This aggregated resource comes from Dustin Betonio at Tripwire Magazine. While specifically targetd at web designers, I believe elearning developers and mobile learning developers would also benefit from these ebooks.

A few that I will be adding to my iPad 2 are:

  1. Introduction to Good Usability
  2. Integrating Accessibility Through Design
  3. A Practical Guide To Web Typography
  4. The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web (HTML)
  5. HTML5 Quick Learning Guide

I’m also considering adding these five to course readings for students. I believe the topics of accessibility, usability, and HTML5 will work well in my advanced elearning development class, the web typography books fit within our beginning instructional design classes.

Do you have any good ebooks that you would recommend for elearning or mlearning developers to read?

Three different fonts that aren't normally see...
Image via Wikipedia

In a move that will situate them strongly as competition to Google and assure their position in the professional world of web-based typography, Adobe acquired Typekit, as announced today by Typekit in their newsletter.

Typekit offers a service of web-based fonts that can be called from any web page to serve up specific fonts.  With the combination of Adobe’s vast library the power and breadth of serving up fonts that work has potential.  This has opened up the gates to design content management systems (CMSs) and blogs with CSS3 without relying heavily on images to create pretty type, particularly with headings.  This also helps with cross-platform compatibility with web-safe fonts.

Typekit in their announcement said,

Typekit will remain a standalone product, as well as become a vital part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Our team will stay together, and we’re excited to start working on even easier ways to integrate web fonts into your workflow.

via Typekit Newsletter.

 

instantShift logo

 

In my Google Reader today, I came across this from instantShift: 40 New Free Fonts for Your Designs.  Those of you who know me, know I am addicted to fonts and icons and FREE!

In this set of fonts, I highly recommend downloading:

  • AE Speedway
  • RBNo2
  • Afta
  • Satellite
  • Yeseva

These are my Jumptags for February 9th through March 17th:

Guest Blogger PostWhen designing and developing an elearning course you will always be incorporating some combination of text, images, audio, and video. There are several important things you need to keep in mind when working with various types of media.

Text

When designing a course, the wording of the text is not the only thing you should consider. The font you choose can have a huge impact on your elearning course. In one of his blog posts, Tom Kuhlmann points out how the typeface you choose sets the tone or mood for a course. It is important to choose a typeface that matches the tone you want your course to have. For example, you wouldn’t use Comic Sans in a course for business professionals. You would probably be better off using something more traditional like Times New Roman.

While you are deciding on which typefaces are just right for your course, also keep Jennifer Farley’s advice in mind and don’t use more than two fonts per design. She recommends choosing two contrasting fonts such as using an elaborate or decorative font for your headings and contrast them with a sans-serif font for the main text.

Also consider the size of the font in your design. Depending on the age of your learners, a font size of 10 might be too small for them to read comfortably. On the other hand if the font is too large it could distract the learner and make the visual design less appealing.

Finally, if you are creating elearning that will be displayed directly in a browser you should only use web safe fonts. In an article about web safe fonts, Chet Garrison says that if you use an exotic font, only the limited users who have the font installed on their computer will actually see the design as you intended. The thirteen fonts that are considered to be web safe are: Georgia, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman, Arial, Arial Black, Impact, Lucida Sans Unicode, Tahoma, Trebuchet MSVerdana, Comic Sans MS, Courier New, and Lucida Console.

Images

When using images in your elearning course an important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t use images just for decoration. Although, like text, images can be used to set the tone of a course, they should also contribute to the content and learning.

In another blog post, Tom Kuhlman stresses the importance of using images that belong together. You shouldn’t mix photos and clipart or even different styles of photos and clipart within the same course. The images in your course should have a consistent look and feel.

You also need to consider the direction an image flows when you are deciding where to place an image in your course. You can use images to shift a learner’s focus as long as you place the image in the correct place. For example if you have an image of person pointing next to a body of text, make sure that the image is pointing towards the body of text. Chet Garrison has written a great blog post that goes into more details about this concept.

Audio

Just like images, don’t use audio in your course just because you can. You should only use audio if it helps with learning. Tom Kuhlmann talks about how background audio should only be used if it “contributes to an immersive experience” or “creates emotional cues”. Be careful not to use audio that is distracting to the learner.

Another time audio is often used in elearning is for narration. Al Lemieux offers several tips for recording good narration. The tip that I found to be the best, and that most people overlook, is the importance of using a high quality microphone. Using a good external mic instead of the one built into your computer can make your audio sound much more professional.

Video

Video can be a great way to add content to your elearning course, but it can also be really bad if it is not done correctly. One major problem is having a video clip that is too long. Learners can quickly become bored if all they are doing is watching a video. In an article for Learning Solutions Magazine, Jeremy Vest says that the optimal length for a video segment is two to seven minutes long.

In the same article, Vest says another common mistake, especially with screencasts, is not showing the instructor in the video. The learner can quickly become disengaged if they never see anyone on the screen. So, try to add in some shots of the instructor talking when it is appropriate.

I hope these tips will help you as you are designing your own elearning courses. Please feel free to share some of your on tips in the comments.

Guest blogger: Joey Weaver teaches Computer Technology to high school students at Kansas Career & Technology Center in Memphis, TN. He is currently working on a Master’s degree in Instructional Design & Technology at the University of Memphis.

Images courtesy of Daehyun Park, D’Arcy Norman, & Valeriana Solaris at Flikr Creative Commons.

These are my Jumptags for January 31st through February 9th:

Adobe BrowserLabToday, from the Adobe Education Technologies blog, Brian Chau mentioned how much he liked trying Adobe BrowserLab:

I like the idea of being able to test how the CSS will render on different browsers/platforms without having to have all these browsers and versions be installed on my machine. One feature I particularly like is the ability to display not just a side-by-side comparison of the page render on 2 different browsers, but to display the 2 renders on top of each other as onion skins. It is amazing that sometimes 2 CSS renderings may seem to look identical on different browsers. Yet when put on top of each other, the pixel shift becomes apparent.

I’ve heard of BrowserLab in the last couple of months or so and gave it a try.  At the site, however, I didn’t catch on that you could download the plug-in to make it work inside of Dreamweaver.  That’s pretty cool.  At the site, Adobe says that free preview is for a limited number of users.  So, I encourage you to give it a try and get in on the freebie version while you can.

It works similar to the way that BrowserShots works (which was having some time-out difficulties when I tried them today). Not to worry, though, designm.ag offers up a little of 10 resources to help you preview browser renderings (including BrowserShots).

Have you tried any of these guys out or downloaded the BrowserLab plug-in?

These are my Jumptags for January 11th through January 12th:

These are my Jumptags for January 4th through January 6th:

These are my Jumptags for December 17th through January 4th: