Open Source E-learning Tools – Interactive Presentation


This presentation uses Articulate Studio’13 to add narration and interactivity to a PowerPoint presentation. I developed it as a final presentation for one of the modules of my UCI E-learning Instructional Design Certificate course. My task was to produce a review, including audio, of three different tools for e-learning. I chose to review three open source tools, as I am really keen on the accessibility that open source brings to technology. The tools I reviewed were Moodle, Audacity and Adapt Learning.   Open Source E-Learning Tools

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Learning Theory

This presentation is an example of Cognitivism.

  • Cognitivism is a theory which says that as educators, we need to pay attention to how people actually learn. To ensure my presentation did this, I used lots of eye-cathcing, relevant visuals to illustrate the points I was making. Whenever I had on-screen text, I made sure that it was quick and easy to read and that it didn’t distract from the narration. I gave most of the information in the audio. Research shows that this is one of the key ways learners are likely to remember details of content.


To produce the presentation, I used two main tools: Microsoft PowerPoint and Articulate Studio’13. I used a Rapid Development approach to the course building. I also supplemented the presentation with Creative Commons images.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint. I used PowerPoint to create the look and feel of the slides. PowerPoint is a tool I know inside out, at an advanced level, so this allowed me to concentrate on the instructional and graphic design tasks and very quickly and easily get great-looking slides developed.
  • Articulate Studio’13. This was the first time I had used Articulate’s “entry-level” e-learning software. I am really pleased with how the presentation turned out and how quick and easy it was to produce, too. I used Studio’13 to design all the branching, to record and edit the audio and to design some of the interactions. I did have a few technical problems with Studio’13, such as the program repeatedly crashed when editing the audio. I’m hoping these were just bugs in the current version of the program, because otherwise it was a fabulous product to use. I’m actually involved in the Beta trial of the next version of Studio’13 now, thanks to an invitation from Articulate.
  • Rapid Development. My priority with this course was to get a basic presentation online. I then worked on adding the audio and some basic interactions. The final part of the program will be to add some comprehension quizzes part way through each presentation to keep the learners focussed. I will also add a scenario-based summary quiz at the end of all three tools in a later version. This is a Rapid Development approach. Rapid Development in e-learning was developed as a response to the amount of time it takes from the start of an ADDIE course being developed to when it is actually delivered. Rapid development is iterative, meaning that there are multiple updates made to a course based on things like client & learner feedback and new content becoming available.

What I Like about this Portfolio Piece

  • The presentation was a quick job, not something I had taken a lot of time over, so I was pleased with the overall look and feel of the presentation. I was especially pleased as it was the first time I had used the software, too.
  • As part of the review of Adapt Learning, I included a mockup of the tool as it will look on a PC, a tablet and a smartphone. I managed to actually include a working version of the tool, which I though was a nice touch.
  • I’m pleased with the quality of (most) of the audio, which I was very careful about when I recorded it. I used a good quality cartoid microphone, a pop filter and a mainly soundproofed room to make sure the recording didn’t sound amateurish. Unfortunately, due to editing crashes, I had to rerecord a couple of slides’ audio. Even though I tried very hard to recreate the conditions of the original recording, the narration still sounds quite different. You’ll notice this most on slides 7.3 and 7.5


What I Will Do Differently in the Next Versions

I want to add more interactivity into the presentation in the next versions. Right now, the learners can choose what they want to learn about, but the rest of the presentation is too passive. I will include some “Learn More” slides, with clickable hotspots, as well as some concept checking quizzes. I’d also like to add a story-based quiz at the end of the presentation, to reinforce the message of the presentation.

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