea of webinars for learning. An expert sharing his experience with an interested audience, what’s better than that?? Having the ability to connect with peers and the expert, ask questions and discuss the how, what and why of a topic, now that’s where learning happens right? …Right?

Maybe it’s just me, but in reality, most webinars I attended aren’t that great. They’re long, there not that interactive and they’re too crowded to get any real answers to your questions, unless you’re lucky enough to get picked out by the Webinar facilitator at the end.

If you do some research on setting up webinars you’ll quickly find that there are interactions like polling, and asking direct questions to people to make sure the audience keeps participating. Some webinar tools even have a feature that shows if someone is doing something on another screen. To me that seems like the world upside down. You shouldn’t be building in activities force them to focus. Your story and expertise should be engaging enough to do that. Heck, that’s probably why people signed up for the webinar in the first place!

SO HOW CAN A WEBINAR BE IMPROVED?

Simply, make it as short as it can be. Small learning nuggets are well accepted in learning. Don’t waste your audience’s time with a 20 minute introduction. Be concise, stick to the topic. If there is information you want to discuss send anything that can be done as pre-work to the attendees. Watching a video or going through a document or detailed slide deck during a webinar can add so much time which can be prevented with a simple ‘required’ pre-work assignment.

Whenever I do a webinar I force myself to keep it within 30 minutes. That means I plan for 25-30 minutes of content instead of 60-90 minutes. I also plan to have time available to answer as many relevant questions as possible. I tend to plan for 45-50 minutes for the total session and if I use less people are generally happy have some time left.

AN ALTERNATIVE

Are you one of those persons that signs up so you can just watch the recording? I am. I think I attend 20% of the webinars I sign up for and watch 80% afterwards, fitting my own calendar. I do this on purpose. Based on the speaker, topic and obviously time of the webinar I select which ones I want to attend and interact in and which ones I want to just watch. If I have questions I just contact the facilitator afterwards.

I’ve experimented with this format myself and noticed that in our company many people prefer to watch recorded webinars at their convenience and I’ve actually started using this as a default way to share information with my internal customers. I’ve combined it with our social platform pointing them to the webinar post in an email invitation and making use of the commenting ability of the platform to receive and answer questions.

I still do live webinars but only when I feel it makes absolute sense to have people join and participate.

GOOD OR BAD?

So what are your webinars like? Are they good or bad or something in between? There’s always room for improvement! Did you like this post or have you got additional tips? Please share it in the comments below.

 

This post appeared first on LinkedIn.

Custom Feedback Master Slides for Quizmaker and Storyline.

Mike Enders shared a post called Create E-Learning Courses With Custom Learner Feedback in which he shared how we can change the default Storyline quiz feedback popups.

In this post he shared the wellness course feedback and I decided to template that one for Storyline 2 and Quizmaker’13 because it’s just awesome!

Since most Storyline projects I do are wide-screen I’ve opted for a 16:9 resolution. The Quiz-maker file is set in the traditional 4:3 format.

FeedbackMasterLayouts

You can simply change the color scheme in the Feedback Master slide. If you want to change the default texts for the Correct/Incorrect/Try again titles and the Continue button you can do that via the Player > Text labels.

How-to Video   Quizmaker'13 file   Storyline 2 file

 

If you like this post let me know in the comments!

 

This post appeared first in the Articulate e-Learning Heroes community.

Looping Animations in Articulate Storyline

Looping animations in Storyline, by default there is no such thing (wouldn’t that be nice). However during a recent Articulate e-learning challenge about button animation and effects, an idea popped into my mind that I wanted to share with you.

Back in the days of Articulate Studio’09 there used to be a next button in the default player that started pulsating when the timeline ended. This was a perfect way to indicate users that they should click that the content on that slide had played out and they should click the next button to continue.

When Storyline 1 came out with its new player as well as Studio’13, the pulsating button had vanished as a feature in the default menu. Now some years later I still see the question being asked from time-to-time how to enable the pulsating button.
looping animation

This is where looping animations come in. If I am able to change the appearance of a button with a fade-in and fade-out animation, two basic entrance and exit animations in Storyline, I could mimic such an effect. The fade effect should be really short and… it should loop until the user clicks that next button to jump to the next slide.

This is exactly what I made happen. Check the demo and tutorial video below to learn how. If you like you can download the Storyline 2 source file to see how I did it.

Play Demo   Watch Tutorial   Download file


Questions or remarks? Leave your comments below. Don’t forget to share!

Creating Animated Buttons in Storyline

Hey Everyone,

In this post I’ll share how you can add that little extra to your project by animating your buttons. In this weeks Articulate eLearning Challenge Community Manager David Anderson set the challenge to create creative buttons and he shared some awesome examples he found on the web.

Having seen these examples I set out to recreate some of those effects in Articulate Storyline 2… and it was easy!

Check out my demo and view the video tutorial to learn how to create these kick-*ss buttons! Feel free to download the Storyline 2 file to see how I put these buttons together.

View Demo    Video Tutorial    Download Source File

Note that HTML5 does not support all Storyline animations. Be sure to try out different animations before creating your buttons.

If you like this post or have some questions please leave me a comment below and feel free to share this post.

My 1st Articulate Guru Awards entry!

View Demo

Today I’ve uploaded my first entry to the 2015 Articulate Guru awards. The Guru awards are hosted by Articulate and are open to anyone that wants to show off their mad Articulate skills.

This is my first time entering the Guru awards and I must say I’m excited, and a little nervous, about it. I want to do something good, heck I want to win (which is odd as I am the least competitive person I know). Although most entries will probably be Articulate Storyline based I decided to submit an Articulate Studio 13 demo.

The demo I submitted is a Call Center interaction based on a Storyline interaction Tim Slade created and shared in the Articulate community.

The demo features:

  • fully animated interface to enhance the user experience,
  • branching scenario using the challenge-choice-consequence model. This means that your scenario will develop based on your choices. It allows users to (re)try different options and gives them the opportunity to correct any mistakes they’ve made along the way.
  • illustrated characters with facial expressions to enhance user feedback and add to the emotional experience
  • Avatar selection to personalize the course experience.

The cool thing, if I say so myself, is that anyone that sees this demo automatically thinks it is built in Articulate Storyline and it’s not. It is 100% Articulate Studio and it only took me about 6 hours to build and 2 hours to bugfix, making sure all scenarios for all avatars where branching correctly.

This demo is probably one coolest things I’ve built in Articulate Studio and it shows how incredibly powerful and versatile it still is. Articulate Studio is where it all started for me and this Articulate Guru entry is my personal tribute.

 

Aren’t you using Articulate Studio yet? Get a free 30 day trial version at Articulate.com. You should really check it out!