This guest blog entry was written by Articulate Community Manager Jeanette Brooks.
We’re always honored when customers seek us out to tell us how Articulate has influenced their adventures in e-learning. At the recent ASTD conference in Chicago, there were a number of folks who had some great stories to tell! Three of them in particular we couldn’t resist sharing:
Eliminating Constraints & Spreading Articulate Love
Allison Michels develops e-learning for a solar energy manufacturer. When she stopped by our booth at the ASTD conference, before we even had a chance to say hi, she started chatting up a whole bunch of potential customers, telling them how they’d be hooked as soon as they tried the Articulate tools! (In fact, next time we might just let Allison run the booth while we slip out to catch a Cubs game or something.)
Here’s what Allison told us about how her company’s using Articulate software:
I’m a Training Analyst in a company where we’re all about maximizing throughput and minimizing constraints. At first, I was the only one at my company who had Articulate software, and everyone wanted some sort of online training. As you can probably imagine, I became the constraint! I didn’t have time (and still don’t) to deliver all the Articulate-published content that our company needs.
So instead of trying to hand out all the fish myself, I decided to teach others to fish. I conducted an Articulate coaching class for the company and invited a mix of non-trainers, e-learning specialists, and instructional designers. Everyone in the group downloaded Articulate’s 30-day free trial. We spent time brainstorming, storyboarding, and looking at sample Articulate-published projects online. We talked about the importance of engagement and interactivity in e-learning. Then I taught a variety of development techniques I’d learned through Articulate’s amazing online community. We also viewed some of the Screenr tutorials the community has shared. We even posted a question on Twitter right on the spot, and 6 minutes later we received an answer from an Articulate community member! As I like to say, who needs a manual when the software and the community make it this easy?
Everyone in the class was hooked! A month later, we met again to showcase the projects that everyone had built. It was really great to see the creative output they had developed. I continue to host a monthly roundtable for the group so that everyone can give and receive feedback on their Articulate projects. It has worked great — and now I’m no longer a constraint! Throughput for the whole group continues to increase, now that the power’s in their hands.
This User’s Articulate Skills Landed Her the Job She Wanted
Michelle Leon develops e-learning for Pima Medical Institute in Tucson, Arizona. When she visited our booth at the ASTD conference, the first words out of her mouth were, “Articulate is the reason I have a job that I totally love!” Here’s her story:
I learned to use the Articulate tools in September 2007 while working as contractor for a learning services company. Within just a year, I had created computer-based training modules for clients including Microsoft, the U.S. Air Force, Target, and Honeywell. When my contract was finished, I began looking for a new assignment and responded to a job posting by Pima Medical Institute. After the initial phone screening, the hiring manager gave all the candidates a homework assignment. She said, “Here’s an excerpt from a medical textbook. Use this content to create some online education.” It was completely up to each of us to determine what that meant and what it should look like.
I downloaded Articulate’s free 30-day trial and got right to work, building an animated course in about three days. That course earned me a second interview and ultimately a job offer.
As a result of bringing me on board, Pima invested in the Articulate tools and I’ve been building e-learning ever since. I’ve worked here a little over a year now, and I really enjoy the variety of what I do. Some days I might need to create graphics or interactive videos for a radiography course; some days I might need to build a tutorial on how to use our campus portal; and other days I might need to create a presentation for a directors’ meeting.
My position has turned into a career with a company that I absolutely love, thanks to Articulate.
Lions, Tigers, and Articulate — Oh My
Carrie Hunsley develops e-learning for the Chicago Zoological Society. That’s her below, pictured in front of the zoo’s dolphin tank. Here’s what she told us about how Articulate Studio has helped her in her role at the zoo:
I started my first official training job when I joined the Chicago Zoological Society a little less than a year ago. It’s a dream job: I hang out with wild animals in a beautiful setting and design learning every day! Some of my most valuable tools are my Articulate software and the Articulate community. My talented Articulate coach, Mark Steiner, got me up and running with just a day of training, and I’ve embraced the tools and the Articulate community ever since.
I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to build my first course in Articulate and see it launch. It introduces an initiative that helps zoo staff engage with our guests and raise awareness of our conservation efforts here at the zoo and around the world. In the course, I used a variety of techniques I learned through the Articulate community, such as hyperlinks in my Presenter slides, and using Slide View in Quizmaker to customize the placement and animation of images.
One of my favorite parts of the course is the knowledge check. Learners build a conservation habitat with each correct answer. I used custom animation to add a new animal or element of nature to the habitat as the learner progresses through the quiz. At the end, the results slide shows the completed habitat.
For me, one of the most valuable components of Articulate is the chance to be part of an active, creative, passionate user community. Any time I have a question or need e-learning ideas, I turn to the Articulate forums. A community member or a support engineer is always ready with a solution. The community forums save me time, inspire my creativity, and build my knowledge — not only my knowledge of the Articulate tools, but also my knowledge of instructional design.
It was so fun to meet some of the Articulate community members recently at the ASTD International Conference in Chicago. These are people who, each week, connect me with tutorials and tips on creating effective and engaging e-learning experiences. I must admit, I couldn’t get enough of Articulate at the conference. I kept swinging by the Articulate booth to catch another demo session!
I look forward to continuing to develop my e-learning skills so that I can give back to the Articulate community that has been an invaluable resource to me.
How About You?
Many thanks to Allison, Michelle, and Carrie for being part of the Articulate community and for sharing their stories! Got your own Articulate story to share? Let us know!