Category Archives: eLearning 2.0

The Periodic Table of Instructional Design [INTERACTIVE]

The people at Check N Click Learning and Technologies have created a simple yet powerful visualization of the Instructional Design process.

The Periodic Table of Instructional Design is a good tool for those just now getting into the field or a great reminder of the basics for the veterans.

If you’re accessing this website from mobile, click Periodic_Table_ID_Check_N_Click for the HTML5 version of the periodic table.


Cite this article:
Silva E (2014-02-07 08:46:30). The Periodic Table of Instructional Design [INTERACTIVE]. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 24, 2014, from

MOOC – What Is It?

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and explain what a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is. Tons of people are trying to explain this “new” trend.

While I think most of the craze around MOOCs is the fact that some big institutions are offering interactive versions of their courses with recorded slides and video lectures, the what makes a MOOC engaging is what makes any sort of eLearning or Learning without the “e” engaging: clear objectives, connectedness, knowledge/skill transfer optimization, fun (why not?), scaffolding… all those words you threw around in grad school.

So, whether you’re designing a MOOC or any type of learning experience, forget the term, design it thinking of your audience and objectives that will help them acquire skills and knowledge they can actually USE.

The technology is an enabler, not a driver.


What is a MOOC?

The MOOC Guide

Massive Open Online Course (Wikipedia)

MOOC Guide (Wikispaces) Providers List

Massive Open Online Course (references from Educause)

MOOC Advisor (blog and resources about MOOCs)


To learn more about how to design a MOOC the most effectively, consider earning an instructional technology masters degree.


Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-09-27 11:57:28). MOOC - What Is It?. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 24, 2014, from

Trends in Educational Technology (eLearning Trends INFOGRAPHIC)

I know, too many buzzwords flying around. So, how do you keep up with all the terminology and make sure you’re not missing out on trends that *might* have a positive impact in your learning programs or personal learning experiences? Answer: keep up with resources such as this cheat sheet for Educational Technology Trends compiled by the people at Boundless in infographic form:


Educational Technology Trends Cheat Sheet

Learn about some of the latest trends in eLearning, in one infographic by @GoBoundless

Source article from LearnDash.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-08-07 10:52:03). Trends in Educational Technology (eLearning Trends INFOGRAPHIC). Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 24, 2014, from

What’s with the (Virtual Class)Room Setup?

Dr. Jenny Dearborn, the CLO at SuccessFactors, an SAP company, recently posted her point of view on an often neglected aspect of instructor-led training: the room arrangement. After all, the environment has a big part to play in how people learn in the classroom.

Now, how about virtual instructor-led training or even completely self-paced eLearning experiences?

How do you design learning from an environment perspective for virtual classrooms or eLearning? When you can’t physically arrange chairs, place computer monitors, mobile devices in strategic places to foster discovery and conversations, what do YOU do as an instructional designer and instructor?

Please comment below!


Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-06-21 09:52:05). What's with the (Virtual Class)Room Setup?. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 24, 2014, from

Storyboarding Made Easy and Automagic by Amazon Storyteller

It looks like creating a professional storyboard from an existing script just got easier with the a href=”″Amazon Storytelling Service/a.

I’m curious to if and how filmmakers, educators and others use this tool to create content.

Please share your experience here in the comments.

Free Stock Photography and Illustration for eLearning

Designing a cool learning experience in your favorite authoring tool and the built-in images such as PowertPoint (Office) clipart is driving you crazy?

There’s an app for that, I mean, a website (more than that, actually). Here are some that I use or have used in the past:

Stock Exchange: you can download photos for free here, they have quite a vast selection. All you have to do is register and agree to the terms to download images at no cost.

IconFinder: If you’re looking for icons for your courseware and materials, this place has all you need (unless you want to create your own from scratch – good luck).


Microsoft Images (Clipart, Illustration and Photos): This website offers a LOT of great images that appear in the Office Clipart Search funtion, the search here is more comprehensive and yields fantastic results. A tip, you can download clipart images in .wmf format, bring them into a Microsoft Office application like Word or PowerPoint and ungroup that image to edit portions of it to create a new image from it! 


Note: Everyone, I know there are numerous other services like these, but I find myself coming back to these specific ones more often. Please feel free to add your own suggestions with descriptions in the comments  below and I can incorporate more services onto this post later.

Optimizing Content for Mobile Devices – Or Why Can’t My Learner Access This Content Anywhere?

The question in the title of this post should guide most (if not all) decisions we make when authoring content for our audiences, this doesn’t just apply to Education, but is extremely important as the technological frameworks that permeate it are constantly evolving. In the fields of Marketing and Entertainment, it’s constantly stressed as an emerging trend that a user can start accessing content (e.g. a movie) on a SmartTV and continue where s/he left off on a mobile device, without breaking the flow of the experience.

