One productivity tool that I have used for years is Google Docs, which allows users to create spreadsheets, power point presentations,
documents, and other files in the cloud that can be manipulated in real time by any invited users. I find that this is an underutilized tool that has numerous applications to facilitate teams of persons working together using a single set of documents. We probably have not thought about incorporating such tools into our e-learning… but why not? Google has now added a new doc type that we in the e-learning field can leverage to use as a survey or data capture tool – Google simply calls it a “form”. Read more
Geeks love ‘em. The rest of us struggle to “get” them. But beware, for once you come to understand them, there’s no going back.
Now the reality is that even though you may not realize it, you have likely interacted with and even altered variables before. For example, let’s say you create a quiz in your favorite eLearning program (such as Quizmaker) and you’ve told the program that each question is worth 5 points.
Buttons are great tools for assisting learners with course navigation. Using a combination of triggers and variables, a single button can take a learner to different slides depending on their progress in the course. Read more
In Storyline, multiple sound clips can be placed onto one slide. This simple, yet powerful, ability allows us as designers and developers to create interactions, games, and activities that were previously impossible to do within PowerPoint.
If you are new to Storyline and think a trigger is the lever pressed to discharge a firearm or maybe you think it is the Lone Ranger’s horse, then read on and I will try to guide you through the basics of using triggers in Storyline.
It’s hard to imagine taking a training course without some kind of assessment. Assessments and other graded and ungraded activities are the bread and butter of e-learning solutions. Some tools can make building quizzes, assessments, and graded activities a painful task.
While Storyline’s toolset isn’t perfect, the tool isn’t the limiting factor in the types of questions, quizzes, and activities you can create. It’s that good and, for the most part, it’s that easy. With Storyline, you’ll be up and running building custom quiz components and graded activities in no time. Read more
Storyline successfully imports your existing PowerPoint and Presenter projects into Storyline. It imports all of your project’s components, such as editable slides, Quizmaker and Engage files, audio, video, and commonly-used animations.
Why would you want to do this?
To publish your PowerPoint and Presenter projects to iOS-compatible output via HTML5 so that they can play on iPhones and iPads
To use Storyline’s interactive capabilities to add a higher level of engagement to your PowerPoint projects
To expand the development process of your project by using features such as branching scenarios, interactive screen recordings and demonstrations, and Quizmaker’s customizable feedback
To determine the layout and flow of your project by creating multiple scenes (think chapters) and rearranging your slides in order to create meaningful navigation
One of the really nice features of Storyline is its support for layers. You might think of them as transparencies that can be overlaid on your base slide. On the transparencies you can place images, sound, and even logic (in the form of Triggers). Each layer has its own independent timeline.
Layers are primarily used to add interaction to your slides. When a button is clicked or the mouse hovers over an object in the base layer, it might trigger the display of a new overlying layer.
Storyline includes a variety of built in human “characters”. Available as “Illustrated” and “Photographic” you can select expressions and poses for each. These are powerful tools to personalize your presentations and to add implied emotional color. They provide a lot of customization options that are useful when custom or stock photography is not available.
I frequently find that the best way to explain a process is through the use of an interactive flowchart. Storyline gives you a wide variety of tools to make a flowchart come to life. I will show you one way to do this with shapes and states.
Let’s start with a simple flowchart created in Storyline with the shape tools. I have created a page containing a series of boxes connected by arrows.
Once you have the chart created, build the target pages where the learner will be taken when the boxes are clicked.
Now comes the fun part. Select the first shape, then click on the Trigger command from the ribbon to associate an interaction with the shape. The Trigger Wizard appears and allows you to choose the action and destination applied to the selected shape.
In this example I chose “Jump to slide”. That slide is the content slide associated with the first shape in the flowchart. Storyline creates the link so that the learner is taken to the content slide when he or she clicks on the flowchart box.
So that the learner can remember which boxes he has already clicked, we invoke another piece of Storyline magic. This is the concept of “States” and involves the status of an object. Among others, it could be “normal” (i.e. not yet clicked) or “visited”.
Change the view on the bottom of the screen from “Timeline” to “State”. This displays the available state options. Click on the copy button to create a duplicate of the Normal state.
Name the new state “Visited”.
Next, change the visual characteristics of the box for the Visited state. A variety of options are available. We’ll keep it simple and just give it a light blue color. Do this by setting the transparency at 50%.
Now, when the user clicks the first box, it will show itself visually different. This alerts the user that he or she has already clicked this box and seen its associated content.
Repeating this simple process for the remaining three boxes completes the flowchart. This flowchart model could just as easily have been a menu or table of contents. The triggers provide the navigation and the states provide the visual feedback.