PowerPoint’s designed as a presentation tool. While the application is versatile and great for elearning, many people still struggle to get past the PowerPoint look because the features are designed to encourage the use of the templates.
The key is to learn to see the features from a different perspective. When you can do this, you get more value out of the application.
They’re Just Tools That Build Multimedia
Vendors design tools with features. But if you can step away from what the vendor calls the product and how they present the features, you’ll learn to get more value out of the tools.
Essentially the tools create multimedia content regardless of how they’re designed. The key is to understand what the tools can produce and then figure out different ways to use them. This helps you get more value out of your applications.
For example, with an application like Quizmaker you’re inclined to focus on the quizzing because that’s what it’s designed to do. So when you want to build a quiz, you use Quizmaker. But when you want to build “regular” elearning, then you use something else.
However, if you step away from the quizzing structure, you’ll find that you can do a lot more than quizzes like interactive branched-scenarios. PowerPoint has similar versatility which I’ve shown repeatedly on the blog. I use PowerPoint to edit my graphics, create illustrations, videos, and Flash movies.
The key is to understand the tools and what you get. And this is where the elearning community comes in handy. The day-to-day users are the ones who will come up with the different ways to use the tools. Here are some examples of things I’ve done in the past using the tools in slightly different ways.
Use Your Quiz Application to Build Interactive Scenarios
Quizzing products typically use forms to create the quiz questions. This is why most quizzes have that boxy quiz look. However, if you go outside the box and edit the questions in slide view, you can make the quiz look like anything. Then combine the ability to create a custom look with the quizzing logic and now you have a powerful application that lets you quickly build interactive branched scenarios.
Here are a couple of example scenarios:
This first one I created at a conference where I showed how easy it is to use your quizzing application to build scenarios. I took some images I had on hand and wrote the script on the fly. I also did all of the voices (even the woman’s). So don’t pay attention to the content, just look at how I used the tool to build a mini elearning scenario...