The same should be true for learning experiences we design. We, designers and developers of learning experiences, should always ask ourselves “why shouldn’t my learner be able to start experiencing this content on one device and continue where s/he left off on another device?”

A couple of years ago, when HTML5 and other technologies offered alternative ways to provide rich content to audiences that were used to the omnipresent Flash technology were a little cumbersome to learn and glitchy to play with. Now, there is n lack of “mobile-friendly-content-spitting” authoring tools that are as friendly as those that previously authored Flash-only content.

Captivate 6+, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio ’13 (just to mention the most well-known ones) all offer ways to convert old content and create new content in mobile-friendly frameworks. No excuses. We should at least “investigate” the possibility of offering seamless and/or second screen experiences to our learners, yesterday.

It’s not a choice.

I’m not discussing the creation of native apps and content that take advantage of mobile-platforms unique features like location-awareness, gyroscopes, etc. Nothing ground-breaking and uncomfortable. That’s topic for another discussion. I’m simply emphasizing the need to offer what you currently have restricted to a “desktop experience” in ways that are accessible from any* platform.

Free your learner. Now…

Do you face any challenges when trying to seamlessly offer content anytime, anywhere?


* “any” is a dangerous word, perhaps better replaced by “most widespread”


A Few Infographics on “Mobile Learning”

Source: via Enzo on Pinterest

Source: via Enzo on Pinterest

Inside the Mind of a Community Manager [INFOGRAPHIC]

Here’s an infographic illustrating the mentality that not only community managers (those with that official title) but also learning designers, employees, students, EVERYONE in a community need to have. We are ALL community managers and relationship builders.

Investing in relationships, online and offline, is the key activity in this hyperconnected world. Relationships are one of the most important forms of  currency.

We need to have the mindset of every action (again, online and offline) being that of investing more of this currency into our knowledge economy. So, let’s put on the hat of community managers. Take a step toward being a meaningful relationship investor.

It’s now about the “media” in social media. It’s about the social, not matter what media. It’s about relationships that can be fostered through different medium types (media). Don’t get the “media” confused with electronic objects/assets… media as in means, medium.

Let’s all treasure our communities.

What does that mean to us Learning professionals? Let’s foster discussions in our different social media channels, let’s consolidate groups, let’s share best practices for creating communities and better utilizing the relationships we have across the board.

Let’s make it easy for people to communicate openly, let’s clean up, let’s facilitate, mediate, instigate…



Getting Creative with Videos and Presentations for Learning (birthday parties too)

Death by PowerPoint is a myth. The true fatal diagnosis to millions of audience members that die daily in seats at training events, classrooms, conferences, and webinars world wide is the epidemic of poor design boredom.

With a little bit of creativity and just the right tool (and that includes PowerPoint), you can design simple yet effective visual presentations for concepts that are hard to visualize, or that you’d simply like to make more engaging, fun, eye-catching.

Here are a few tools I’ve used in the past that let you create live presentations and/or videos that won’t kill your audience and will keep their attention for longer than 5 seconds… oh, but again, the best tool is a creative brain that is not afraid to experiment, have fun, make mistakes… as much as we designers like to say humor isn’t universal, it is. Why not have fun and entertain your audience while they learn. Airlines have caught up to that idea


Sparkol / Video Scribe – While Sparkol is a presentation tool while Video Scribe is an animated, well, video scribing tool. I’ve always enjoyed seeing those videos that have artists draw on the screen concepts that are being explained in real-time, as the narrative progresses. This is exactly what Video Scribe lets you achieve without having to draw a single image. It recognizes lines in vector graphics (readily and freely available on websites like OpenClipart) to generate an illusion of a hand drawing the images progressively on the screen. Videos can be exported into various formats available (including direct publication to Youtube).

Prezi – Prezi has been around for a while. It allows you to create zoom in/zoom out presentations and videos on what they call an infinite canvas. Sequences created in Prezi don’t necessarily have to follow the linear nature of most PowerPoint presentations, and can be quite stunning. Prezi also lets you collaborate with your teammates in real time.

Spicynodes – This tool allows you to create non-linear and interactive mindmap presentations that can better represent your thought process or sequence.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2012-11-14 16:30:37). Getting Creative with Videos and Presentations for Learning (birthday parties too). Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 24, 2014, from

Edutaining Airline Safety Videos

Dying on a plane crash is one of my nightmares. I am afraid of flying on commercial aircrafts, it’s tense. So, why not catch my attention in that sweaty-palm moment with a fun little video about air travel safety? I’m already tense enough to be bored by the traditional video segments.

Here’s to the airlines that like to break tradition and provide more engaging educational videos to their passengers:





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