Illumen News & Blog

Scribe Animation – ASA Blueprint for Success

Illumen teamed back up with ASA (American Supply Association Educational Foundation) to create a short animation that explain their new program. This scribe based animation ties audio with key visuals to clearly explain ASA’s new message.

By |March 9th, 2014|Process, Training, Videos|Comments Off on Scribe Animation – ASA Blueprint for Success|

eLearning Trick 215 – Instructional Design for Better Learner Performance

Less Steps is More Learning
We always liked Einstein’s quote, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. When educating a learner on something they need to apply, the less you present to them, while still covering what is necessary, the better the learner performance. Let’s take, for instance, a learning module where we need to train an employee at a warehouse on how find and take packages off the shelf. There may be four specific steps an employee will need to take, including reading and moving to the location listed on a hand scanner, then scanning the location bar code, scanning the package bar code, and checking and listing the quantity still on the shelf if less then five. There may ten exceptions to this process. The products may be too high on the shelf, too heavy, missing, broken, mislabeled, etc. As you can see, the more steps and exceptions, the more time it takes to learn and the less the employee will be able to remember. Create a spreadsheet of these steps and exceptions and define what is necessary and common and what is less important or less common. You can teach the four steps and two of the most common exceptions and then teach the employee where to find information on how to handle additional exceptions.

By |March 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on eLearning Trick 215 – Instructional Design for Better Learner Performance|

Starting a Project – 16 Questions to Ask

Every time we start a new eLearning project, there are plenty of question we ask. Most are are pretty obvious but here is a short list of questions to consider when starting your next project:

  1. What is the end goal of your project and how would you recognize the project as being a success?
  2. Who are the audiences that will interact with this project? Remember to include facilitators, administrators, and future content editors.
  3. What is the engagement level for this project? How interactive should this project be? What should be the audiences reaction to using this project?
  4. What type of training is this? Examples are new hire training, compliance training, sales and marketing training, medical device showcasing, management/leadership training, safety training, CME and CE accreditation, and process training.
  5. What delivery method would your audiences use? This includes PC, Mac, iPads, Android based tablets, phones, etc.
  6. What technologies are preferred? Examples include a custom Flash or HTML5 project, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Presenter, Lectora, a video based project, or a custom app.
  7. What is the estimated seat time? This is the general length of time a learner should spend going through the material.
  8. What compliance is required, if any. Does the LMS require SCORM (1.2/2.4) , AICC, TIN CAN API, or a custom method?
  9. What requirements would test the learner’s understanding and ability to perform after using this project? This might include multiple choice questions, knowledge checks, simulations, interactive decision trees, etc.
  10. What is the culture and brand of the company or product and how can that be integrated into the project?
  11. How would audio narration, videos, animations, and interactives better express the material to the learner?
  12. How often does the content change? This may factor into how the project is built so that it is easy to edit and […]
By |November 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Starting a Project – 16 Questions to Ask|

Articulate Storyline and HTML5

storyline-and-html5First, we do love Storyline. It is a great new tool by Articulate that allows rapid development of an eLearning module. It is powerful and is a new driving force for anyone who wants to create engaging eLearning. There are two sides to the eLearning coin: developing the training and delivering the training. If you can’t get your learning module out to your audience, then you might as well not develop it.

We live in a new age of iPads, Android tablets, and smart phones. Because of this, we also now live in an age of HTML5, which is the preferred format for in browser delivery of websites on these devices. How well does Storyline handle publishing to HTML5? They do state on their website that it is a key feature, so it must be good…right? Honestly, no. Unfortunately, not at this time. It simply can’t publish to HTML5 reliably. It will not work on your iPad and it might not even work on your PC.

Articulate knows this. The more researching you do on Storyline the more you see that they shy away from HTML5 being a delivery method. They note that, “Content may not appear and operate as authored due to inherent limitations of mobile Safari” and performance in the web browser is “Limited by mobile Safari’s resource allocation” ( It is clear though that Articulate wants their projects to work with HTML5, they just aren’t there yet. Every update for Storyline lists many HTML5 updates and fixes. We feel they will get there with each new version of this young program. And we greatly look forward to it.

Until then, Articulate Storyline […]

By |October 7th, 2013|Design, Education, Interaction, LMS, Research & Development, Simulations, Tools, & Games, Training, User Experience|Comments Off on Articulate Storyline and HTML5|

Rapid eLearning Development

When starting an eLearning module, it is helpful to get your ideas out of your head and onto something you can show others. Don’t worry, this doesn’t take a saw or hammer…it takes a pen and paper, PowerPoint, or Photoshop. Rapid eLearning development starts conveniently at the beginning of the process, when you are planning and determining what is going to make your learning module memorable and engaging. Perhaps you want a simulation or maybe an info graphic. The key is to quickly turn a perhaps and a maybe into something visual that you can look at and that you can show others.

Use what you feel comfortable with. Sometimes we draw out our ideas on paper or use Photoshop to detail the idea. Photoshop and PowerPoint are used often to layout the elements on screen quickly and position images to tell the story or explain the simulation.

