Perfect Your Text in Storyline 2 Posted yesterday at 4:08 PM

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It's always nice when your content looks exactly the way you like. We get it! With features like the all-new text editor and enhanced font support in Storyline 2, you can fine-tune the text in your course to create a polished, professional look.


You can now improve text readability by controlling paragraph alignment and direction, customizing the spacing between characters, and setting custom indentation and line spacing. And with the new WYSIWYG text editor, when you apply formatting to text in one window, you’ll see exactly what it will look like when you publish it.


Another cool new feature is support for text ligatures. Now your letters can change shape in response to their neighbors. This gives your text a really cool look with no extra work for you.


Storyline 2 also automatically supports special characters such as smart quotes, em dashes, and ellipses, giving you more ways to capture your organization’s voice and tone. You’ll also be able to use special characters to create custom bullet points and then adjust their color, positioning, and size.


With this fine-grained control over your text, you’ll be able to create just the look and feel you have in mind. Watch this video to see the new text editor in action.

 

Watch the video tutorial

 

Ready to get started? Get a free trial of Storyline 2 here.

 

Editing and Creating Illustrations in PowerPoint Posted Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7:37 PM

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After I posted “Learning Village Branching Navigation,” I received several emails asking how I did the illustrations. PowerPoint is a wonderful tool for that, and I created a screencast to show you what I did, starting with the buildings.

 

 

Once you've finished your illustration in PowerPoint, there are a couple of ways you can import it into Articulate Storyline. You can:

  • Copy and paste it, and it will display as a single image in Storyline; or,
  • Import the slide from PowerPoint

The primary difference between these two options is your ability to edit the illustration. If you import the slide from PowerPoint, you will be able to modify your illustration in Storyline. However, if you don't think you'll need to make changes to your illustration, you can cut and paste it as an image.

Now, it’s your turn to get creative. Design some buildings for your learning village and watch it grow!

 

 


You can always sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial of Articulate software. And don’t forget to post your questions and comments in the forums! We’re here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

 

Post written by Nicola Appel.

 

Boost Your Productivity with Dockable Panels in Storyline 2 Posted Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 6:23 PM

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Storyline 2 includes tons of enhancements to help boost your productivity so you can build great-looking courses faster than ever. For example, you can now customize your workspace with dockable panels. We think you'll love this time-saver!


With dockable panels, you can move panels such as triggers, slide layers, states, and timeline panels anywhere you want on your desktop, or even onto a second monitor. This lets you put the tools you use most at your fingertips, see more of your panels at the same time, and edit your courses even more quickly.

 

It’s super easy to use dockable panels. Grab the top bar of a panel and drag the panel wherever you like. You can expand or shrink panels to design a workspace that works for you. Want to start over? Just close the panels and they’ll go right back to where they started. Watch this video to see them in action. 

 

Watch the video tutorial


Ready to super-charge your productivity? Get a free trial of Storyline 2 here.

 

Making the Case for E-Learning Posted Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 12:38 PM

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Although e-learning is not a new invention, we often still have to make a case for it in our organizations. And clearly there's reason to do so, as many successful companies worldwide have integrated e-learning solutions into their staff development programs.

Before jumping into some of the reasons why, let me first ask:

  • Is e-learning completely new to your company or department?
  • If you have used e-learning before, what were your experiences and why are you now re-evaluating whether e-learning is the right solution?

In a lot of cases, companies have had traditional training in place for a while, yet budget pressures are driving them to re-assess their options. The question, “What about e-learning?” is common at this juncture.

Let’s be realistic, though: the biggest things you’re going to save on are travel costs to bring everyone to a training location, the facility rental, and the trainer fees. Some people even calculate the cost of lost productivity during this time. That's not a 100% accurate as people will need time to absorb the material and shouldn't be expected to do an e-learning course in their free time.

 

Production cost of an e-learning course has changed dramatically over the years

Remember those days when you needed a big budget to hire programmers, designers, animators, and video editors to develop a course? Nowadays, there are great e-learning authoring tools that let you create compelling and engaging e-learning courses without the need for a large team of developers. Most of them offer a free trial version (like Articulate Storyline) so you can test which one offers the best features for your course and is the most intuitive for you to use. A lot of them even let you import your training materials from PowerPoint so you can convert them into interactive courses—a good one for starters is Articulate Studio ’13.

After cost, standardization, continuity, and scalability are other considerations. With e-learning you can reach a larger number of learners at once. They can decide for themselves when to take the course, which gives them a lot more flexibility. And they will all see the same course with the same quality of information, examples, exercises, and scenarios, so you don’t have to worry that the quality might vary depending on the trainer or group dynamics.

 

That brings up another interesting point: learning styles. As we all know, each of us has a preference for how we learn new things. And that can be very different from our co-workers. While some are very visually oriented, others might prefer to dive deeper into facts and figures. There are several theories on learning styles, which I don’t want to go into here, but with e-learning you can let your learners decide how to explore the information. They can learn at their own pace and digest the information the way that is best for them.

 

Explore previous e-learning experiences

If e-learning is completely new to your company or your department, you can go through all the above arguments with your peers to make your case for why e-learning is a very good solution for the company. However, if your organization has experience with e-learning, you’ll have to dive deeper into the history. Here are some questions that might be helpful to ask:

 

  • What was the topic and the learner's experience with the subject (e.g., beginner or advanced)?
    Sometimes there’s a need to re-evaluate whether the course was too easy or too difficult for the target group of learners or didn’t address their needs for training.
  • What was the length of the course?
    If the learners can see upfront that the course they’re about to take will require, say, four hours, they'll likely feel deflated from the start. You can let them know that they can take breaks or come back later, but it’ll certainly be a lot easier if you explain to learners that the course is divided into chapters, or build smaller and shorter courses right from the start.
  • How many people finished the course, and how many dropped out?
    That can have various reasons—in addition to the ones above, time management, distractions, technical issues, and job requirements can also be possible issues. It would be ideal to talk with some of the learners who dropped out to find out more about their reasons.
  • Was the management happy with it?
    Sometimes decisions for training are made without a precise idea of what the outcome should look like. Strategies can also change quickly. So, the reason e-learning is being re-evaluated might not be about the course itself.

One last note, this one on tracking: Tracking can be another advantage of e-learning since it allows you to monitor the attendance, scores, and outcomes of knowledge checks of your learners. If you’re developing for an international audience, please consider that in some countries there might be different regulations on privacy and data security. It can be a sensitive issue and needs to be handled very carefully.

 

Have you had experience making the case for e-learning in your company? What have been your most successful arguments for it? Please leave a comment below and share your experience!

 


You can always sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial of Articulate software. And don’t forget to post your questions and comments in the forums! We’re here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

 

Post written by Nicola Appel.

 

 

Here's an Easy Way to Create a Video Player Posted Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:26 PM

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In a previous blog post, I showed how to convert bullet point text to an interactive video. This is a nice way to show video and let the learner choose whether to watch the video and pause at key points or go through the video first and then revisit the key points. Lots of neat possibilities with this approach.

 

You can also do something similar in Articulate Quizmaker. The only difference is that you don’t get the interactive capability. But you do get to leverage the timeline in Quizmaker for easy authoring and you can stack content on top of the video to create pop ups or call outs.

 

Check out the example below.


Click here to view the elearning example.

 

Here’s a link to a quick tutorial that shows how I created the file in Quizmaker.

And you can download the source file here to check it out in your elearning lab.

 

The Basic Steps

  • Create a blank slide in Quizmaker.
  • Add the video and content to the slide.
  • Use the timeline to change the stacking order if overlaying on top of video and the entry/exit points of the various objects.

That’s about it. Pretty simple.


Post written by Tom Kuhlmann

 

How to Customize the Player Menu in Articulate Storyline Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

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I had a question about how to create collapsible headings in the menu and how to change the colors to indicate the slide has been visited.

 

In this quick tutorial I show how to customize the menu to add some new headings and then place slides under the heading. I also show how to change the color on the visited slide to indicate that the slide has been seen. It's also a great way to indicate progress of the slides in the e-learning course.

 

 

 

 

How to trim a mid-section from your Articulate Replay recording Posted Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:58 AM

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Articulate Replay is a great tool to record screencasts such as how-to video’s, video lectures, and webinars.


