Pacific Blue Solutions

Pacific Blue Solutions

We are a specialist training and consultancy company who help you create high-quality courses and le

We offer training and 'done for you' services in the following areas: measuring and evaluating training effectiveness; instructional design for all delivery mediums including e-learning and virtual classroom; and, Articulate Storyline.

Operating as usual

Is rapid e-learning just a myth? 13/03/2023

Is Rapid e-learning just a myth? - Is there such a thing as rapid e-learning or is it just a myth created by software salesmen to push more product?

Is rapid e-learning just a myth? Is there such a thing as rapid e-learning or is it just a myth created by software salesmen to push more product?

Which is most typical of your e-learning: inform or perform? 13/02/2023

Which is most typical of your e-learning: inform or perform? - There's a vital distinction that most e-learning design overlooks: whether to focus on inform or perform. Which is most typical of your e-learning?

Which is most typical of your e-learning: inform or perform? There's a vital distinction that most e-learning design overlooks: whether to focus on inform or perform. Which is most typical of your e-learning?

E-learning outsourcing pros and cons 12/12/2022

E-learning outsourcing pros and cons - Outsourcing your e-learning design and development to a supplier can be a big step for learning and development. Find out about the pros and cons.

E-learning outsourcing pros and cons Outsourcing your e-learning design and development to a supplier can be a big step for learning and development. Find out about the pros and cons.

Blended Learning: is it just about choice? 06/10/2022

Blended Learning: is it just about choice? - Blended learning is about more than just a choice of delivery mediums. It should take account of content frequency-of-use, complexity and longevity.

Blended Learning: is it just about choice? Blended learning is about more than just a choice of delivery mediums. It should take account of content frequency-of-use, complexity and longevity.

14/09/2022

Are you like a busy chef just working through an ever-growing list of customer orders?

As a customer, it’s a generally a pleasant experience going to a restaurant. We order the food we want. It arrives as specified and we get to enjoy it. And if anything is not quite as we’d like it, we can always have a word with the staff.

But what about if you are the chef and his team. Always busy. Always harassed. Always churning out the same predictable product. Frequently dealing with picky customers who don’t like this or that about what you produce.

In theory, the chef should be very much in control of his or her universe. in practice it may not be like that.

Does that chef’s kitchen sound like your L&D function? If not, I’m delighted to hear it. No need to read on. If yes, then you are currently facing a very unattractive future. Because the orders are only going to increase in volume and the ‘customers’ are only going to get pickier and more demanding.

If your ‘customers’ are telling you what they want and how they want it, fundamentally they don’t value you.

If you are serious about changing that and turning your L&D department into the trusted and respected part of your organisation it deserves to be, I’d love to talk to you about a turnaround strategy.

Timeline photos 08/09/2022

Articulate Storyline on the Mac - am I just a dreamer?

I’ve been a Mac user long enough to remember the days when I got laughed at for my decision to use one. I was frequently told it was only a matter of time before Apple would disappear down the drain hole and I’d be left with an over-priced brick.

While the world has changed dramatically in the Mac’s favour in more recent times, there are still one or two areas of digital life where Mac users have no choice to but use Windows. In my case, working with Articulate’s Storyline is the moment in my working day when switching to Windows is the only option.

I have my hard disk partitioned, so I can run Windows and Storyline natively. Everything works fine on that front. But I’m always happy when it’s time to leave Windows and head back to the Mac OS.

Of course back in the Mac, I can easily use Rise and in a quiet moment, I can’t help but have an occasional, wistful ‘if only’ moment when it comes to dreaming of using Storyline on the Mac.

So will the day come when I don’t have to do that? When I can simply open Storyline as a native Mac application?

When it comes to publicising their future plans, Articulate are almost as secretive as Apple. So goodness only knows if any of this might be in their plans, sometime in the future.

But a Mac user can dream, right? And believe me, I do!

I think my real dream would be a single, web-based application that merges Rise and Storyline features. An app that produces an elegant responsive product similar to the kind of output we already see in Rise but also includes the sophistication of Storyline and allows for the creation of Blocks with highly customisable interactivity. Plus the ability to include global commands/rules within a course, as you are able to do with variables in Storyline.

Timeline photos 01/09/2022

2 features you might not use when working in Rise

I’ve been using Rise for quite a while now. While it has its limitations, used with a bit of instructional design creativity, you can definitely produce really good learning materials.