Draw a rectangle and start filling it in. The mind is a wonderful thing but it can make you think you have a more polished idea than you do. Drawing it up will help you realize the gaps. Try a few iterations. Remember the word rapid. Set time limits and if you get stuck, try looking back at your old mockups and ideas or search the internet for examples.

Before you know it, you will have checked off a key part of the development process and developed an initial framework for your content.

By |August 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Rapid eLearning Development|

Illumen and the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase 2013

cltsIllumen Group is proud to announce our sponsorship of the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase this year. This event, with more than 30 contributing speakers is setting the bar for eLearning based events.

This year, the Showcase celebrates the evolution of adult learning and performance, with an emphasis on the role of new media and interactive methods in business and institutional training. The Showcase provides a full day of educational sessions for all levels of experience. More than 30 speakers will explore all aspects of elearning—instructional design, development tools, media resources, virtual classrooms, social and interactive applications, mobile learning, rapid elearning, and more. Attendees will have an opportunity to create their own schedules from a variety of topics or follow one of four Showcase Tracks, including Simulations & Social Media, eLearning Tools & LMS, Online Design, and Management of eLearning.

More information about the event and registration can be found at the Chicago eLearning & Technology Website.

Illumen will be at the event showcasing our eLearning applications and offering information on the process and development of technology and learning based solutions. We hope to see you all there.

By |August 9th, 2013|Analytics, CME, CRM, Design, Education, Interaction, LMS, Process, Training, Uncategorized, User Experience|Comments Off on Illumen and the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase 2013|

eLearning Trick 103 – Testing SCORM Compliant Modules

We feel, and hope you agree, that waking up at 2 in the morning to handle a learning module issue is not always as fun as it sounds. To keep our phones quite at 2am, we always check our modules to make sure the required compliance is working properly.

Whether it is a custom HTML/HTML5 or Flash based course or a course built from one of the many packages available (Storyline, Captivate, Lectora, etc.), it is always important to test SCORM, AICC, and the new Tin Can API compliant modules and make sure they work properly. This includes, for a SCORM compliant module for instance, the ZIP file and manifest are prepared properly, the  calls and gets are initializing the module and pulling in data and sending out data  (user info, location/bookmark, completion, status, attempts, language, suspended data), and that the data is configured the way you need (setting the user as complete/incomplete, passed, and/or sending specific score information).

By the time we test a module, we have documented our client’s requirements. We will use this as a checklist. We have several Learning Management Systems (LMS) available to us for testing, usually including our client’s LMS, which is the best way to make sure there are no problems. If you need a quick and free way to test your modules we recommend SCORM Cloud.

SCORM Cloud is a fantastic magical site that lets your module run the gauntlet. Use this site to upload your module (SCORM, AICC, or Tin Can API) and find out how well it works…or doesn’t. You can launch your module, use it as your learner would, check the state of the data, adjust properties to fit the final LMS configuration, and re-upload […]

By |July 3rd, 2013|Analytics, CRM, Interaction, LMS, Research & Development|Comments Off on eLearning Trick 103 – Testing SCORM Compliant Modules|

Articulate Storyline Tutorial – Adding a Notepad

We have a tutorial showing how to add a simple notepad into an Articulate Storyline project. Our goal is to create a notepad that:

  • Can be turned on and off
  • Will store the notes added and will reload them when the notepad is shown on any slide
  • Can be added and edited across all slides instead of on each individual slide

Within Storyline, our tutorial covers the creation of a single instance of a button on a master slide and the notepad within its own showable and hideable layer. The text box added in the notepad creates a variable that all notes are added to.

By |April 1st, 2013|Design, Interaction, LMS, Simulations, Tools, & Games, Training, User Experience, Videos|Comments Off on Articulate Storyline Tutorial – Adding a Notepad|

6 Cost Effective Ways to Build Simulations

Here are 6 cost effective ways to build learning simulations:


By |March 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 6 Cost Effective Ways to Build Simulations|

Return on Investment (ROI) – Reduce Days, Reduce Costs

256x256_ROILive on-site training is still a very important, and often a very required element of training, even within a digital age. Flights, cars, hotels, facilitator costs, training rooms, materials, and food per person, per day, can begin to add up financially and cause your learners and facilitators unneeded headaches. So how can spending time and money on online training modules and tools create a return on your investment? By delivering your courses online, your audience has more efficient and convenient access to your unlimited digital materials. These materials can be designed to increase learner performance by creating a virtual environment for your learner to interact through knowledge checks and simulations… all while sending valuable course use and user data back to you. But what about when live training is a must? Leverage blended learning by adding an online training counterpart to aid your live training events. This will reduce the number of live training days by providing courses aimed at developing the learner’s understanding of the fundamentals and initial level of experience within your subjects. Illumen online courses have saved our clients over $3,500,000 in live training costs in the last two years.

Illumen developed an online training course for a new Johnson & Johnson medical device that took four days of live training courses down to two days. Not only was the learner entering the live training with a greater understanding of the device’s base level operations, but our training program kept track of where the learner had problems within knowledge checks and assessments, so the facilitators could focus some of their time on direct issues to assure the learners had a much more balanced level […]

By |March 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Return on Investment (ROI) – Reduce Days, Reduce Costs|