As a course designer, there are so many ways you can design and develop content. The outcome often varies depending on the time frame, budget, or other deciding factors. Whatever approach you take, it’s always important to keep the learner in mind. 

In my case, I was given this Eisenhower Decision Matrix content to design and develop.

I transformed that content into this personalized decision matrix.

View interactive version | Download template

Let’s take a look at my process and why I took this approach.

Setting the Scene

Since I didn’t have an actual subject matter expert to work with, I decided to write my own backstory for this project.  

  • Audience: General 
  • Objective: To manage professional and personal tasks more efficiently
  • Deadline: ASAP
  • Note: Can make small changes to the content 

Having this background information helped me focus on what I needed to accomplish. I decided to design this project in a short time frame to showcase how something simple can still be effective. With time limitations, it’s important to come up with easy-to-implement solutions that still ensure an effective learning experience.  

My Approach

For this project, I knew I wanted to create a custom interactive experience to introduce each of the four categories. So, it made sense to build it in Storyline 360.  

Rather than having all the content visible at once, I created a main slide to gradually introduce each of the four categories. As the user hovers over each quadrant, the rectangle—along with the accompanying labels—changes colors to help learners focus on the relevant information.

When the learner clicks on a section, they’re presented with more details about that category.

Since I was allowed to make small changes to the content, I elaborated on the original bullet points I was given to make it conversational. I also added a Text-Entry Field for the learner to reflect on their own tasks that related to the category. Even though I wasn’t given examples, I added a few to give the learner some ideas of what to write. 

Once the learner types out and submits their tasks, they’re brought back to the main slide where the category now displays their response.

This was super easy to create in Storyline 360 using a custom state. If you’ve never worked with custom states before, check out our user guide to find out how they work: Adding and Editing States.

Once I created my custom Complete state, I added a transparent shape to fill the box, right-clicked it to edit the text, and then inserted the corresponding variable reference (TextEntry1, TextEntry2, etc.).

Pro tip: Using a shape with a predefined size—instead of a text box that’s only as big as your variable reference—ensures your learner’s response remains within that shape and retains the font size, even if it’s long.  

Thanks to this custom state, the learner can see their responses display on the main slide as they progress through the course. This gives them a concrete example of how to prioritize their tasks. Once they complete all four sections, they can see which tasks to do first, schedule, delegate/postpone, or remove from their list.

To take this beyond an online training, I included a Print button so learners can print off their task list and begin checking items off once they’re complete. If you want to give learners the option to print something from your course, check out this discussion.

More Resources

And that’s how I came up with this simple solution to help people learn to manage professional and personal tasks more efficiently. Of course, this isn’t the only way to approach this content. If you want to see how my coworkers designed a course on this same topic, check out this article.  

If you’re looking for more time-saving tips to personalize content quickly, check out these helpful resources:

Want to personalize your own content, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.

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