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ATD Blog

Toolbox Tips: Check Out the New Video Series

Thursday, July 1, 2021
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As we head into July, we want to point out ATD’s Toolbox Tips video series and highlight some of the most popular videos so far!

If this series is new to you, here is a quick recap: ATD revived the popular Toolbox Tips blog series from 2013 to 2015 as a video series in February 2021. The blog posts featured great e-learning how-to tips and learning design hacks on various content authoring tools and platforms.

As we received feedback from many folks in our ATD community that they were growing new e-learning skills to serve their now remote and distributed learners, we decided to bring back the Toolbox Tips series. We opted for a video format where you can expect useful bite-sized “how-to” tutorials that you can apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. They include tips to get unstuck, tutorials for a specific task you don’t yet know how to do, or a new feature or tool you may be unaware of.

Check out the top viewed videos so far and tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features.

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5 Chrome Extensions Every Instructional Designer Should Use
Looking to speed up your design workflow? Cath Ellis reveals a few of her favorite free Chrome extensions she uses to improve her design productivity.

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Looking to speed up your design workflow? Cath Ellis reveals a few of her favorite free Chrome extensions she uses to improve her design productivity. She shares five different Chrome extensions she uses to create learning solutions, content assets for your design portfolio, and even mock up designs for potential clients. If you need to identify colors or font details on a page, Cath shows two extension tools, ColorPick Eyedropper and WhatFont, to discover various font and color details you can easily copy over for your learning designs. Next, she demonstrates how to apply CSS Peeper, another extension, if you need to know sizing details for images and icons. The fourth extension is GoFullPage, a tool you can use to create full screen page captures. And lastly, she shares an accessibility extension called Colour Contrast Checker, to apply when auditing color contrast levels on a page for a readable, distinguishable design. ATD’s Toolbox Tips series provides e-learning hacks on various content authoring and learning technology tools. Get quick, useful “how-to” tutorials to apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. Tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features.
Visual Design Tips in Articulate Storyline
Creating effective, beautiful visuals is crucial for learning. It is also easier than we think. Jared Douglas highlights the importance of white space and offers tips on using bold colors when designing our learning materials.
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Creating effective, beautiful visuals is crucial for learning. It’s also easier than we think. This video walks us through the importance of white space and offers tips on using bold colors when designing our learning materials. ATD’s Toolbox Tips series provides e-learning hacks on various content authoring and learning technology tools. Get quick, useful “how-to” tutorials to apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. Tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features.
Create Slide Backgrounds Using Articulate 360 Content Library
Create dynamic slide backgrounds that give your e-learning material a sense of personality and modern feel. Nikki O’Keefe demonstrates how to use images from the Articulate 360 content library as slide backgrounds to instantly upgrade your courses’ visual appeal.
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Create dynamic slide backgrounds that give your E-Learning courses a sense of personality and modern feel. Use images from Articulate’s 360 content library as your slide background to instantly upgrade your courses' visual appeal. This quick tip will show you how to leverage images for slide backgrounds to incorporate in your visual design. ATD’s Toolbox Tips series provides e-learning hacks on various content authoring and learning technology tools. Get quick, useful “how-to” tutorials to apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. Tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features.
Personalize the Learner’s Name Using Variables
How can you add personalization to your e-learning courses? Use the learner’s name! Nikki O’Keeffe demonstrates a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a variable for the learner’s name in Articulate 360.
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ATD’s Toolbox Tips series provides e-learning hacks on various content authoring and learning technology tools. Get quick, useful “how-to” tutorials to apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. Tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features. Personalize the Learner's Name Using VariablesHow can you add personalization to your E-Learning courses? Use the learner's name! View this quick tutorial: An E-learning instructional design video on how to add a name variable to your course in Articulate Storyline to keep the learner involved. Nikki O’Keefe demonstrates a step-by-step tutorial of how to create a variable for the learner’s name in Articulate 360.
How to Select a Subject in Photoshop
Using stock photos is a common way to add imagery to your content creations, and you may be looking for ways to customize these images for your learning solutions. Destery Hildebrand shows how you can select a specific element or subject within a photo, isolate them, and create layers in Photoshop. You’ll learn a keyboard shortcut to create a new layer and see a few different examples of this skill to show you how you can start customizing your own designs.
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Using stock photos is a common way to add imagery to your content creations, and you may be looking for ways to edit and customize these images for your learning solutions. In this toolbox tip, find out how you can select a specific element or subject within a photo, isolate them, and create layers in Photoshop. You’ll learn a keyboard shortcut to create a new layer and see a few different examples of this skill to show you how you can start customizing your own designs. ATD’s Toolbox Tips series provides e-learning hacks on various content authoring and learning technology tools. Get quick, useful “how-to” tutorials to apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. Tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features.
Why You Should Optimize E-Learning for Screen Readers
Curious how screen readers work with e-learning content? Diane Elkins demonstrates the poor interface design caused when e-learning designers don’t use the accessibility tools. She also outlines how to complete three of the biggest tasks required to set up your e-learning with a screen reader successfully.
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Curious how screen readers work with e-learning content? Diane Elkins demonstrates why your e-learning solutions need to be optimized for screen readers. She explains how users with visual impairments may typically interact with screen readers and navigate through the material with a keyboard. Check out this tip to experience the poor interface design caused when e-learning designers keep default settings and do not take advantage of the accessibility tools. You’ll then experience the same course once the accessibility tools have been optimized. Lastly, Elkins outlines and models how to complete three of the biggest tasks required to set up your e-learning with a screen reader successfully. ATD’s Toolbox Tips series provides e-learning hacks on various content authoring and learning technology tools. Get quick, useful “how-to” tutorials to apply directly to your e-learning instructional design work. Tune in for biweekly designer tips to help you troubleshoot on specific tools, learn new tasks, and discover new features.
If you have a tip you would like to see, or if you are interested in sharing a tip with the community, I would love to hear about it. Please reach out to me at [email protected].

About the Author

Alexandria Clapp is the content manager for Learning Technologies and Sciences at ATD. She’s responsible for creating and curating content including articles, webcasts, books, conferences, and more for talent development professionals. Prior to joining ATD, Alexandria worked at a research and development firm that applied cognitive science to improve learning outcomes. She trained partner organizations to deliver cognitive enhancement programs and specializes in leadership development, learning and memory, instructional design, and virtual coaching. Alexandria is a credentialed ATD Master Trainer and Expert Coach. 

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