Created by Articulate (the company that makes Storyline), E-Learning Heroes is a site full of resources on creating learning objects using authoring tools and instructional design principles.
Type of Material:
Specific lessons and resources would work well incorporated into courses on instructional design, as well as utilized as standalone tutorials for faculty and designers building online and hybrid course design elements.
A browser with an internet connection. Because the site is created by Articulate, many of the resources use Storyline as an example. As such, some of the tutorials may be more applicable to your design work if you have access to Storyline.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Though there are no specific learning goals set forth by Articulate, the site takes the indirect goal of teaching best practices for designing and implementing eLearning solutions for both educational and training settings. It supports educators in building their online course creation skills.
Target Student Population:
Faculty at all levels that use elearning; practitioners of online course design are targeted.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None, but having a strong idea of a project related to instructional design would be helpful for framing the content.
The site offers a great mix of material (eBooks, blog articles, discussions) on the practice of developing eLearning, as well as a series of hands-on demos and tutorials on the procedural steps required to build learning objects. The range of materials includes specific tips as well as broad-based ideas for enhancing learning. The discussion boards are lively and include a wide variety of topics.
While the material is offered up as industry-standard knowledge, some of the content is specifically geared towards usage of Articulate Storyline. It might be helpful to some users to have more information available on which content relates to Storyline alone, and which content is useful to all individuals building eLearning content. It is not clear who decides what is included in the site or whether the material is vetted.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
With the blend of information provided and the modalities over which it is offered, this site is a valuable resource for demonstrating the fine relationship between theory and practice as it relates to instructional design. As such, educators can take pieces a la carte and incorporate the elements into their current curriculum. There are hints that can help educators at all levels. The site itself is free and there are multiple free downloads.
Because the site is created by Articulate, many of the resources use Storyline as an example. However, the practices and approaches could be used in any authoring system. For some of the materials to be crafted into learning assignments, educators may need to add supplemental material to offer context and scope to users without access to Storyline.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The elegant site design creates the feeling of a collegial and active learning community, offering not only lessons and tutorials, but places to engage in discussions with other practitioners. The site itself is a strong example of effective eLearning.
It would be helpful to communicate to users the purpose of the different sections on the site as they relate to the various stakeholders that will make sure of the materials - students of instructional design would take a very different path through the material than working instructional designers using Storyline. Both of the aforementioned user types will find brilliant resources on the site, but it would be excellent to offer them a clear path to the specific resources that would be most beneficial to them.
The site can be overwhelming and without the search engine, the organization can be difficult to follow.
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