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Interactive Piano Scales

I’ve been creating some resources for music theory and I had a brainwave, so I’ve created an interactive Articulate Storyline 2 activity which allows students to practice the major and minor scales.

I’ve kept it simple, the student is given a screen with a piano keyboard, they select all the keys for a chord and when they submit, if correct, will hear the chord played. If the scale is incorrect they can try again.

I’ve showcased it at work and it’s gone down well. All the assets are in the public domain, I got the sounds for Freesounds and the image from Pixabay.

Here is what the question screens look like initially:



When the student selects the keys, this is what it looks like:


You can find the storyline files here, as well as the scorm zip files and assets.

I’m also thinking that it could easily be converted into an assessment where the students pass/fail each question and have to get a percentage to pass the quiz. I’m also thinking of a version where the student gets 3 tries for each question, with 30,20, 10 points for each try. Please feedback with your thoughts. I hope this resource is useful!


Combining Text and Images in E-Learning #152

This week’s task to combining text and images, this is something that makes up most of the e-learning content and one that I can spend ages trying to get right. Due to my IT background I’m particular about how an e-learning package looks and want it to look professional but also relevant for the user.  As I design packages for students at different levels and both FE and HE and also staff they can all look very different.

An example of a course I did for FE students was one on employability skills, this is the start screen:


I wanted to include an image of the college, and when it animates the line looks like it is drawn before the image and text fades in.

I find layers can be really helpful as it there is a lot of text, image buttons can be used which then displays the text as a “pop-up”, like in this screen from the same package.


In this package, which again is for students, I used a rectangle shapes as an overlay and made it slightly transparent. When you have clicked on a menu option and return, the background image becomes black and white.


For the quiz, I used the bottom of the image as a border to keep a consistent feel.


For professional studies students, they wanted a more professional look, in this screen I used an image where the main focus is in the right, so I could add the text to the left without having to lose any focus of the image by making it transparent.


These are just a few examples as there are many ways of combining images and text. I like the echo effect from a previous challenge which I blogged about here. I also like to either make an image transparent or blurred and a shape overlay can give a slide a polished look too like in this example.


Using Interactive Dials and Knobs in E-Learning #151

This weeks Articulate Storyline challenge is using dials, I love this idea and hadn’t thought of this technique.

I was trying to think of a way to use this and thought it might be good for a colour wheel type activity which is used in hairdressing, particular when correcting colour.

The images I got from Pixabay and the dial click sound for freesounds.

Here is one of the dials:


Click the dial to see how the colour changes when adding the correcting colour.

Now, I’m not a subject specialist so the colours between the primary colour and the neutralising colour don’t equate well in the RGB or CYMK colour scheme of Photoshop. I have forwarded this to Hair and Beauty at the college and they love it. They said they will feedback the correct colours, but I wanted to get this uploaded before the challenge finished so here it is. If it needs any amendments I will update this blog.

You can find the storyline file here.

Hope this is useful!


Articulate Storyline 2: Timer Challenge

This week challenge is animated timers. I recently needed a timer and although I wanted to create an animated timer I didn’t have time so used a number that counted down.

This is the timer I’ve created:


I got the stop watch image from Pixabay and the tick and alarm sounds from freesound.

I’ve designed it as a template of 3 timers for 10 seconds, 30 seconds and 60 seconds. I’ve used a slide for each one, the timer is in a layer with a small timer at the bottom right. The idea is this is a template, the slide can be imported into a project and the layer shown and hidden when needed .

This is the menu:



To view the timer, click on the timer and it will display it. To use in a project you can import the slide with the appropriate timer.

This is the timer screen:


The navigation text can be removed and content added.

You can find the Storyline file here.

Hope this is useful!

Challenge Accepted!

Last week Tom Kuhlmann’s weekly Articulate Storyline 2 challenge was to create a cover slide with an echo effect, I really liked the effect and I’ve been looking forward to trying it.

I’m delivering some training to construction staff on how to create storyboard which I use to create interactive learning packages so thought it would be a good excuse to try the echo technique for an example.

Here it is!


I’ve also tried one out for Society, Health and Social Care:


MOOCs – Feeling Inspired

I’m currently have way through a 3 day online conference run by Jisc RSC North Yorkshire on Moocs which looks at everything from OER, accessibility, open badges to designing and creating a successful mooc. It’s been really interesting and inspiring.

This has linked well as I’ve been asked to join a steering group at the college looking at frameworks for teaching from the way we do it now to completely online. This has been great opportunity to use my knowledge as a learning technologist and collaborate with staff.

As I really should ‘practice what I preach’, I’ve signed up for 2 Moocs, the first being January and run by The University of Nottingham called Sustainability, society and you with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development. It is an interesting topic, but I’m also interested in how it runs and I how I find being a student on a Mooc course.

The focus is on research and critical thinking, and resources have been made available before hand to encourage deeper learning once the course starts. There are free e-books available and can be downloaded to e-readers, so I’ve downloaded them all to my iPad and started reading one.  It’s fired up my interest and given me a knowledge of what I will be learning. I am a keen, proactive learning, so whether other students on the course will do the same I will have to wait and see. I’m also hoping that I continue to look through the resources before the course.

My aim to do this particular course is to see if I can re-think sustainability and I am hoping it will inspire change as a result of more knowledge.

I will blog about my journey and lessons learned. I’m feeling a real passion for education and e-learning particularly and hope this becomes a real way of making education accessible to those who seek it. I am looking forward to honing my skills and using them to support staff and help to create e-learning content and courses.

E-Safety Course – Creating the Theme

Well I’ve had lots of fun in Photoshop and Captivate looking at different looks.  I have a colour scheme which I’m using based on the college logo and have so far created 2 different themes.

The Square Theme is quiet formal:


The bubbles theme is less so:


I quiet like the bubbles theme, however when I added some content to the first screen, I think the squares theme looks better.

ImageThese are just some first thoughts, and I may end up doing something entirely different.  It’s been good to try out the Master Slides in Captivate, they are are so versatile and easy to update.