MetLife Style & Best Practices Guide for elearning Development

MetLife Style & Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development For internal use only. Not to be used with, or distributed to, the public. Copyright ©...
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MetLife Style & Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

For internal use only. Not to be used with, or distributed to, the public. Copyright © 2003-2009 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company NY, NY - All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development .........................................3 Introduction ..............................................................................................................................................3 Screen Backgrounds and Content Presentation ........................................................................................3 Colors .......................................................................................................................................................4 Text...........................................................................................................................................................5 Text –Locations and Coordinates ............................................................................................................5 Language and Grammar ...........................................................................................................................7 Text Conventions......................................................................................................................................7 Common Errors ........................................................................................................................................8 Custom Menus..........................................................................................................................................10 Navigation Bars ........................................................................................................................................12 Glossary....................................................................................................................................................13 Content Presentation.................................................................................................................................13 Images ......................................................................................................................................................14 Image Samples and Copyright Info ..........................................................................................................15 Audio ........................................................................................................................................................17 Course Assessments .................................................................................................................................17 Question Types.........................................................................................................................................18 Assessment ...............................................................................................................................................20 Results ......................................................................................................................................................20 Certificate of Completion .........................................................................................................................22 Simulation Tools ......................................................................................................................................25 General Guidelines ...................................................................................................................................25 Screen captures................................................................................................................................26 Audio..................................................................................................................................................27 Graphics and Layout.................................................................................................................................27 Window size ......................................................................................................................................27 On-screen references.......................................................................................................................27 Action Text ........................................................................................................................................28 Captions ............................................................................................................................................28 Reply Text..........................................................................................................................................29 Note Text ...........................................................................................................................................29 Style/Theme.......................................................................................................................................29 Buttons and Other Screen Elements ..............................................................................................29 Pointers .............................................................................................................................................29 Highlight box.....................................................................................................................................30 Interactions ...............................................................................................................................................30 Text Entry ..........................................................................................................................................30 Selecting from a drop-down list......................................................................................................31 Screen Navigation ............................................................................................................................31 Publishing Simulations .............................................................................................................................32 Tracking.............................................................................................................................................32 File Format ........................................................................................................................................32 Playback Control options ................................................................................................................32 APPENDIX ..............................................................................................................................................33 Standard Navigation Bars.........................................................................................................................33

MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Introduction

The following pages summarize guidelines eLearning developers should apply to all MetLife eLearning projects. Various tools are used in development of MetLife eLearning. However, regardless of the tools used, we strive for a consistency of look, feel and usability for all our learning content. The basic MetLife style information presented here also applies to creation of instructor-led content. Note: The guidelines in this document should provide sufficient flexibility to accommodate the needs of every project. Deviation from these guidelines should only be made with sign-off from the client and the appropriate L&D representative.

Screen Backgrounds and Content Presentation

Screen backgrounds and content presentation should make use of the following standard elements as shown in this guide: • • •

MetLife Colors Easy-to-read font sizes and styles Positioning (layout of content on the page)

Certain design elements must be used at all times. For example, no text should appear in the company’s standard blue banner except for the “MetLife” logo, per MetLife Branding guidelines. MetLife’s approved colors are also set by the MetLife Brand Center. If you have any questions, contact the appropriate L&D representative and/or review the Brand Center web site.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Use the following MetLife branded colors when creating new learning objects:

Colors

R=204 G=110 B=0

R=165 G=10 B=55

R=235 G=211 B=62

R=172 G=178 B=29

R=218 G=169 B=0

R=116 G=142 B=22

R=128 G=169 B=228

R=70 G=108 B=189

R=203 R=161 G=208 G=132 B=211 B=183

R=155 G=161 B=165

R=117 G=100 B=146

R=57 G=118 B=209

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

The following Fonts and Sizes are typically used for eLearning content development. Smaller fonts are not recommended. If your project’s target audience includes visually impaired students, you must take that into account when designing your courseware.

Text

Course Heading

Item

Font Arial

Size 14

Body Text Caption and Labels

Arial Arial

12 10

Question Stems

Arial

12

Question Choices

Arial

12

Incorrect Answer Feedback (Note that a colorblind learner may not be able to distinguish between red and green, but the text of the your feedback should make the result clear.) Correct Answer Feedback

Arial

12

Arial

12

Instructional Text (interaction instructions)

Arial

12

Note

Arial

12

URLs

Arial

12

Text – Locations and Coordinates Item

Format / Color Bold MetBlue #3976D1 R=57 G=118 B=209 Black Bold Black Bold Black Bold Black Bold Red

Bold Green Bold MetBlue #3976D1 R=57 G=118 B=209 Bold only the word ‘Note’; The actual note text is not bold. Underline Blue #0000FF

The following text coordinates must be used for development of ForceTen course pages. Comparable layout guidelines should be applied to pages created in any other development tool.

