File formats for eLearning courses

Choosing the proper image formats is crucial when you’re planning your e-learning workflow. Let’s start by talking about the 2 basic sorts of images, raster, and vector. Raster images are pixel-based and typically edited in Adobe Photoshop or an identical program. They are supported pixels, the small squares you see once you concentrate on them. Vector images, on the opposite hand, aren’t pixel-based. They’re supported mathematical curves, and that they are often sized up or down without loss of quality. The idea here is that I can draw these shapes with mathematical curves and resize them to any size. We can size these up and down because they’re based on mathematical curves and not on pixels. Everything that ends up on the web ends up raster anyway, but the vector images, when saved properly, translate well to raster. The most common file formats for raster images in e-learning are three, JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

First, you should know that images have one of two types of compression applied, lossy and lossless compression. Lossy compression simply means when you save in this format you lose some quality, and a lossless compression format means when you save it no quality is compromised. JPEGs display photographs beautifully, but they have no transparency options, and GIFs offer transparency, but very limited color choices. In e-learning, screenshots are used for software simulations. Remember, screenshots are just simply raster images. Decreasing the size of an image too much can decrease the quality, as well. If you notice the quality is not what you expected in the final output, look at the percentage you’ve reduced it to. Try not to go below 75 to 80%. If you need to go smaller than that, resize it in the original application.

The standard audio formats most e-learning applications: WAV is a good quality format to start with, but they will be larger files. Few basic video formats for e-learning projects are AVI and MP4 .Finally, when you’re reading to start publishing your e-learning modules, you have several options for which format you use. Think about your target audience, the company’s LMS system, and other limitations, when deciding on an output format. Flash is still a popular option for desktop computers, but not for mobile. The SWF format works well with LMS systems, and most e-learning applications allow SWF output. HTML5 is far more versatile and works well with mobile devices and desktops. You have little control over how the content will appear on every device, but it’s perfect for delivery to many types of devices. And the third option is to deliver the content via a custom mobile app. There are limitations to this, so do your research to find out which is the best format for you.