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Study Smarter 3

Study Skills eLearning Module



In 2020 I created a series of animated videos on study skills based on neuroscience for the University Externado of Colombia. It has since been a successful inclusion in the curriculum, and forms a core unit of study for 2000+ undergraduates at the start of each semester in the university's English language program. Nonetheless, I considered that the format and mode of delivery of the unit (using the videos embedded in Google Forms quizzes) could be improved in terms of ease of use for teachers and user engagement for learners.

This project solves those problems by transforming the unit into an interactive, responsive and self-contained eLearning experience, complete with animated videos, mini-tests with feedback, an activity for students to apply the study strategies they learn, personalisation features, innovative sound design, and a fun, engaging and user-friendly UX/UI.

Read on below for more design details or go ahead and click 'Try the module' to try it yourself!

Project Info








Articulate Storyline 360, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Keynote, Adobe Illustrator

Learning Design, UX/UI Design, Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Graphic Design, Video/Audio Production, Voiceover



Learner-centred - Self-paced learning, designed for specific audience

Responsive - Adapts to any device

Great UX/UI - Charming visual/audio design, user-friendly interface

Grading and Feedback - Keeps score, rates performance and allows revision

Accessible - Conforms to WCAG 2.1 standards

Interactive - Visual and audio reaction to learner input

Simple - Tiny footprint, easily delivered via LMS or website

Evidence-based Design - Follows Mayer's principles for multimedia learning, self-determination theory of motivation (SDT) and Gagne's model for instructional design


Single, self-contained module 

Learners access module in one online location, data can be automatically stored and retrieved via xAPI / SCORM 1.2 compliance

Interactive, responsive, personalised digital learning experience with engaging sound design and graphics

Video separated into 3 distinct parts to chunk learning, reducing cognitive burden


Google Forms quizzes didn't allow full screen Youtube video embedding, requiring learners to either watch videos in miniature or use both platforms separately

Google Forms quizzes fiddly for teachers to use

(quiz results had to be erased and quizzes duplicated, shared via email to all groups every semester)

Google Forms is dull, drab and impersonal, which detracted from the fun, fresh style of the videos

Animated videos - though relatively short - contain quite a lot of information 


Design Process

The design process for this project was simplified by the fact that I had developed the core video assets previously (which included storyboarding, scriptwriting, creating animations, recording voiceover, audio/video editing, and graphic design), as well as the fact that the new module was to be designed for the same audience. Therefore, the analysis phase was mainly focused on identifying problems with the original unit and innovative ways to solve them.

I aimed to make the new module as motivating, meaningful and engaging for learners as possible. In terms of motivation, I'm a big fan of incorporating principles of self-determination theory in learning design. This meant making design decisions that would satisfy learners' needs for:

1. Autonomy: module is self-paced, learner is in charge

2. Competence: content/assessments provide optimal challenge, learner support and a sense of achievement

3. Relatedness: content/graphics/sound designed specifically to be relevant and appealing to particular user profile

Design decisions were also based around Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction. These included stimulating learner interest and recall, making module objectives and content clear to the learner, providing learning guidance and feedback throughout the module, and assessing learner's performance and giving feedback. Having established strategies to meet these design aims, I created storyboards to guide development. 

I then used the storyboards to build the project in Storyline. Once complete, I enlisted a number of people to help put the module through rigorous testing and evaluation, to make sure learning/design objectives were fully met and everything worked perfectly. Several ways to improve upon early iterations of the project were identified, and with changes made, the final product was published and ready for use. If you haven't already, I invite you to try the module by clicking the button below. 

Storyboard from the project

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