Location

Coordinates

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development Page Heading Body Text

Heading in top MetBlue bar (Under “MetLife” Title Bar) Under top MetBlue bar

X=15 Y=45 X=15 Y=90

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Language and Grammar

Text Conventions

Write all instructional and feedback text in the active voice, not the passive voice. All instructions must be clear and concise, and verbs should be in the present tense. The blue text should stand out clearly from the background.

Correct >> Click MyBenefits in the Shortcuts section.

Correct A summary of your statements is displayed.

Incorrect The word MyBenefits under the section titled Shortcuts should be clicked.

Incorrect A summary of your statements will be displayed and you will need to select View Statement.

>> Click View Statement.

o Instructions should only reference screen elements that actually appear on the screen currently being displayed. o Refer to all field, option and button names precisely as they appear in the screen shots. (Exception: colons and other ending punctuation may be omitted). (Ex. Click Text Effects). o Bold and italicize the items you want the user to click, select, press or type. For example: “Press Enter to continue.” o When giving step-by-step instructions, use double chevrons to make each specific instruction stand out. For example: “>>Type 1234 in the ID field.” o For keyboard entries, use “press” to describe the action to be performed. Example: “Press Tab to move to the next field.” o For instructions using the mouse, use “click.” Avoid using “click on,” “hit,” “do” or “push” when referring to a computer user action. o For check boxes and radio buttons, the preferred instruction is “select.” “Click” can be used if done consistently throughout a course. o Numbers one through nine should be spelled out unless they indicate a measurement, topic, page, step number, quote, or time of day. Numbers 10 and above do not need to be spelled out. MetLife eLearning Development Style and Best Practices Guide - v3 FINAL_03052009.docPage 7 of 37

MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

o Abbreviations and acronyms should not appear in headings unless they are part of the course's actual title; the exception to this rule is the “MetLife” acronym. Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out at first mention in the body text followed by the acronym quoted in parentheses. Example: “The Chief Fiscal Officer (“CFO”) is John Doe.” After you have “defined” the acronym, you can use it in the body text instead of the full title as appropriate. o Capitalize the first word of each bulleted entry. o Only bulleted information that either completes the leading sentence or contains a complete sentence requires a period. In all instances, short list items (consisting of one or two words) do not need periods at the end. For example: The following are colors: • Red • White • Blue Important legislation includes: • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which took effect in 2003. • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which took effect in 1993. • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which took effect in 1974. • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO), which took effect in 1970.

Note: Notes should be formatted as this note is, with the word “note” in bold, followed by a tab. The text of the note should not be in bold. The other lines of text should align under the first word of the note text itself. The easiest way to do this in Word is to include a tab after the word note, and then press [CTRL] + [T] after typing the note; this will give you a hanging indent aligned under the first word following your tab.

Common Errors

Before presenting the draft learning content for review by the client, review it carefully yourself to detect and fix all errors.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development Proofread all text for grammar and spelling errors. o A common error is the misuse of “they” as a non-gender-specific singular pronoun. Use “he or she” in reference to one customer or learner, or alternate from the male pronoun “he” to the female pronoun “she” from one example to the next. Another approach is to use a plural antecedent. For example, instead of writing, “A doctor needs to listen carefully to his or her patients,” you can write, “Doctors need to listen carefully to their patients.” o Another common error is the interchanging of “e.g.” and “i.e.”. “E.g.” is the shortcut for “for example” and “i.e.” is the shortcut for “in other words”. o Attempt to avoid ending sentences with prepositions, like beneath, near, above, in, out, or below. Keep in mind, however, Winston Churchill’s quote, that ending sentences in prepositions is the sort of “nonsense up with which I will not put.” In other words, sometimes avoiding this construction makes the sentence too awkward. Use your best judgment. o Avoid splitting infinitives. To be grammatically correct, the phrase should be “to go boldly where no one has gone before,” not “To boldly go ...” o Avoid using sentence fragments. A sentence needs to have a subject, a verb, and a predicate, even if the subject is just implied. o Watch out for confusing sentence structure, or unclear words or terms. Be concise; use words sparingly to make reading easy. o While you don’t want to sound too casual, beware of taking too formal a tone, as it distances the learner from the content. For example, try to avoid using words that end in –ize, like utilize (substitute “use” instead). o Be aware of but also beware of current word usage trends; for example, use of the word “impact.” Traditionally, impact is a noun and not a verb. (Example: “This book had a profound impact on my work.”) When used as a verb, it can sound contrived. Consider using “affect” instead. And avoid words like impactful. o Know when to use “affect” versus “effect” in a sentence: “We can affect what our associates think with good communication.” “The claimant’s even vocal tone betrayed no affect whatsoever.” “We can effect change by simply acting as good role models.” “The effect of the court’s decision was enormous and instantaneous.” o Words such as “never” and “not” can be made bold or italic if needed, to help prevent the user from misreading the sentence. This is especially useful for stem items in an assessment.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development o Run the spell checker provided to detect spelling errors. Be aware that spell checkers do not identify words that are used incorrectly but spelled correctly. For example, spell checkers may overlook the word “their” when used in place of “there” or “they’re.” You should always proofread yourself, and if possible, have another fresh pair of eyes proofread as well. Other good tips can be found at: https://my.metlife.com/WPSAssets/MLHO/11797448521184602163V1FGrammarTipsJune07.p df https://my.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/MLHO/CDA/PageGenerator/0,4132,P12370,00. html, and https://my.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/MLHO/CDA/PageGenerator/0,4132,P5880,00.ht ml

