Dialogue without having a million slides

Jun 13, 2011

For one of our courses, we'd like to have two people "speaking" back and forth with speech bubbles.  In addition, we'd like the user to be able to advance through the bubbles (versus having them automatically advance).

I know one solution is to have a slide for each speech bubble so that the learner believes they're seeing the dialogue move "back and forth" between the two characters on the screen but in reality is clicking and going to another slide. 

Another solution would be to take the "power" away from the learner and have the speech bubbles advance (via syncing) automatically at what we believe are appropriate intervals.

Is there another way to do this?

Thanks for your help!

5 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Hi Jessica,

Yeah, if you want the learner to be able to invoke each character's speech bubbles, probably the multiple-slides-as-layers approach works best. You could also experiment with using an Articulate Engage interaction... for example, a Timeline or Process interaction might be an interesting way to portray a progressive "conversation"... if you have a dialogue with a lot of back-and-forth conversation, it might be easier to build it that way than to use several PowerPoint slides. Then learners could progress through the conversation, or easily back up and replay parts of it, etc.

Another option might be to create a video to show the characters' dialogue. Then you could use the video in your Engage interaction, or insert it in your Presenter project. In PowerPoint 2010, you can create an animated PowerPoint slideshow, save it as a WMV, and then convert that to an FLV which you can insert into any Articuate product. An especially nice approach is to insert the video into your Presenter sidebar, and then use your slide space for additional content. Here's an example that shows a course that Stephanie Harnett created, with the sidebar video trick. The blog post has a screencast where she gives some details about the video creation.

Hope that helps give you some ideas!

blair parkin

Further to Jeanette's idea of creating a video, if you have an earlier version of PowerPoint you could have the speech bubbles appearing on slides e.g. 2 per slide, and then publish them. For each slide a SWF will be created that you could then use in an engage interaction e.g timeline where the learner could move through the conversation

Erick Calderon

Hello Jeanette.

I am new in your community, and as you can see in english skills and e-learning skills too.

i will tray to tell you wath i need to know.

I am writing an e-learning course of catalan, i used adobe captivate, but it doesnt had the solution for my needs.

 wath i need?

well, my seminar is based in questions and answers, and y like to teach catalan to spanish, english, rumanian, chinese spoken and about 10 lenguajes.

the think i like to do is:

1. the student choose his spoken lenguage

2. the student choose his catalan skill

3. the presntation builds with the students choices, and run videos, and text.

4 finally one quiz for the student.

5 can i use excel file or anything else to do my chooses en questions 1 and 2?

hope you can help me.

thanks in advance.

Erick Calderon


Jeanette Brooks

Hello Erick and welcome,

In order to provide learners with their choice of language in a course, the easiest approach would be to create a separate course for each language. You could have a separate "shell" course (or just an html page) that serves as a menu, from which learners could choose the language they want. You could then hyperlink to the appropriate course based on the learner's menu choice.

You also asked about using Excel... currently the Articulate products don't offer a feature for importing from Excel. However, feature requests are always welcome! In the meantime, if you have content built in another application, you could copy/paste blocks of text rather than re-creating everything from scratch.

Hope that helps.

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