However, like all software applications, it has features that tend to get overlooked. If my experience in helping people increase their use of things like Masters and Layouts in Storyline is anything to go by, there’s a good chance you might not be making full use of Block Templates in Rise.

They are super-easy to create and if you have planned out your course in advance, they can save you loads of time. Here’s the link to a quick ‘how-to’ video:

https://training.articulate.com/videos/rise-360-block-templates

Another lesser known feature is the Scenario Block found in the cluster of Interactive Blocks in the Block Library. Scenarios can be a little clunky to set up and it is probably the only Rise feature that feels a bit difficult to master. But it’s well worth the time and effort. Here’s the link to some explanatory steps:

https://articulate.com/support/article/Rise-360-How-to-Use-Scenario-Blocks

A word of warning, though. You really need to do some instructional design thinking and have your scenario planned out before you start implementing in Rise.

If you are interested, planning out the overall ‘success path’ through a scenario/guided discovery activity is something we cover in a couple of our recently updated instructional design modules. By all means message me, if you’d like more info about this.

Timeline photos 30/08/2022

E-learning expectation versus reality.

If you’ve been involved in L&D for any length of time, you’ll almost certainly have had one of those conversations with a new convert to e-learning.

Given how long the medium has been knocking around now, it always surprises me that there are candidates still available to be newly converted. But there are.

Their fresh-faced enthusiasm is usually because they’ve been sold on a couple of benefits: speed of development and anytime, any device delivery. If they have bean-counter tendencies, they my also be licking their lips at the prospect of saving vast amounts of money by going down the e-learning path.

The old saying, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”, springs to mind here.

So much for the expectation. What about the reality? While it’s definitely possible (and desirable) to be smart about your e-learning design and development approaches and processes, the development side is never as fast and easy as the technology providers would have you believe.

As for the anytime, any device mantra, the “build it and they will come” principle definitely doesn’t apply. If you are pushing out boring, knowledge-heavy, PowerPoint on steroids type courses, only compulsion will drive learner uptake. As John Medina has rightly points outed in his book ‘Brain Rules’, our brains don’t pay much attention to boring.

Timeline photos 23/08/2022

Will learning technologies ever deliver on their promise?

We've lived with a multitude of technologies for learning for decades now.

Each new technology that comes along is hailed as the next 'big thing', full of promise. We mostly get sucked in to the hype. Enthusiasm is high. Vast amounts of money are spent on said new technology. Yet the early promise is rarely fulfilled.

Which begs the question, 'Why?' The problem, I believe, lies with us and not the technology.

We lose sight of the fact that a particular technology is never the complete answer to improving the quality of learning. It is (and always will be) just another means to deliver it.

Ideally, you need to be really good at using the technology and you need to be smart about how you apply your learning design when using a particular technology.

Because in the end, it'll be the smart application of your learning design that makes the difference between a run-of-the mill piece learning and a really impactful, effective one.

6 Tips For Choosing The Right eLearning Tools For Your Course - Programming Insider 29/05/2020

There are many things you need to consider before you choose an e-learning tools for your company. What goals do you need to accomplish?

6 Tips For Choosing The Right eLearning Tools For Your Course - Programming Insider Creating an eLearning course related to your area of interest and expertise is a great idea. It can help you establish yourself as a training expert in your niche plus earn you a good audience and a great deal of money, But is it all so easy? Well, certainly, there’s a sea of challenges that […]

Use Visual Cues To Enhance Learning 08/05/2020

When creating graphics are your readers able to understand the content? Are they confused about the intended message? Read more below on how to create engaging graphics.

Use Visual Cues To Enhance Learning Visual cues direct the eyes to the relevant information in a graphic. This helps ensure that people understand the intended message and adds efficiency to visual communication.

Who Doesn't Need Free Illustrations for E-Learning | The Rapid E-Learning Blog 08/05/2020

Sometimes we need images to make things more interesting and to engage with our audience. Read more below on how to access illustrations for your template. Did we mention they're free?

Who Doesn't Need Free Illustrations for E-Learning | The Rapid E-Learning Blog Here are some free illustrations that you can use in your presentations or e-learning courses. They're simple and easy to use.

Instructional Design Training | E-Learning Design | Course Design 05/05/2020

There are four major ways to bust designs:

1. Avoid page-turning
2. Ensure you're including your learner through relevant, impactful, and purposeful content
3. Avoid mediocre, endless interactions
4. Be authentic

Instructional Design Training | E-Learning Design | Course Design Effective learning solutions for organisations and individuals through instructional design training, articulate storyline training and custom e-learning and course design.