Custom Menus

Here are examples of the look developed for customized course menus in ForceTen. Note that lesson status changes from “Not Attempted” to “In Progress” to “Completed”. A job aid on customizing a menu for your course can be downloaded from the Developers’ Corner page of the L&D web site.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Navigation Bars

Here are examples of the current standardized look for MetLife navigation bars, or “navbars.” This look and its variations are the standard navigation bars for all courses and strongly recommended. The “?” Help button on these bars in ForceTen should launch a brief demonstration of how to use all the buttons on the navigation bar. If desired, you can also add a page to your course highlighting and defining the buttons you use on your navigation bar; the definitions are below. As these “aluminum” colored navigation bars are custom-built and cannot be easily altered to add/remove a particular button, you should select one of the bars already created in ForceTen whenever possible. Appendix B contains a library listing of custom aluminum navigation bar names that were created for your convenience. If you can’t find the navigation bar that fits your needs, please consult with your developer or vendor partner to create the navigation bar that is most appropriate for your course. You will select your custom navigation bar during ForceTen’s “Distribute” process. Static publishing (for course delivery via CD or other network) has special considerations and requirements; please see the ForceTen Static Course Preparation Job Aid on the Developer’s Corner section of the L&D web site.

MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum. This is the full standard navbar with all icons:

From left to right, the buttons are Exit, Menu, Index, Resources, Glossary, Help, Closed Captioning, Replay, Play/Pause, Back, and Forward. When referencing the names of these buttons, use the official names listed here. For example, if instructing the learner to click the Forward arrow to continue in the course, use ‘Click the Forward arrow to continue’. Do not state ‘Click the Next arrow to continue’ or ‘Click the Right arrow to continue’, as these are incorrect names of the navigation buttons. There are additional versions with fewer buttons, depending on functionality needed. For example:

Other variations of these navigation bars must provide the same basic functionality in the same locations, and adhere to MetLife branding colors. Variations should only be used with prior approval by the client and your Learning & Development supervisor.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Glossary

Content Presentation

MetLife has also developed a standardized look for course glossaries. The flash file shows all terms for the particular letter selected. Clicking a term displays the definition. The support documentation and glossary files needed to create the glossary below can be found on the Developer’s Corner of the MetLife L&D website.

Below are samples of screens used for presentation of content. Note the Page Heading bar. These screens also reflect adherence to guidelines concerning colors, text point sizes, and placement.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Images

MetLife directs that strict care must be taken to follow all copyright regulations in the use of images. The following is from MetLife guidelines around the use of stock photos. For further information, review the information on the Brand Center web site, and/or contact your Learning & Development supervisor.

Age Average Age Range of MetLife associates is 40-50 years old 44% Baby Boomer – born between 1946 and 1964 (ages 43-61) 38% Gen X born between 1965 and 1978 (ages 28-42) 14% Gen Y born between 1979–1999 (ages 8-29) 4% Silent Generation born between 1925–1945 (ages 62-82) Gender 64% of MetLife employees are women 36% of MetLife employees are men Dress MetLife Dress Code Guidelines indicate that the company has a policy of business casual attire year-round. Actual attire of MetLife employees is a mix of business casual to business professional, so the type of business clothing you show in your images may depend on your specific audience.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Diversity & Inclusion The Office of Diversity recommends using images with a good mix of culturally diverse individuals that reflect the inclusive environment here at MetLife. If you have any questions, contact your Learning & Development supervisor or the Office of Diversity. Here is a best practice example of image from the Office of Diversity:

General We recommend using photographs of people in MetLife courseware; it can help to humanize a text-heavy page online. The friendly, approachable, caring personality of the brand is expressed in photography that is playful, whimsical, and unexpected (but never irresponsible); images that create an emotional connection by focusing on people and the things that really matter to them. Image criteria at a glance: • Communicates a message or reinforces a point, rather than telling a story • Reveals a different composition or perspective that can lend vibrancy • Provides realistic interpretations of situations, rather than posed or staged ones • Visuals should connect and involve the viewers; “eye contact” is good. • Images should be contemporary with regard to hair, clothing styles and any technology (phones, etc.) shown • Images should not be over saturated with heavy color. Note: It is important that you represent MetLife agents as collaborators, confident in demeanor, yet approachable, warm and helpful. Image Samples and Copyright Info

Below are some image samples drawn from MetLife eLearning courses and illustrating the above guidelines. Be sure to consult Appendix C for information about obtaining appropriately licensed images for your work, unless you are creating custom images where MetLife would own the copyright.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development We strongly recommend using MS Flash to provide audio to a learner on a ForceTen page. Although ForceTen directly handles a variety of audio files (mp3, wav, etc), there can be a significant delay in the playing of that audio based on several factors (file size, network connection, etc). By placing the audio file within Flash and then creating a small Flash object to play on a page, audio can be streamed quickly to the learner and wait times can be significantly reduced.

Audio

We also recommend letting the learner know that audio is on a page. You can add a simple sentence or graphic as needed. (You should not use any icon that is universally recognized as inviting interaction, to avoid confusion.)

Course Assessments

Knowledge checks and assessments make use of various question types. Below are suggestions for giving directions on completing questions. Note that we typically avoid using the words “test” and “exam”; we use “knowledge check” for unscored questions, and “assessment” for scored questions.

Matching Click to select a [Insert Topic] from the left, then click on the matching [Insert Topic] on the right. After matching all items on the left, click the Submit button. For correct answers, a green arrow connecting two items will be displayed. -OrMatch each option on the left with its description on the right. To do this, click the name of an option on the left, and then click its description on the right. When you have matched all of the options, click Submit to check your answers. For correct answers, a green arrow connecting two items will be displayed. Fill In the Blank Read the statement below and fill in the blank with the correct answer from the list provided. -OrComplete the sentence below by typing your answer(s) in the space(s) provided.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development Multiple Choice Directions: Read the question below and select the best answer. To select an answer, click the letter button next to your answer choice and then click the Submit button. To proceed to the next page in the course, click the Forward arrow to continue. -OrDirections: Each segment in this section is followed by questions based on its content. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question by clicking the appropriate item. When you finish answering a question, click Submit. You should emphasize words like “best” since most test takers expect to put the “correct” answer, and sometimes there is more than one “distractor” answer that has some merit. The use of “best” indicates that while a number of the distracters may be plausible, one should be identifiable as the best choice for that particular item.

Drag and Drop Click and drag the item on the right to the appropriate item on the left, and then release your mouse key. Be sure that the destination item is highlighted before releasing. Your result will be displayed at the bottom of the screen, along with a brief description of the item. True or False Directions: Read the statement below and decide if it is True or False. If the statement is True, click the True button. If the statement is False, click the False button. After your feedback is provided, click the Forward arrow to proceed to the next page in the course.

Question Types

The following screens give some examples of question types in use. Note the page title, such as “Knowledge Check” under the “MetLife” title bar. Also note the page background stamps – both “Knowledge Check” and “Final Assessment.” The actual size of the background gif is 1018x652 (placed on our standard 1024x768 size screen).

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Assessment Results

When learners take an assessment, it is standard practice to present them with a printable completion certificate (if the assessment was passed), or an end page displaying results and a “fail” message (if the assessment was not passed). You can customize the end page with a background similar to other content background in the course. To create an End Page like the one below, please visit the Developer's Corner to access the appropriate step-by-step job aids.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

If you want to include a link to take the learner back to the beginning of the assessment, you would want to use language like this on the “fail” page: You must achieve a score of at least __% in order to receive credit for completing this course. Please click the link below to retake the assessment, or you can click the Index button on the navigation bar below to review sections of the course as needed before retaking the assessment. Do not exit the course from this page. -- or, if you have assessments at the end of each module – Your score is listed above: If you scored an ___% or higher, click the Skip To: link below to proceed to the next module in the course. If you scored ___% or lower, click the ‘Return To:’ link below to return to the module summary and assessment introduction to retake this assessment. Note: Do not exit the course from this page. If you must exit the course, please click the link below to return to the appropriate page in this course, then click the Exit button on the navigation bar.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Certificate of Completion