In a recent forum thread, a user asked how to edit out a section from the middle of her recording. While Replay only allows trimming at the beginning and end of your recording, Jeff found a simple workflow to edit out the parts you don’t need.


For even more e-learning tips, follow Articulate Super Hero Jeff Kortenbosch on his personal site, Twitter, and YouTube channel.

 


 

Two Easy Ways to Create Drag & Drop Interactions in Articulate Storyline Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 9:34 PM

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Had a question about how to create drag & drop interactions in Articulate Storyline.

 

The obvious way to create a drag & drop interaction is using the triggers. Triggers require an action based on an event. For example, something should happen when you drag (or drop) and object over another object.

 

Another way to create a drag & drop interaction is to use the convert to freeform feature. By default this is designed as a quiz question, so you get all of the quizzing options. However I use this approach to create multiple drag & drop objects. I just disable to quiz properties and get rid of the submit button.

 

The video below show how to do both types of drag & drops.


 

How to Annotate Slide Content Using Markers in Articulate Storyline Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 6:19 PM

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As Storyline designers, you already know markers are a great way to quickly annotate pictures, graphs, and even video.

 

Articulate Super Hero Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro shares a cool technique for using Storyline's built-in markers in non-standard ways. Check out Becky’s tutorial below and let us know what you think. Becky shares more tips on her Screenr page and her web site.



 

How to Create Custom Navigation Buttons in Articulate Storyline Posted Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 9:00 PM

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Elearning community super hero, Nancy Woinoski, has a great tutorial that shows how to create a custom navigation button in Storyline when building your online training*.

 

The basics:

 

  • Use a marker as your button. 
  • Create a new state with the marker and a pulsing animation.
  • Create a trigger at the end of the slide that displays the pulsing state.

Pretty clever solution. Check out her tutorial below. And of course if you need custom Storyline development, be sure to check out her site.


 

*Original forum post.

 

Using a Simple Storyline Number Variable to Show Learners How Many Objects They've Found Posted Friday, January 04, 2013 at 8:32 AM

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I love Storyline variables. Which might come as a surprise if you know me, because I am SO not a programmer! But that's the cool thing about Storyline—variables and other concepts that used to feel way above my head are now actually really easy and <gasp> fun if you use Storyline. Even cooler is the fact that variables can be great tools for making a course more interactive and responsive to your learners.

 

Check out the example below. It's a simple demo that was shared in a forum conversation with fellow community member Anne England. Anne wanted to create a seek-and-find interaction in which a visible counter shows learners how many correct objects they've found so far. Storyline variables to the rescue! By using a number variable and just a few simple triggers, you can easily create a tally to keep track of how many items the learner has clicked.

 

 

Want to learn more? Take a five-minute tour of how to build the interaction:

 

 

And if you'd like to take a look at the source project, you can download the .story file here.

 

How are you using Storyline variables in your projects? Head over to the Storyline forum and share your tips, tricks, and samples with the rest of the community! Or, if you have a project where you think variables might be useful but you're not sure how to incorporate them, post your questions in the Storyline forum and let the community help you out!

 

Hiding a Base-Layer Object from Appearing on Other Slide Layers in Articulate Storyline Posted Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 12:14 PM

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Articulate Storyline's triggers and slide layers make it crazy-simple to build explorable content—like tabs interactions—in just minutes. Often, as folks experiment with creating interactive slides, they ask: "My triggers and layers are working great... but what if I have a few things on my slide's base layer that I'd rather not show when learners view a different layer? Is there a way to hide those items?"

 

A common example is this: say you've added some introductory info, or a "click the tabs" callout, on a slide's base layer. While these objects can be really helpful when learners first arrive at the slide, you might not want the objects to stay visible once learners start clicking the slide to reveal different layers of your interaction.  

 

The solution: on any slide layer, just turn off the visibility of whichever base-layer objects you want to hide. Here's how:

 

 

A Color Diagram to Help You Customize Your Storyline Player Colors Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 at 10:38 AM

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It's amazing how much flexibility Storyline gives you when it comes to customizing your course's player! Not only can you choose exactly which player features you include, but you also have total control over every item's color.

