One of the biggest challenges facing e-Learning course designers is knowing where to source appropriate and affordable images.
The Articulate e-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #72 was “to create a small set of e-learning images to share with fellow course designers”. As inspiration for this challenge, mention was made of MorgueFile and also a collection of Australian Outback texture and landscape photos that I had previously shared with this community. My submission for this challenge is twofold and based on these resources.
Part 1 – Book theme
One of the image types I have found myself searching for the most is “books”. I recently found and purchased some amazing old books from a second hand shop and I thought it would be interesting to do a photo shoot with these as props for my submission.
I gathered together some other items that I just happened to have on hand which I thought would compliment the old books, including a graduation cap, an old lantern, some bottles of wine and a glass, and a world globe. I was lucky enough to have a rustic-looking dresser available which I thought would also worked well with the book theme.
Setting up the objects for the photo shoot was not as difficult as I had expected and as this was my first photo shoot, I was really pleased with the results. Once the photo shoot was done, I edited the images using Pixlr Express. This is an online image editor with a wide range of options to choose from to work with your own images, or images from the web.
As an example, I worked with this original image in Pixlr, applying a “Lumina Vintage Effect”, then a “Center Vignette” and finally a “Carbon Overlay”. Other adjustments you can make in Pixlr include cropping, adjusting the brightness, contrast or vibrance and blurring or sharpening the image.
The images I’ve included in my image library showcase a range of editing techniques and include book pages, stacks of books and a number of object layouts which could be used in e-Learning course design for content covering topics such as literature, education, reading, etc.
I used MorgueFile to store my images for this image library – this is the link to the filtered collection of elhchallenge images where the images can be downloaded for free.
Part 2 – Australian Outback Photos
When I uploaded the Australian Outback photos for sharing with e-Learning course designers and developers, I had only just started to think about how these could be edited and used in e-Learning courses. Thank you to David Anderson for including this as a resource in this challenge! I ‘ve decided to use this resource and produce some images based on his suggestion of blurring the photos for use as background images.
One of the other resources David Anderson shared for this challenge was the blog post and Screenr recording by Montse Anderson on “How to Create Blurred Backgrounds in PowerPoint“. I use PowerPoint extensively for image editing and for the purposes of this part of my challenge submission I wanted to stick with using PowerPoint to show how easy it really is to work with images, just as Montse has shown, and what amazing results you can get.
Using the “Artistic Effects – Blur” option, and working with the “Picture Colour – Saturation”, I create background images that could be used for a range of e-Learning course designs. One of the techniques I learnt is that if you want to apply more than one effect to the image, you need to cut, then paste the image back as a picture to apply the second effect. Some of the artistic effects that I trialled in conjunction with the Blur option were the “Paint Brush”, “Pastels Smooth”, and “Marker” effects. These effects on their own also create interesting images, some of which could be used as background images for course designs.
The photos I chose to work with were quite generic photos of roads and landscapes, with some with trees and buildings in them.
I’ve also created some examples of how these background images could be used – imagination is definitely required here!