I love the elearning challenges from the Articulate forums.  This weeks’ (challenge 55) is all about zombie survival and has given me the chance to flex my elearning and instructional design skills.

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This course has audio.  Click the launch button to view the demo.


The Idea

The idea of the title for this demo came from the title of the mashup book, Pride & Prejudice and Zombies.  I recently read The Girl with all the Gifts, which is a kind of zombie story where the undead and humans have to learn to co-exist.  I started to muse on the problems that zombies might face in the workplace.  It wouldn’t be right to discriminate against them and employees might need to take the elearning course Diversity & Equality AND ZOMBIES!

Visual and Audio Design

For the opening credits I wanted to do a typewriter effect.  The only way I found to do this was to add each letter individually and animate them in one at a time.    I added the ‘AND ZOMBIES’ logo and found a great dramatic entrance sound on freesound.org.  It was 12 seconds long which was too much, so I opened it up in the Storyline audio editor and took out sections until it was about 8 seconds and timed the logo and sound to complete at the same time.

I’ve never used sound effects before on courses.  I’ve always played it safe, but adding audio really made me realise how much a simple sound effect can add to the course.  I will definitely be exploring this further.  In addition, I’ve had my eyes opened to the surprising number of zombie audio effects that are available on the internet.

The zombie arms I traced an outline of an arm and then used the scribble motion paths to wobble them in.  If I had more time I would have done this a little more carefully.  With the groaning sound effect they give the idea of zombie arms reaching into the space.

The second page is an infographic.  I wanted to present my learners with statistics about zombies in the workplace.  Rather than have this a static content, you could use sliders to get learners to slide to what they think the correct, then hit submit to see if they are right.  It ends with a challenge: “What will you do?”

The player I used a default green which was suitably lurid.  I took off the previous and next buttons because all the navigation buttons are within the course.

I kept the palette very simple and perfect zombie colours, black, grey, red and green.



The third page is the scenario.  The graphic at the top sets the scene and you choose your options.  I referred a post from Cathy Moore about writing challenging scenarios. about looking at the context people where people need help. The elearning should address as closely as possible the real issues that people face.

Many scenarios when addressing performance issues might offer options such as:

Which of the following do you do

  1. Address the issue with Sue
  2. Tell HR to handle it
  3. Offer her a pay rise to motivate her more
  4. Fire her immediately.

It’s quite clear in this quiz that the answer is A.  However, while managers know they need to address the issue what they may struggle with is how to address it.  It makes the scenario harder when you give four fairly plausible statements about how to start that conversation.  The learner has to think what they would actually do in that situation.

I wrote the content of the scenario from my interpretation of Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.

Notice that you do not get the booming voice of authority declaring “Incorrect” when the you make a wrong choice. Rather you get to see the results of your choice.  The learner can work out for themselves that any action that leads to having their brains eaten is a bad idea!

Ideally the incorrect answers would take you to a debrief screen where you can explore further the reason the choice was incorrect.  In this example, only once you select the correct answer can you continue to the debrief screen.


This elearning is “zombie-ready”

So, should the zombie apocalypse ever happen and zombies start to enter the workplace this instructional designer has just the course to prepare for the arrival of the undead!


Click launch to view the demo