Bring the world into your courses with web objects

Personally, I think the humble web object is one of the most under-appreciated features of e-learning authoring tools. The great thing about web objects is that they bring all the power and possibilities of the web right inside your courses.

If you aren’t familiar with web objects take a minute to read these five things you need to know about the web object feature.

A web object, simply put, is any content that can be contained in a Web page. Web objects can be used for inserting web pages into your projects, thereby allowing you to leverage previously created content. For example, you can integrate your company’s intranet, or incorporate a web page that contains video, animation, assessments, or any other content relevant to your presentation.

For example, have you ever built a course with information that already exists on your company’s intranet? Instead of duplicating what’s already available, just insert the relevant intranet pages in your course. That is a big time saver.

Plus, you’ll save even more time if that information ever changes. By using a web object, you’ll avoid the need to update and republish your course every time it changes. (And that is if you even know that anything changed in the first place!)  Any changes to the  web object content will be instantly and automatically incorporated into your course.

The great thing about web objects is that virtually anything that works in a  web browser can be easily incorporated into your course. The more you use web objects, the more uses you are likely to find. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Check out this Studio ‘13 demo that includes several examples.


With more than 100 hours of content being uploaded every minute, there is a wealth of video content available online. Web objects will let you easily pull in the best of YouTube, Vimeo and more.

Also be sure to check out Storyline’s great Insert video from website option.

Web Forms for Feedback and DIY LMS:

If you need a way to collect information and feedback from your audience there are a number of tools like Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, SharePoint and Google forms that make a perfect use for a web object. These are a great for end of course evaluations. If you don’t have an LMS, you could even use a form like this to do some basic course completion tracking, as Tom mentions in this tutorial.

Fillable PDFs

Many companies, organizations, and government agencies convert their paper forms into online PDF forms that can be completed right onscreen. This is another perfect application for a web object. Just use the url of the fillable document and then set back and watch your form data roll in.

Office Documents:

Software training is one of the most common applications of e-learning. This great tutorial will show you how you can incorporate real, live Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in your courses.


Slideshare is another great source of content that you might want to consider.

How about you? What have you done with web objects in your projects? Or what ideas would you like to try?

If you want to try this yourself but don't have Articulate Studio, no problem. Just sign up for a fully functional, free trial. 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.