Do These Two Things to Create Effective E-Learning | The Rapid E-Learning Blog 05/05/2020

There are two major ways you improve the of your content:

1. Create clear learning objectives
2. Measure the understanding of those objectives

Read on to find out more!

Do These Two Things to Create Effective E-Learning | The Rapid E-Learning Blog Effective e-learning is possible with actionable learning objectives that has a clear method to measure understanding and application of the learning.

Timeline photos 21/04/2020

The wave of the future...Or the wave of now? E-Instructional Design needs are constantly evolving. There are 6 modules in our instructional design programme specifically designed to help you create boredom-busting e-learning.



http://www.pacificblue.co.uk/e-instructional-design

Most teaching is going remote. Will that help or hurt online learning? 14/04/2020

The remote learning experiment is well underway. What might the impact be? The article below explores some ideas:

Most teaching is going remote. Will that help or hurt online learning? Because of COVID-19, most professors and students suddenly find themselves forced to use technology as they teach and learn. A panel of experts explores whether that will help or hurt attitudes about online education.

Instructional design programmes 24/03/2020

At Pacific Blue, we offer 3 different types of instructional design programmes: custom in-house programmes, scheduled public courses and self-study and distance learning programmes.

Instructional design programmes Create smarter more effective learning - for any medium. Our flexible programmes give you guiding principles and a focused, results-driven approach.

Graphic Novel Style in PowerPoint - Step by Step Tutorial - eLearningArt 20/03/2020

You can get creative with your e-learning by creating graphic novel style slides that tell a story. Check out this helpful guide on how to apply this visual technique!

Graphic Novel Style in PowerPoint - Step by Step Tutorial - eLearningArt Last week I shared the importance controlling the design conversation by having several styles you feel comfortable in. I let you all vote on which one to release. As promised, here is the step-by-step tutorial on how to create the graphic novel style.   This tutorial is broken into 2 main sections...

Engage The Brain 28/02/2020

Design your training so it works with your learners' brains, not against them. Neuroscience and psychology can provide some useful clues and principles when designing training.

Engage The Brain When we remember a lesson learned or find ourselves transfixed by a particular message, the person delivering the message can be credited, but there may be something else at work that goes beyond the talent of the presenter—neuroscience. The way the brain works, and the ability of Learning profess...

25/02/2020

Check out this webinar from the KIrkpatricks which looks at connecting the dots between training and organizational results.

Do you rush in to try to show Level 4 Results from your training? Some people try to jump directly from conducting training activities to demonstrating organizational results. It doesn’t work. Here is what does.

Virtual classroom modules 25/02/2020

Struggling to keep you virtual classroom events from turning into dry, PowerPoint and talk sessions? Take a look at our instructional design modules, aimed at moving your virtual classrooms events to a more hands-on, inductive approach for your learners.

Virtual classroom modules Find out about new technologies and new ways of delivering learning.

Virtual Classroom Design and Development Services 14/02/2020

Successful virtual classroom sessions build social presence, keep learners engaged and actively participating in the session, and (most important) provide meaningful practice, using the skills and knowledge being covered in the session.

Virtual Classroom Design and Development Services Got a virtual classroom course that needs designing or building? Find out about our flexible, customised design and build services.

Post-Course Evaluations for E-Learning: 60+ Questions to Include 14/02/2020

End of course 'happy sheets' only give you partial insight into the effectiveness of your courses. But they are a useful start point. Check out these 60 questions across 9 evaluation categories to help you choose the best selection of questions for your initial post-course evaluation.

Post-Course Evaluations for E-Learning: 60+ Questions to Include Creating a post-course evaluation for e-learning or training? Here are 60+ questions you can include.

4. Exploring New Learning Mediums 11/02/2020

In 2020, do you want to make sure that your business is optimizing all the mediums for learning and employee development? Check out our modules on using the virtual classroom.

4. Exploring New Learning Mediums Find out about new technologies and new ways of delivering learning.

Fostering a culture of curiosity to build business capability 07/02/2020

A secret to success with e-learning? Make sure you're nurturing a culture of curiosity. Excitement and interest are essential for learning to achieve its full value.

Fostering a culture of curiosity to build business capability Reading time: 4 minutes HR and learning and development professionals have been on a learning journey of their own over the past decade. Traditional classroom-based learning has increasingly been replaced by what was initially called eLearning. Digital learning brought benefits of cost- and time-sav...

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