Unlocked: The OpenSesame Blog's Greatest Hits of 2014

As we wrap up 2014, we’ve been spending time looking back on the year and how far we’ve come. We’ve grown our blog significantly in 2014, with this being the first full year of our commitment to posting five times per week! Our goal is to become a trusted resource for those in the elearning space; the content we publish and share really seeks to accomplish that goal.
Each week, I send out a weekly blog summary to our team to make sure everyone here at OpenSesame keeps up with what we’re doing in the world of blogging and marketing. When someone on the team suggested I create a blog summary for the year to share with our readers, I immediately said yes.
I’m so excited and proud to share with you our “top” ten posts of 2014—I’ve created our list (in no particular order) from posts with top traffic, engagement, and fresh content. Are your favourite OpenSesame posts from 2014 included? Did we miss any that you were particularly attached to? Let us know what you think, and if you have topics you’d like to read about in 2015, let us know in the comments!
By: Dana Rosen
Storytelling was a hot topic in 2014; this first post in our psychology series was widely shared and discussed...how do you use storytelling in your elearning? Who doesn’t love a good story? 
For thousands of years, stories have been one of our most beloved forms of communication. They are everywhere; in the news, on reality TV, in our everyday lives as we interact with friends...the list goes on. Why are we so story-crazed? Can we leverage this fact in a meaningful way for elearning?
By: Anna Taylor
The second post in the psychology series also proved to be a hit—who doesn’t love an infographic?
Remembering requires interest, motivation, and repetition. You have to see it, hear it, touch it, enjoy it. In the end, storing something in memory takes work and effort, so you have to make your information worthy of remembering. eLearning is revolutionary, giving you the opportunity to design more effective training.
By: Sharlyn Lauby
Guest contributor Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender, has great tips for elearning creators on how to effectively organize and storyboard courses. Don’t miss her expert advice!
Storyboarding is the process of visualizing what your elearning module is going to look like. It includes the visual elements, text, and audio. It identifies where interactions will be included. And it creates a roadmap of where the user will go in the module. The idea with storyboarding is to put your concept together visually and then start building it. Clearly, storyboarding is important. The last thing you want to do is start building a program and go back/forth during development.
By: Anna Taylor
Another infographic makes the list! This one from our popular Head to Head Series stirred up some controversy over the “best” word processing program...are you team LibreOffice, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word?
There are some tools that every business, no matter the industry or size, cannot live without. One of these tools is document software. Specifically software that fulfills all your company’s document, report, and collaborative needs. Microsoft Word is the most familiar software of the type, but it is far from the only option. Each sporting different features, benefits, and drawbacks, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and LibreOffice are all contenders for the document software in your office and personal life.
By: Katie Hurst
Often, a combo of in-person and online training is the ideal solution for organizations; “Blended learning” was a term we heard over and over in 2014. Read on to learn more!
Blended learning definitions can vary as well as include terms like "hybrid learning" and the "flipped classroom," but essentially blended learning combines in-person teaching with online learning. In this approach, online learning does not replace face-to-face learning; instead it simply reduces the amount of time spent in a traditional classroom environment.
By: Kate Cornelius
I had a great time researching this article and interviewing Joost Segers of Toyota Motor Europe. It’s always interesting to hear some behind the scenes of how companies are actually using elearning to meet their training needs.
Here at OpenSesame, we strive to better understand our customers. As a company with many large, international clients, we are naturally curious as to how other multinational corporations run their internal training. So when we came across Bill Goodwin’s article about Toyota Motor Europe’s elearning upgrades, we wanted to know more. We talked with Joost Segers, Technical Training Manager at Toyota Motor Europe, to get some insight.
By: Jeff Dalto
This post is from our friends over at Convergence Training and describes how to identify quality visuals in elearning...make sure you’re creating or buying top-notch elearning with these insights!
If you’re visiting the OpenSesame website, chances are you’re considering buying an elearning course. And if you do buy a course, you no doubt want it to be a good one. By which I mean that people who complete the course will have knowledge, skills, or attitudes they didn’t have before. But how do you know if a course is “good?” How can you tell if it’s going to help your employees gain knowledge, develop skills, or hold specific attitudes?
By: Katie Hurst
When you think of minimalism, you may think of living in a tiny house with two outfits and no “stuff,” but this term is also used more and more frequently in the word of work...read Marketing Manager Katie’s take on the trend!
Minimalism as a movement has taken off in recent years, challenging individuals to break out of the consumerist cycle and strive to own fewer material things. Some interpretations of minimalism take this to the extreme, such as the 100 Thing Challenge or “How To Fit Everything Into a 42 Litre Backpack.” This move towards material minimalism has also begun to take root in business culture as well, with more and more folks following what is often referred to as “work minimalism” or “essentialism.”
By: Anna Taylor
We love a good infographic! Intern Anna loves them so much, she created a course on how to use infographic-creation software Piktochart. Hone your skills with her free course!
If you’ve spent time on the internet you’ve probably happened upon an infographic. These infographics offer awesome, creative, and visually appealing new ways to display information. They create the opportunity to turn a boring report or long article into something people want to read. We’ve seen, created, and loved infographics, and we want to share our love with you. If you’re ready to jump in and get started creating infographics, we’ve found a tool for you and created a course to teach you to use it!
By: Katie Hurst
Our ebooks are a labour of love; we’re so excited that we’ve been able to share them with your throughout this year. To celebrate the end of the year and completion of the series, we’ve packaged them together in an all-in-one kit!
Over the past year, OpenSesame has developed a number of ebooks that tackle the common barriers of implementing an elearning initiative, as well as provide step-by-step guidance on how to launch such a program. In anticipation of 2015 planning, we combined these ebooks into a single resource—the eLearning Success Toolkit. The toolkit guides you through building an elearning program from start to finish, significantly reducing the planning time required.
We couldn’t have managed to keep up with the amount of of content on our blog without our fantastic summer marketing interns! OpenSesame was so lucky to have such a great group of interns (in both marketing and engineering) in 2014...meet them here!
Now, on to a bigger and brighter 2015!