As noted above, a learner passing an assessment should typically be presented with a printable Certificate of Completion. In ForceTen, you can search under Edit Page for “printable portrait certificate” in the Title field to review various certificate pages available to you. Note that while the “Congratulations!” page is landscape format, the certificate itself prints out in portrait orientation, minus the instructions on the right. See the following samples below:

For a course with no survey:

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development With button for linking to an external survey URL:

You can also create other course-specific custom certificates, but in general, they should include the same information cited in the examples above.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Simulation Software Program Best Practices

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Simulation Tools At MetLife, simulation programs are tools used to create interactive exploratory and roleplay simulations and software demonstrations in a standard Flash (swf) format. Simulation programs allow on-screen actions to be recorded with editable mouse movements and text captions. They also facilitate the creation of interactive simulations that include eLearning interactions, branching scenarios, and instructional feedback. Simulation programs should be used for the following: o A demonstration simulation – the learner watches recorded on-screen actions. o A practice simulation (aka Guided Practice) – the learner interacts with the learning content. o A testing simulation (aka Assessment simulation,) – the learner’s interaction with the content is tested, scored, and tracked. While simulation programs like Captivate can offer some features not offered by ForceTen, they should not be used to author complete eLearning courses without prior approval from the client and Learning & Development. ForceTen is currently the preferred course authoring tool at MetLife as of January 2009.

General Guidelines When capturing processes in a simulation tool, the following preparation of the computer desktop being used for the screen captures must be followed: o

o

o

o o

o

Set your Desktop screen resolution to 1024x768. 1024x768 is the Enterprise Learning Solutions standard but can be modified based on your LOB. See your Learning & Development supervisor for more information. Hide your Windows taskbar if it is not required for the simulation; display it if it will be needed for any part of the simulation. This will ensure that the screens are consistent. It is distracting for learners if standard screen elements appear and disappear, change color unexpectedly, etc. Exit SameTime Connect, Lotus Notes or any other programs that may result in pop-ups while capturing screens. In general, we recommend closing all programs except the capture program and the one being captured, as simulation tools require a good deal of your pc’s system resources during capture and processing. Create a text document containing commonly used phrases. Copying phrases from the text document and pasting them into the caption boxes will save you time and reduce typographical errors. If you will be showing your pc’s Desktop in your screen captures, change your desktop background to a solid color and hide your desktop icons before starting captures. HOW TO If you are capturing screens that would normally show real user names, IDs, etc, you should plan in advance to have “dummy” names/IDs created in the capture environment that you can use for your screen captures. If this is not possible, then after capture, you must use a photo editing program (such as Adobe Photoshop, MSPaint, or the inexpensive SnagIt) to replace any such data with “dummy” information.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Correct

Incorrect

Screen captures o o

o

o

o o

Plan your screen captures step-by-step ahead of time so that you know exactly what you’ll need to include before starting captures. Little steps can be easily overlooked. Capture all required screens. During automated capture, you may find that you capture more screens than intended. These can always be deleted afterwards, and it’s quicker to delete slides than to go back and recapture any individual screens missed the first time. Limit the number of screens to approximately 30. Simulations with more than 30 screens can result in slower loading times, especially for users accessing the published simulations over a low-bandwidth (such as a 56K dial-up) Internet connection. If you are unable to limit the number of screens to 30, consider dividing the simulation into smaller simulations in logical segments. Use automated capture when possible. This will reduce the time required to create a simulation. When necessary, automatically-created text should be edited to make it sufficiently specific and meaningful. You will need to create caption boxes and highlight boxes manually for any screens created using manual capture. Use manual capture for complicated processes. This ensures that no step is missed. (For example, Captivate cannot capture right-click commands. So you would need to stop automated capture, do manual capture of a needed right-click menu, resume automated capture, and then animate the manually captured page yourself later in Captivate.)

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Audio o o o o

o o o o o

You should provide audio when it will make a substantive contribution to one or more parts of your course. It can also be helpful for associates with limited eyesight. If the course will include audio, you should also plan to include closed captioning text so that a learner with hearing difficulty or without pc audio will not miss important content. Use a good quality microphone, and test it beforehand. Audio should sound professional, with a vocal manner appropriate to the content (for example, an orientation course would need a different vocal tone from a compliance course). If the recording is to be done in-house, and the speaker is not an experienced narrator, he/she should allow sufficient time to practice and listen to a few sample playbacks to learn what needs to be adjusted. The speaker should maintain a consistent audio level when narrating. If a professional studio is not used, the voiceover artist or internal subject matter expert making the recording should arrange for a suitably quiet room for the recording session. 64k mbps in mp3 format is the recommended file format for eLearning to minimize file sizes. This should be set before recording begins. Create separate audio tracks/files for each page/slide. We recommend use of a “pop” filter (about $20 at an audio store) between the speaker and the microphone to minimize “popping” of consonants (p, b, t, k, etc.). This will help reduce the number of retakes needed, and will produce a more professional sound. Instructions for creating inexpensive home-made pop filters can also be found online via Google or other search sites.

