You might already know that Articulate Engage '09 gives you the option of including an intro to your interaction — but did you know you can include a summary too? These are both really helpful features, especially if you're using your interaction as standalone e-learning content rather than part of a larger course.

Why include an intro or summary? Because they function kind of like mental bookends, wrapping your content with a clear beginning and end. Here are some other good reasons to consider using intros or summaries:

  • An introduction can provide helpful setup info for your interaction content, such as an overview of what the learner's about to experience.
  • If you're using your interaction to build a scenario or knowledge-check, the intro can provide important context about the scenario or challenge that you're presenting to your learners.
  • An intro can also give learners important instructions or tips about how to explore the content. Check out the sample wording that Debbie Richards recently shared in the forums for all 10 of the standard Engage interactions. Maybe you've got some standard wording of your own that you like to use in your Engage introductions and can share that in the same thread.
  • A summary can be a great way to give a final call to action after the learner experiences your content.
  • Summaries are often a great place to provide hyperlinks to external resources that learners can check out if they  need more info.

So how do you do it?

When you first start a new Engage interaction, it'll have an intro by default. If you also want to include a summary, you can click the Add Summary button on the toolbar, or tweak your Interaction Properties to turn on the Summary feature. From there, it's just a matter of deciding what your intro or summary should include. Like the other portions of your content, your intro or summary can contain text, hyperlinks, images, movies, or sound. Below is a walk-through of how to add or remove an intro or summary in your interaction. If you prefer to see step-by-step text, you can check out this tutorial.

How are you using intros and summaries in your Engage interactions? If you've got some cool ideas or samples to share, feel free to post in the comments or in the Forums!

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