Augmented Reality in the Learning Space

If you’re still catching up on the learning trends for 2017, let me bring you up to speed – Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)  are gaining waves. This post isn’t a traditional post – today I’m going to share what I’ve been working on over the past few months and how AR is gaining momentum in the learning space.

In my previous post, I shared the awesomeness of augmented reality (AR) and how to use it in learning.  In October, I published a video tutorial that walks you through the steps of making your own AR projects using

I was fortunate enough to attend the eLearing  Guild’s DevLearn 2016 Conference, where I shared how I integrated the use of AR into my client’s ecosystem during a Hyperdrive session – that was a blast.

As we move into another year, I continue to share my experience with AR, in hopes that more and more learning professionals will adopt its use in their learning solutions. So, in January, I presented a webinar on Creating Sticky Learning with Low-Costs AR Solutions where I shared some best practices and a demo walk-through similar to the video above.  This particular webinar received so good attention and I had an influx of questions during and after the webinar. I was asked to write a follow-up post and answer some of the more burning questions that were arriving – you can view that post here.

My experience with AR is still evolving and I’ve made a move from traditional web-based tools,  like Layar, Aurasma, Zapworks, etc. to SDK toolkits that allow me a bit more flexibility. I hope to share my experience working with these in the future. However, I have developed some best practices for myself thought I would share with you, so here it is, (by the way, this image is a Layar target that will remain active until March – so download the Layar app to get the full experience).



Using AR in Learning

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. So I figure I owed you all a good one.

Over the past few months, I’ve been playing around with some AR and VR technology and finding ways to integrated it into my learning solutions, in a way that adds value. And because I don’t really like just providing theory, I’m also going to give you a fun example, as well as some ideas of where the tech can be used. If you’re not familiar with AR technology, I should first explain what it is.

What is AR? 

Let’s break it down. AR stands for Augmented Reality. It’s basically a view of the physical world or a picture and allows you to add computer generated overlays, such as audio or video. You need to use a device such as your smartphone to view the augmented reality state.

Now, what does this look like? 

pokemongoWhen you think of AR, you should think PokemonGo. You know that crazy game that has people running around like crazy people trying to catch virtual creatures.

I created a demo document to showcase for my clients when I am presenting a proposal that uses AR technology. At first site, this looks like a simple document. In order to see this in action, you’ll need to download this app to your smartphone. After you have downloaded and installed the app, launch the app and point it at the image below to see the magic happen – (then scroll down to read the rest of this post):


I created this document using, the cool thing about this technology is that the document can be printed and hung in different locations to create an interactive and immersive learning experience.

For example, you could create a scavenger hunt where learners need to walk around your campus, scan different documents to obtain valuable information. This would be a great exercise for new hire training. This would be a great exercise for new hire training.

Another great application would be for use in Job Aids. You could turn your job aids into interactive PDFs where the learner does more than just read words on a page.

If you’ve used AR in your learning solutions, I’d love to hear what your successes and challenges. If you have questions, post them as comments to this post.


How to Create a Random Question Quiz in Captivate

Have you ever wanted  to create a quiz where learners are presented with a random selection of questions? Adobe Captivate makes this task a breeze. If you are using Adobe Captivate 8 or later, you can easily create questions pools and random question slides to achieve your goal.

I’ll walk you through the steps of creating your quiz in Captivate. Check out my video to get started.

In my next post, I’ll go over How to Create a GIFT file so you can import your question into the question pools.

Have questions or comments? Post them below.

Curating Content

Last month my bestie, Ann Rollins and I wrote a blog post for the GP Strategies Blog titled, “Hello Content! Content Curation 101 for L&D Professionals.” We had a lot to say about Curating Content, but we had to keep to a specific word limit.

We started our blog posts by brainstorming our ideas using my personal favorite tool Google Docs.  I had introduced Ann to the power of Google docs when we worked on a project some time ago.  I love that Google docs allows you to collaborate on a document simultaneously, giving you the ability to see when you collaborator makes changes in a live document.  This collaborative approach also saved us a ton of time in writing the post since there was no emailing back and forth.

We were both very happy with our final product.  Here’s an excerpt…

Hello Content! Content Curation 101 for L&D Professionals

February 24, 2016 by and
Posted in Learning Content

iStock_booksXSmallWe live in the Google era, where a proliferation of content and data is available at our fingertips. We are a society of content creators, sharers, and curators. Everyday more and more people create content on-the-fly to help themselves and others to perform better, faster, and in the best way known to the authors.

As learning professionals, we are aware of the fact that it’s no longer a matter of how well we can write to create content; our ability to deliver is affected by many factors that add a lot of time to our cycles, even with an agile approach. We must be able to leverage the content created by others—enter Content Curation.

…read full post here

How to Easily Expand Your Adobe Captivate Color Swatches

In my last post, I shared how to easily extract images from a PowerPoint storyboard given to you for use in Captivate course development. This is one way to ensure you follow a client’s branding guidelines. We all know the importance of making sure we use a client’s branding guidelines when it comes to creating training content.  This includes fonts, layouts, graphics, and colors.

Today, I have another neat tip to help you ensure you also use their branding colors.

Did you know that you can easily grab outside colors and bring them into Captivate while your are developing?

It’s really easy and a complete lifesaver.  You don’t need hex or rgb color codes, all you need is the Eye Dropper Tool in Captivate.  Here’s how you do it:

  1. Select the color picker in the Properties pane and
  2. Select the color window and then select the Eye Drop Tool (I call it the “color picker”).
  3. Drag the color picker to either an open website, open PowerPoint deck, or the client’s branding guide if they have color swatches available.