Graphics and Layout Window size o o

o

MetLife’s current default screen resolution is 1024 x 768. The recommended default screen capture area for simulations is 1008 x 570. This is the optimal size for a simulation that will play within a ForceTen page. If you plan to launch the simulation in a new window (computer launch icons are available in ForceTen for this purpose), then you can use 1008x590 to gain a bit more vertical space. In Captivate, once you resize the capture area, the new size becomes the default setting for future captures, until you alter it again. Select the window size before you start taking screenshots. Changing the size of your screenshots after capture would adversely affect their quality.

On-screen references o o

o

Instructions should only reference screen elements that appear on the screen displayed. Refer to field, option and button names precisely as they appear in the screen shots. (Exception: colons and other ending punctuation may be omitted). For example, “Click the Text Effects tab.” Bold and italicize the items you want the user to click, select, press or type. For example, “Press Enter to continue.”

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Action Text o o

Place action text on a separate line, at the bottom of the caption box. Use double chevrons (>>) to make the instruction stand out. Use the chevrons even when the box contains only the instruction, to be consistent throughout the simulation. Correct

Incorrect

Captions o

o o o

Make caption boxes the same size and place them in the same location on all screens, when possible. Select a default size and location for the caption box that will accommodate the captions for the majority of the screens. Make sure text boxes never cover the portions of the screen the learner needs to see in order to progress in the simulation. Use a consistent style for each type of caption. In Captivate, you can set the style for the caption and highlight boxes and make it apply by default to all boxes in that simulation. Left-justify the text in caption boxes.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Reply Text o

Adjust the size and style of the font that will be displayed when a student enters data in a text entry box, if needed. The text should be set to match as closely as possible the font style and size that appear in the actual application you are documenting.

Note Text o o

Tag important comments, notes or any additional information with the label “Note:” to draw the user’s attention. Place notes on a separate line, at the bottom of the caption box. Good job! Next, you need to choose a font color. >> Select a font color from the color palette provided. Note: If you selected a dark background, avoid selecting a dark-colored font. Likewise, if you selected a light background avoid selecting a light-colored font.

Style/Theme o o o

Use a consistent visual theme or style throughout your course or curriculum. The use of different styles throughout a course can be distracting and even confusing to the learner. MetLife requires all developers to use approved styles from the Branding Center. If you are capturing a software environment where the background color is different between the production environment and the development environment where you may be doing your captures, make sure you arrange to have the color in the capture environment match what learners will see in the real application before starting screen captures. This will help you avoid costly and time-consuming revisions later.

Buttons and Other Screen Elements o Keep buttons and other Screen Elements consistent throughout your screen capture process; if a number of people are capturing simulations for the same project, ensure that the style/color used is consistent.

Pointers o o o

We strongly recommend that you use pointers to show users where to click. Pointers should be easy to see, and should stand out from the background, but should not obscure the fields or buttons to which they’re pointing. Use the same type and color of pointer throughout your content.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Highlight box o o

You can also use highlight boxes (outlined or translucent color-filled) to bring attention to hard to see areas or to emphasize fields or sections. Use the same type of highlight box throughout your content.

Interactions Text Entry o

o

Don’t require participants to make lengthy text entries; a typing mistake on their part could keep them from progressing through the simulation. For example, when a fictitious name is required, use a name such as Jones, Smith or Perry and avoid complex names such as Schuffenhauer. If using a full first name and last name, make sure it doesn’t exist in the MetLife ReachMe address book. For lengthier text entries such as notes or comments, enter the text for the learner and state what you’re doing (see sample below).

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Selecting from a drop-down list o

Selecting an item from a list in a simulation should be presented as two sequential steps. The first step will require the participant to click the arrow to display a list. The second step will require the participant to select an item from the list. (As noted above, in Captivate, right-click list item screens must be manually captured and animated, as Captivate cannot capture right-click functionality automatically.)

