Branched—or nonlinear—courses are a great way to give learners a more personalized learning experience. You can use branching scenarios to let learners work through real-life situations and explore how their choices can lead to different outcomes. Or create a course with multiple learning paths for people with different roles or levels of prior knowledge. 

In some authoring apps, creating branched courses can be a real challenge. Between building and keeping track of all the potential paths learners can take, it can be enough to make your head spin. 

But in Storyline 360, building branching is super easy thanks to Story View, which gives you a bird’s-eye view of your entire course. 

And not only that, Story View makes it easy to speed up your project development time by viewing and editing branching paths, making edits to multiple slides at once, and managing question banks.

Want to learn how? Read on!

1. Collapse and expand scenes to focus on one thing at a time

If you’re working on a course with a large number of slides and scenes, it can be helpful to collapse or expand scenes so you can focus on each one individually. 

To do that, just click the carat in the upper right corner of the scene to toggle those options.

If you want, you can even quickly collapse or expand all your scenes at once by right-clicking in the Story View workspace and choosing Collapse All Scenes or Expand All Scenes.

2. Zoom in or out to get a different perspective

In addition to expanding and collapsing scenes, you can adjust how much detail you see using the zoom slider.

Simply move the slider control and your layout will zoom in or out—allowing you to see as much or as little of your project as you need to.

3. Visualize and edit all your learning paths easily

To see the potential paths a learner can take through a course, look no further than the lines and arrows in Story View. They clearly show all the existing connections between slides and scenes. Selecting a slide in Story View displays all the possible pathways originating from it as red and blue arrows, so you can track outcomes more easily.

Looking at the pathways allows you to see how your course flows from start to finish without having to preview the course or open each slide individually. It’s also a quick way to evaluate if your course branches in a logical order.

In addition to confirming that your paths connect to the right slides, you can look for dead-end slides, indicated with a link symbol. 

While not all dead-end slides are a bad thing—for example, a course’s ending slide—it’s important to double-check for unintentional ones that would cause a learner to become stuck in the course.

If you see a pathway that you’d like to change, you can easily do that from Story View. Just click an arrow to open the associated trigger, which you can then adjust to direct learners to a different slide.

4. View and edit slide properties in bulk

Have you ever finished a project and then realized you need to make design changes to multiple slides? Instead of opening each slide individually and tediously editing each one, make your life easier by bulk-editing in Story View. 

From Story View, you can select multiple slides and apply changes all at once. To select more than one slide, hold Shift and click each slide you want to include. Once your slides are selected, you can:

    • Select a new layout. Just right-click and select Apply Layout to convert your slides to a different layout.
    • Change the background. To change the appearance of your slides, right-click and select Format Background to pick a new look. 
    • Add a slide transition. If you want to add a consistent transition to your slides, select your slides and then pick the effect you want to apply from the Transitions tab.
  • Adjust navigation properties. To show or hide navigation buttons like Prev and Next or change how certain slides advance, select your slides and adjust the settings in the Slide Properties panel.

By making these kinds of changes from Story View, you can save yourself tons of development time.

5. Manage question banks

When creating a branched course, you might need to include more than one quiz so that no matter which path a learner takes, they’re being assessed on relevant topics. One way to manage multiple quizzes is by creating a question bank for each quiz to keep your questions organized. 

You can access and manage question banks from Story View. Just go to the Home tab on the ribbon and click Question Banks. 

From there, you can create a new question bank or make changes to existing ones. This is just one more way you can use Story View to manage your course content. 

Wrap-Up

Story View is such a helpful feature for creating branched courses. So the next time you’re working on a project, take advantage of the resources it provides. You’ll be able to get a better view of your project, make sweeping edits, and manage multiple quizzes—all of which will save you time and frustration—especially when you’re building complex branching courses.

What tips do you have for creating branched e-learning projects? Share your thoughts in a comment below! 

To learn more about branched courses and scenarios, check out these helpful articles:

Want to try something you learned here, 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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