Use conversations in eLearning courses


Overview tutorial showing the background and characters angles that I use when building a conversation in an eLearning course.

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Download a free conversation template and use it in your courses.


Video Script

Hi. This is Bryan Jones from eLearningArt.

Today I wanted to show you how you can build conversations in your eLearning courses.

This will be the overview video. I’ll have a few follow up lessons as well that get into some of the cool techniques that I’m using.

So I thought I’d show you some screenshots of what a conversation might look like. So, this is what the end product would be. And these would each be their own individual slides.

But you could have 2 people talking to each other in an office. This woman says something and then we change angles. Ian then responds. And then we flip the view again over Ian’s shoulder where we have Lily responding to Ian. Then a zoom in of Ian. Followed up by a slide that could be a lead in to a scenario where you have a snippet of a conversation that was built through sequential images, followed by some kind of question. It could just be a question to just be thinking about something. It could be something where there are choices to be made. But essentially, this is what the output could be.

Now the example that I showed you doesn’t use every single angle that I set up when I build my templates for conversations. So I thought I’d show you the 8 angles that I build for conversations.

I usually do 2 establishing shots. So it could be something that’s like a building of an office. And then a zoomed out view of the room that they’re in.

Then I do a mid zoom that’s a torso crop. What I do here is just a single background image. I’ll get more into that. And I’m panning across that image to give you a left, center, and right pan. And I did the same thing for the zoom-ins with a full left pan, center, and right.

Now these are different than the output that I showed you because I had colorized the backgrounds. And we’ll get into that as well, but I just wanted to give you a little overview here first.

So I built all of those in PowerPoint and what I want to show you here is for the background I actually end up with just 3 images. I have the original image here and then what I did was size it to be a 4×3 ratio so that it would fit into a into an authoring tool like PowerPoint. I did 800×600. That’s a little oversized, but that’s ok.

Then I create another version of it where it’s a panoramic view that’s zoomed in mid.

Then here’s a real panoramic where I take the upper portion of that.

And this transforms the one image into something where we can kind of pan across and create these different zooms.

Now I also want to show you what I do for the characters. Now a character that’s set up well for conversations. You’re going to have both front and side views of listening poses, of talking poses as well. There’s a few talking views.

Now the one sneaky show here is the over the shoulder. I apply kind of a blur effect and darken the image. And that gives you that over the shoulder view where you’re going back and forth. Over Ian’s shoulder here and over Lily’s shoulder here.

Anyways, I have a few follow up lessons where I’ll show you how you set up the background image, how you set up your character images, and then how to create contrast between the background and the characters, as well as a few other techniques.

Conversations are a big part of storytelling in building eLearning courses. They can set up scenarios. They can be a way through a Socratic method where you could be revealing information or content through a conversation. And that gives context for how that information would be used in the type of scenario that you would want the end user to actually be applying that information.

I hope you found that useful. Be on the lookout for the next few lessons.


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