Much of eLearning is served up via HTML pages and designing those pages is often a balance of expected screen resolution, browser chrome, and content.
For eLearning that deals with applications, you may have further challenges from the application’s actual size. I create eLearning for an app that is 1,024 pixels wide which causes a challenge since most of our clients have 1024 by 768 pixel resolution.
There are “standards” such as 960 pixels wide that many people use and those work if we assume people with a 1024 wide screen always maximize their browsers. Luckily, numbers show that most people on 1024, and smaller, do run maximized. However, people with larger than 1024 (about 85% according to January W3C numbers) almost never run their browsers maxed.
I have a new favourite tool and it is Google’s Browser Size. It is very easy to use, just type in a URL and see what your pages look like in real time stats!
I now use a screen shot of the page as a background for Photoshop prototyping of new projects. Thanks Google!