You can literally pick a color from any other item outside of Captivate, you’ll see the color swatch window change as you hover your mouse over different colors on your screen.

Check out my video below to see a quick demo:

Easily Extract ALL Images from a PowerPoint

If you’re an Instructional Designer, I bet you’ve done some heavy storyboarding and development using PowerPoint and probably the Articulate Presenter and Storyline.  However, when taking a storyboard from PowerPoint to Captivate, there are several challenges.

The scenario:

You are tasked with programming a course in Captivate for a fellow ID who has created a storyboard using PowerPoint. They program all the animations they would like you to use and the deck has the look and feel that has been approved by their client. They would like several interactions programmed in Captivate to make their course engaging. However, they only have the storyboard deck they created and all the assets you are to use are in the PowerPoint deck.

Sound familiar?

Happens all the time.  Now, if you’ve ever created a course in Captivate, you know that although you can create a course from PowerPoint (Captivate has that option). However, when the PowerPoint slides import into Captivate all programmed animations are thrown out the door and your slides are imported as images – text and all.

So how can you export all the images and assets from the PowerPoint deck without having to save each image one by one?

Well there are several solutions, I’ll share my two favorite with you today.

If you are working with PowerPoint decks that have a .pptx file extension, the easiest way to export all the images and assets is to create a duplicate of the PowerPoint by simply right clicking on the PowerPoint file and selecting copy and then paste the copy in the same folder. Then change the file extension from .pptx to .zip.

This will automatically convert the PowerPoint to a zip file that consists of several folders, including a media folder with all the images used in the PowerPoint. Yay!

zip-folders assets images

The next method is for older versions of PowerPoint, those .ppt files. If you are using a version of PowerPoint older than 2010, you can simply save your PowerPoint deck as an HMTL. This will create several asset folders, including an image folder.

If you are using Office 2010 or  2013 and your file is a .ppta and the Save As Web Page option is not avaible, follow these steps:

  1. Open the PowerPoint (.ppt) file in PowerPoint 2013 or older
  2. Press Alt+F11 on your keyboard. This will open the Microsoft VBA window.
  3. Press CTRL+G on your keyboard. The Immediate window opens in VBA.
  4. Copy and paste the following into the Immediate window and Press Enter:
    ActivePresentation.SaveAs "<Drive>:\users\<username>\desktop\<filename>.htm", ppSaveAsHTML, msoFalse
  5. Save the PowerPoint, then navigate to where it was saved. There will now be a folder with the same name as your presentation followed by _files. This folder contains all the PowerPoint assets, including images.

Once you have all your images in a single folder, you can open Captivate and import all the images and other assets you will used in a few clicks of a button. Just select Library > Import.

How to Create Interactive Study Guides & Job Aids Using OneNote


I’m big on using OneNote! I use it for all my projects to do things like – create checklists, take meeting notes, annotate slides, save important information that would usually get lost in my inbox forever, etc.  For every project I’ve worked on….I’ve managed to get everyone on the project hooked on using OneOnote.  It’s a great collaboration tool.  However, you can do so much more with OneNote. (If you’ve never used it I urge you to give it a try).

As an Instructional Designer, I’m always looking for ways to innovate and find creative uses for the tools I have readily available. Enter OneNote! Now before I get started, OneNote is not the only game in town – EverNote is the other big player and I use them both. My notes are synced between both applications but, I’ll focus on OneNote for this post.

A few months ago, I worked on a short project where I was granted creative freedom. The client had no established templates or guidelines. They needed a job aid that their employees could use for different processes. Since I use OneNote for all my projects, I created a Notebook for this particular project and shared it with my client.  As the project evolved, I started organizing all my ideas in OneNote.  What started out as a project notebook, soon turned into an interactive job aid.

I had shared with the client all the benefits of OneNote and its sharing capabilities. I compiled some of my key notes which included typed notes, scribbles, audio clips, and videos into a new OneNote document.  I organized the note page so whoever was reading it could read a chunk of info on the process, then listen to a clip about the info just presented. They could also watch a short two-minute clip on the specific process. They could also see some scribbled diagrams associated with the process.  I also included a poll to gather feedback. In short, the client loved it.

Their original vision of the job aids was transformed. All the job aids could reside in one location – a OneNote Notebook, and they could be updated with ease on the fly and everyone who has access to the notebook would see the updates immediately.

Here’s an example of how it might look when put together. I created a Dummy Notebook in OneNote and added an audio recording, I recorded a video of myself, I doodled on-screen and I inserted an MP4 video file.


There are some quirks to all of this:

  1. As of right now, you are not able to embed a Youtube or other web-based video file. You need to download the file and insert it as an attachment. The video will then play in the computer’s default player.
  2. OneNote for Windows and Mac have the ability to record Audio and Video.  Videos are captured using your computers webcam – it won’t capture your desktop.
  3. Although icons will appear for your videos and audio clips – you should still insert a “Call to Action” for your learners so they know they need to click on something to watch  or listen.

All in all not bad. OneNote has so much potential.

Here’a s link to my Sample OneNote Page. You’ll need to open it in OneNote. 

Before I leave you I have a question –

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MICROSOFT SWAY? If not, now worries, I’ll be writing a post on how to use Sway to create engaging content.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you’ve used Microsoft OneNote as a learning tool.