As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. This post includes links on AI image and video tools and tips, pricing elearning and ILT development, and how to grab the attention of learners.
AI image and video tools and tips
Tom Kuhlmann has been posting tips and what he’s learning while creating illustrated characters with Midjourney. He built a quick course in Rise with tips on how he generates the images plus how he edits them afterwards. One of the key points is that to really get a series of character images that look like the same character, you’re going to have to do some additional image editing. Tools like Midjourney just aren’t ready to do that kind of consistency across a series of images yet.
AI Image generation tool. Unlike Midjourney and many other tools, this tool can generate text accurately. For example, include in the prompt “a sign that says “Elearning Development,” and that exact text will appear in your image. (The robot painting image above was created in Ideogram.)
Artflow has tools for creating character images and videos with automated voices. The free version is for noncommercial use only, but the paid plans can be used for commercial uses. The samples have some AI weirdness in the uncanny valley, as is seen in a lot of the image to video conversions, but this looks like a fun tool to explore.
Interesting concept for creating interactive video based on text prompts. This uses the Synthesia avatars and voices, with paid options for custom avatars. I wonder if you could use this for creating conversation simulations for training like branching scenarios. The free plan appears to have enough features to experiment with it and create a sample.
Pricing elearning and ILT development
I appreciate the detailed breakdowns of time estimates per task in this article. This would be a very helpful way to create a project plan, even if you’ve never created an ILT or elearning course before. However, note the caveat about the hourly rate at the bottom. The calculator uses $60 or $65/hour for pricing, but that’s what a vendor would pay its own employees. If you’re buying from a vendor, the cost is likely much higher. (Although apparently I’m not taking nearly enough profit for myself if vendors are typically pricing at 2.5 times their cost.)
How much should you pay for a learning solution? Why does one vendor quote $5,000 and another $20,000? At its core, the price of a learning solution is a very simple equation – Rate x Effort = Price.
For those organizations that buy learning from third-party vendors these prices may seem quite low, and they are. The $65 rate is commensurate with what one of those companies would pay an employee but does not include all of the overheads, cost of sale, and profit that company would typically account for in the price. As a rule of thumb, a custom learning company will price at about 60% gross margin, which in short-hand means you multiple direct costs by 2.5.
Anna Sabramowicz explains the value of project-based pricing rather than hourly pricing. I’m quoting her two examples of pricing packages as a comparison point (although based on the comments and discussion, I suspect these aren’t actually real prices). In practice, project-based pricing can be great…or it can be awful if you didn’t get the scope right.
– Interactive Story: $15,000
Includes needs analysis, scripting for one 7 question interactive story, custom graphics and feedback documentation.
– Instructional Design Sprint: $7,500
One week intensive ID sprint – analysis, design, dev, revisions. For quick turnaround projects.
Ways to grab learners’ attention
I appreciate how this post includes examples of how to grab learner’s attention with stories and other tactics rather than just listing the full formal learning objectives. This article cites my blog post on learning objectives.
Next example: a training on “Cryogenic nitrogen and associated dangers”. We started this training with an impactful image: An industry hall, exit door in the back and some materials obstructing the exit. All of a sudden, a cryogenic fog sets up, making it impossible to see the floor. Question to the learner was: Find your way out, without stumbling (and thus suffocating). Remember the materials? Remember you are dealing with nitrogen? Without explicitly listing learning objectives in the beginning of the e-Learning, we captured learners’ attention, making them eager to learn more about other characteristics of nitrogen and the safety measures in such environments.-Karen Philips