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Sharing ZebraZapps Stories … an interview with Helen Graves, Instructional Design Consultant

We have seen so many creative and impactful outcomes from users of ZebraZapps that we wanted to share some of these with our blog readers.

This week we spoke with Helen Graves, an independent instructional design consultant.

Helen has been using ZebraZapps since July of 2013.

GD: When did you first encounter ZebraZapps?

HG: My first exposure to ZebraZapps and Allen Interactions was while completing UC Irvine’s “ELearning Instructional Design” program. We were required to explore any three authoring tools, and I came across ZebraZapps. It looked interesting – and not the “same old, same old” PowerPoint-based tool – so I gave it a try.

GD: And how did you like it?

HG: I was immediately struck by how fun it is to use – love pulling wires from one object to another! – but I’ll admit I was also a little stymied by some of the language used in the tutorials. Ribbons, wires, masters, arenas—there was so much versatility. It was a bit overwhelming to figure out what it all meant.

I wrote a plaintive email to Support explaining that I enjoyed the tool but a glossary of terms for those of us not coming from a programming background would be nice. Within 24 hours, I received a personal note back, graciously apologizing for my difficulties and thanking me for the idea of a glossary. Support went on to say a basic glossary had already been created and was up on the website. Now that’s customer service! I’ve been a champion of ZebraZapps and Allen Interactions ever since.

GD: What were the e-learning challenges you faced?

HG: I work as an instructional design consultant and on a recent project my client showed me the authoring tool – which shall remain nameless – they’d been using for the last seven years. After a single afternoon, I was almost in tears at how clunky and frustrating the tool was. I spent the next two days trying to develop the eLearning concept I’d come up with—to no avail. Finally, on my own time, I decided to see how far I could get on the same project using ZebraZapps.

In three hours, I had a working draft that was not only visually superior but also much more interactive than anything I’d been able to get out of the other tool.

And I’d had fun creating it! When I showed it to my project manager, and explained the dramatic time difference, she happily authorized switching over to ZebraZapps. I was then able to create a very robust course with a variety of engagement strategies that provided a meaningful learning experience for the participants.

GD: What attributes of ZebraZapps do you find most beneficial?

HG: What I love about ZebraZapps is its versatility and that it allows me to be as creative as my imagination will allow. What I love about Allen Interactions is that they are a truly warm and human company.

The following images from Helen Graves are of apps built in ZebraZapps for use in training. On each Helen has provided comments about the e-learning content in red text and how it can be fulfilled using ZebraZapps.

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