 

We've got a handy tutorial that walks through the steps for changing the colors on your player, but since there are so many items you can customize, we thought it would also be helpful to give you a quick-reference diagram. That way, when you need to change the color of a certain player element, you can quickly find the parameter that controls it.

 

You can click the picture below to view or print the PDF, and you can also find it in the downloads area. Oh, and the colors in the diagram are purposely kind of loud and high-contrast, just to make it easier to see what's what. Happy customizing!

 

 

A Simple (and Free!) Set of Tabs Interactions for Your Articulate Storyline Projects Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 8:36 AM

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Creating a tab-style interaction in Articulate Storyline is a quick and easy way to make your content more explorable. By combining the power of slide layers with simple triggers, you can transform static content into a click-and-reveal interaction in just a couple minutes! And the best part is, the entire interaction is contained on a single slide, which you can easily reuse and customize in other projects.

 

Click the demo below to see an example of what a simple tabs interaction could look like:

 

To make it super easy to build your own, here’s a free template that contains a whole collection of ready-made tab sets. You can use them for whatever you like. Just choose the tab set you want to use, then add your own content to each tab and layer. And if you want to customize the look of the interaction with your own background, that’s simple too. Here’s a quick look at how:

 

 

Want to learn how to build a tabs interaction of your own? Here’s an overview of how I built the one in the example above:

 

 

To dig deeper into some of the features mentioned in the screencasts above, you might also like to explore the tutorials on States, Triggers, Slide Layers, and Button Sets.

 

Have fun building your interactions, and feel free to share your work in the Storyline forum!

 

3 Paths in 1 Quiz: Possible? Yes! Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 at 7:29 AM

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An Articulate user asked us a great question recently. She wanted to build an Articulate Quizmaker ‘09 quiz consisting of three paths, with each path containing a different group of scenario-related questions. Rather than make all of her learners complete all the questions, she wanted to let each learner choose just one of the paths at the beginning of the quiz.

 

Is it possible? Definitely! All it takes is some simple branching techniques in Quizmaker, and an unscored survey question at the beginning. Here’s how you can do it:

 

First: create your questions and organize them into groups

Although it’s not mandatory, separating your questions into groups makes it much easier to visually organize them when you're creating your content. By default, whenever you start a new quiz it contains a single question group, and all your questions end up there. But you can easily add more groups and reorganize your questions to be in whichever groups you want.

 

Start by clicking the Question Group button:

Quizmaker adds a new group header to your question list. Double-click the group name if you want to change it to something more intuitive. You’re the only one who will see the name—it won’t appear to learners—so you can call it anything you like. 

Now create your questions, and drag each one into the appropriate group. You can also rearrange the order of the question groups themselves if you want—just click and drag the group header to a different place in the question list, and any questions in that group will travel together.

 

In the example below, I’ve created three question groups and placed two questions in each group:

Second: insert an unscored question at the beginning so learners can choose their path

Once your questions are arranged into groups, you can create one more question group at the beginning to contain a single “gateway” question. This is just an unscored question that lets learners choose which question group they’ll complete. You can use a survey question in Quizmaker—since survey questions don't have a point value, the question won’t impact the learner’s score. Here’s what to do:

 

 

Third: apply branching

Finally, you’ll need to add some branching. There are a couple places you’ll want to do this:

  • On the survey question at the beginning, you’ll add branching on each of the three choices, so that learners jump to the right questions, based on their choice.
  • After the final question in both the 1st and 2nd question groups, you’ll add branching that takes the learner to the end of the quiz. (You don’t have to do this for the final question group, since that one’s already at the end of the quiz.)

Here’s a quick look at how to set up the branching:

 

 

That’s all there is to it! If you choose to include a result slide at the end, the score that appears there is based on only the questions the learner answered (not the entire lot of questions in the quiz). So in my example below, even though my quiz actually contains six graded questions worth 10 points apiece, the learner’s score is based on just the two questions (20 points) that comprise the question group they complete. And if you include a Review Quiz button on your result slide, during the quiz review your learners will only see the questions they answered (not the questions that were part of the other question groups).

 

Below is a sample of the published quiz, and you can also download the source file if you’d like to deconstruct.

View the published sample | Download the quiz