Screen Navigation o

Provide clear and concise instructions for participants to navigate to different parts of the screen, if they are required to access another section of the screen. For example, if it is necessary to scroll up or down the page to gain access to another section, provide instructions which include directions such as “Click the bottom of the scroll bar.” TIP: Rather than using the simulation program’s “scroll capture” feature, ask the learner to click toward the end of the scroll bar, and make the whole scrollbar the hotspot that will adjust the screen view for them. Automated scroll capture features tend to be awkward in playback.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Publishing Simulations Tracking o o

You can create simulations with knowledge check questions and show a score within the simulation. When incorporated within ForceTen, scoreable simulations would require an alternative design implementation using a SCO player rather than the MetLife Aluminum navigation bar. As of January 2009, we do not yet have score/completion passback from a Captivate 3 simulation on a ForceTen page. So at this time it’s best to offer only unscored knowledge check questions within simulations, and offer scored assessment questions on ForceTen pages.

File Format o o o

If publishing for use in ForceTen, publish the simulation using the Flash (SWF) settings. If publishing for use on a CD or PC desktop; publish the simulation using the capture program’s Standalone settings. If publishing as a job aid, publish using the capture program’s Handouts settings.

Playback Control options o o o

o

Use the same style for playback controls for each simulation in any given course. Position the playback controls for each simulation at the same place on the screen. Use the least obtrusive playback controls/navigation bar, while ensuring that it is still clearly visible and accessible. In Captivate, the “CoolBlue” navigation bar has easy-tosee buttons, and you can adjust the button color to MetLife blue, with a highlight of orange, to align with Branding guidelines. In general, it’s a good idea to consider putting the simulation’s navigation bar at the top of the screen, so that the learner will not confuse it with the ForceTen navigation bar that is always present at the bottom of the course screen.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

APPENDIX Appendix A: HOW TO: Hide desktop icons o Right-click Desktop o Select Arrange Icons By o Deselect Show Desktop Icons

Appendix B: ForceTen Custom Aluminum Toolbars Standard Navigation Bars MetLife makes use of a standardized look for navigation bars, or “navbars.” This “aluminum” style look and its variations are the standard navigation bars for all courses and strongly recommended. Decide on which variation to use based on the features of your course. Here are your options:

1) Aluminum Navbar Full with CC FINAL (staging^24325) – this is the full navbar with all functions except “pause” now available for use:

2) Aluminum Full ResandGlossNA (staging^24959) – looks the same as the full navbar, but the Resources and Glossary functions are not available. 3) MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum (medium) (staging^11435) – similar to the Full navbar, but lacking the Replay and Closed Caption functions:

4) MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum (Med/Low No Glossary) (staging^11731) – similar to the medium navbar, but lacking the Glossary function:

5) MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum (Med/Low No Resources) (staging^11732) – similar to the Medium navbar, but lacking the resources function:

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development 6) MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum (Low No Resources or Glossary) (staging^11733) – the Low navbar – only the basic functions of Exit, Home, Index, Help, Back and Forward:

7) MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum (Offline) (staging^9990) – This navbar has the same appearance as the Full Aluminum navbar, but is for offline use. Note that if a function calls data directly from the ForceTen repository, such as Closed Captioning, it will not work offline. 8) MetLife Navigation Bar – Aluminum Low (Offline) (staging^16252) – This looks the same as #6, the Low navbar above, but is for offline use.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development Appendix C: Policy and Guidelines for the Use of Graphics in ForceTen Courses and Other Training Materials As the amount of Learning content continues to grow, most of it developed in our ForceTen LCMS, it’s important to remain aware that materials used MUST be: 1) Original to the MetLife course developer or department, therefore copyrighted by MetLife, OR 2) Materials where copyright clearance has been obtained and documented. Failure to follow this guideline would put MetLife at risk for copyright infringement or plagiarism. In the case of ForceTen, having out-of-compliance content in our LCMS database could necessitate later removal, putting at risk courses that made use of it. In order to help protect MetLife from any risk of copyright infringement, this document has been written to clearly state policy around the use of graphic elements in our training materials. SUMMARY: Policy: 1. 2. 3.

Graphics used in all training materials must be drawn from the MetLife-approved options described below. Microsoft Clipart of any type is not approved for use. Existing instances of Microsoft Clipart must be replaced – see process in this document.

Graphics Options: 1. Jupiter Images – an annual subscription service offering over 600,000 Royalty-Free & Rights Managed images (preferred option). 2. Creative Express/Getty Images – an annual subscription service offering approximately 60,000 royalty-free images. 3. Creative Services – Media Manager (a limited number of preapproved/licensed images) and Individual Image Purchase. Metadata Requirements: 1. The “Copyright Clearance” metadata field is required. 2. The “Obtained Copyright Info” metadata field must be completed for any image not copyrighted by MetLife.

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development

Policy We already have a large number of graphics either in ForceTen courses or in ILT content that are being uploaded into the repository via the Learning Asset Management Program (LAMP). Therefore, we must be certain to follow guidelines to avoid exposing MetLife to any kind of copyright issue. Effective immediately, all graphics used in training materials must be drawn from one of the three sources detailed in the next section unless they are original to and copyright by MetLife. Also effective immediately, all LOB L&D developers must begin preparations to update their respective ForceTen courses and other training materials that currently use Microsoft Clipart. Developers should begin by: • • • •

Identifying all Microsoft Clipart graphic objects associated with your Author ID Updating object metadata so that “MS Clipart” is at the end of the Keywords Metadata field For MS Clipart objects associated with your author ID, using the Map functionality and identifying any other instances where the objects appear – for such instances, the course author should be notified As time permits, search for and replace objects tagged as “MS Clipart” with graphics drawn from approved sources

Graphic Options Jupiter Images – This is the Recommended image resource. The cost is $625 for an annual flat-rate subscription from Jupiter Images. This is a greatly-discounted price negotiated by MetLife (the annual fee is usually $1700). With this subscription, you can download an unlimited number of Royalty-Free and Rights-Managed images. Jupiter Images provides over 600,000 Royalty-Free and Rights Managed images* (see notes in metadata below) from their Premium photo subscription license. Note that MetLife’s agreement covers only Low-Resolution images (typically 72dpi), which are actually more suitable for eLearning and things such as small images on job aids. High resolution images (used for print advertising, etc.) are available at an additional cost. (*See notes in metadata section below). Please use the Ariba purchasing system to order this license to obtain the discounted pricing outlined in the Master Service Agreements with both companies. 1) Creative Express/Getty Images – The cost is $1500/year. This is an annual subscription service with approximately 60,000 Royalty-Free images available in the collection with images being rotated in and out each month. Each subscription user is monitored by Getty Images and is allowed a maximum download of 50 images per day. Note that this solution is specifically for internal newsletters and/or internally created electronic publications for internal use only. The image quality is 72 dpi. Please use the Ariba purchasing system to order this license to obtain the discounted pricing outlined in the Master Service Agreements with both companies. 2) Creative Services – there are two varieties of service: a. Media Manager – is a free service, but account availability is extremely limited. For this option, contact Creative Services for an account on their Media Manager system (an online graphics repository containing a small

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MetLife Style and Best Practices Guide for eLearning Development number of images purchased or licensed by Creative Services). Images included in this system are Royalty-Free or Rights-Managed. Once you have an account, you would be able to: • Search the library for Creative Services/Branding-approved images • Complete an order form for the images desired (you specify the desired images based on each image’s stock #) • Receive the images from Creative Services free of charge b. Individual Image Purchase – the most expensive option with a cost of $150 per image for Royalty-Free Images, and $475-500 per image for Rights-Managed Images.. You would: • Partner with Creative Services to request and obtain images. Creative Services will work with you to use one of the three MetLifeapproved image repository suppliers (Corbis, Jupiter Images or Getty). Each image has a cost associated with it, and prices can vary by image as noted above. • Creative Services has an open Purchase Order with each of the image vendors; you provide your project’s funding cost center on an order form citing the images desired, and Creative Services then bills that cost center for use of the images. To discuss image repository options with Creative Services, contact the Creative Services department. Also, a discussion of graphics options is available as part of the June 18, 2008 Lunch n Learn recording available on the L&D website: Learning Design>Lunch n Learn Archive.

Metadata Requirements In order to support the Policy and requirements around use of graphics, changes have been made to the copyright metadata fields for graphic objects: 1) The “Copyright Clearance” metadata field will be a required field and has been modified so that the default value will be “Select one of the following two fields”. The Developer must select either “None Required”, attesting that no copyright is needed (meaning the image is MetLife-generated and owned, or “Obtained”, attesting that the required copyright clearance has been obtained. 2) The “Obtained Copyright info” metadata field is self-explanatory and must be completed when the first field has “Obtained” selected”. This metadata will be reviewed periodically for compliance. *Notes on Royalty Free and Rights Managed images: • Royalty Free Images may be kept in the LCMS indefinitely. You should include “Royalty Free” in the “Obtained Copyright info” metadata field for such images. • Rights Managed Images must, in general, be deleted from the LCMS after two years from the end of a subscription to a graphics service. You should note “Rights Managed” in the “Obtained Copyright info” metadata field for such images. For any questions on Policy and Graphic Options, please contact your SDPL. For any questions concerning metadata, please contact your L&D Learning Center Resource.

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