How SME review Storyline projects

Sep 25, 2013

I would like to begin using Storyline for more of the projects that I am working on, but my manager is concerned with how we would have SMEs evaluate the content once we need their approval because most associates in our company do not have Storyline on their computers.  Any suggestions on how to get around this?

40 Replies
Michael Hinze

In the past, I have used two options to allow for SME review.

Option#1: added a slide number to each slide, published and posted a course to a webserver. SME reviewed the content online and made comments and suggestions, including the slide number to identify a specific screen.

Option#2: Used the WORD publishing option, turned Tracking on in the WORD doc and sent this doc to SME for their review, comments, etc.


I second that. We typically publish to a dev version of the lms and give the SME's a "course map" to capture their comments as they take the course. Once approved, we push from the dev server to our "live" LMS. This way the SMEs see the course the way any other student will and there isn't a need for addt'l licensing.

david mckisick

Yes I am up against this same issue and have provided feedback about this to Articulate as well. The Adobe product to remain nameless here does include a feature for doing feedback which is very handy indeed. It allows SMEs and reviewers to freeze the timeline and make comments at different points of the presentation as they view the published file. For Storyline, you have to use another method, such detailed storyboards in which SMEs can make frame by frame comments if they don't like the way an animation or a fine grained detail is presented or the way it is presented, etc. The Word option does not capture anything other than what you have in the Notes tab and it shows the static slide.

Another idea I have heard is that some folks use SurveyMonkey during Alpha and Beta testing so SME's can put their comments on that on a frame by frame basis, which makes it fairly easy to collate comments.

Jenise Cook (

James Kingsley, a long-time member of this Community, has this product/tool available: ""

A client invited me to review/QA 3 of their Articulate modules using

I like it!

Multiple reviewers can see each others' comments. That way, the ID would not get 20 instances of "...the word 'the' was spelled 'teh'...."

or, "...the graphic in Tab 2 is too small...." Once a reviewer has reported an item, it's logged, and other reviewers don't have to repeat it.

The tool "compiles" all reviewer feedback into a screen the ID can easily use to see all feedback all at once.

We had some very small "bugs", but James and his team quickly resolved them. It actually runs best using Chrome as your browser (I'm still using Firefox; I know..."old school".).

P.S. James is not paying me to write this review; this is voluntary, "gratis", and based on actual use of the tool.

Gordon Ledbetter

I set myelf up to run the trial of Review My Learning but its going to be hard sell to upper management because of the pricing for unlimited courses.  I'll have to analyze its cost and effectiveness against the hours spent in the current process.   The current process is 3 steps.  1) Pass the content to SME's for review of accuracy of content  before any interactions are added.  Either as a word doc or ppt, it's pure content only at that point so they aren't distracted by interactions. 2) After corrections, suggestions, etc from step 1 review the interactions are added and  I schedule a meeting and sit down with SME's privately and run the course for them to criteque. It may conflict with elearning theory but I prefer the face to face meeting so I can hear feedback and watch body language. 3) After all corrections, suggestions, etc have been made the course is published (we use Lectora) and the SMEs are assigned to it for one last peek. Time consuming .. OH YEAH .. but we want to make sure they are happy with it before it goes live. 

Brenda Heilman

Hi Andrea!  I think we all have to deal with that issue in one way or another.  Here's what we do.  As we build our courses, we give each slide a name (double-click the default slide name and type to change it).  We also turn on the 'Menu' option on the Player and select the option to 'Number entries in the menu automatically'.  This will auto number each slide as well (so we have a slide number and a name on each slide).  We publish the course in LMS mode and post it on a server.  A link to the published course and our review comments document are in a Google Docs spreadsheet.  This way we can track all reviewer comments, based on slide number, in one place and only need to update the course link when we re-publish for re-review.  It works pretty smoothly and is a free solution. 

One tip: if you use the Player Menu option, be sure to 'Reset from Story' each time you add or delete a slide...just to be sure the autonumbering, etc compensates for that new/deleted slide.

We've also looked at James Kingsley's ReviewMyElearning--it looks way cool!  We just haven't found the budget dollars to be able to go that route...yet!  Hope this helps.  Feel free to ask questions! 

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi All,

I've been seeing a lot of good thing about James' tool over the last (coupla?) months. Looks James is really talented...but may be out of reach financially.

Thanks to all for posting.

Brenda, I especially like your process. Question: how do you set up the spreadsheet so that, as Jenise describes, there aren't multiple instances of the same "request for change." Do you have some cells, such as the slide name and number, that are protected and others that are "free." Do you have issues with people changing other people's comments?

Jenise, how does this work in James' tool?

Brenda, do you have a sample you can link us to? Or, if you don't want to share it in the forums, but are willing to share privately, can you ping me here?

Again, thanks, all, for the discussion.

Harri S

Thanks for the link Jenise.

I've been looking through the features and it sounds like a fantastic way of conducting module/project reviews- especially when you have multiple people reviewing at different times, from different locations.

I guess we'll just need to trial it out with our next project to see if our SMEs are comfortable moving away from the excel spreadsheets they know and love in order to switch to what appears to be a more efficient and concise review tool. However, if they're not ready for the change, Brenda's suggestion sounds much better than our current 'multiple excel sheets from multiple people' approach.

Very informative thread btw.

Jill Freeman

Jenise Cook ( said:

James Kingsley, a long-time member of this Community, has this product/tool available: ""

 Woo Hoo! Thanks Jenise and James for sharing this. I've been waiting for a reasonably priced reviewing tool. This will revolutionize my reviews and subsequent editing sessions, while making it easier on the SMEs.  -Jill

Glenn Preston

Hi All: appreciate all the input but none of these meet Canadian Gov't requirements that hosting and software resides in Canada for privacy law purposes. So does anyone know of actual, purchasable software available that can be installed internally on an intranet?

Thanks, always love the information everyone contributes to here!

Andreas Aposto

I created this elearning review custom webpage using free web tools to collaborate with the rest of my team, receive immediate feedback of developed eLearning modules from SMEs, Stakeholders, Team Members, and Clients, as well as instantly discuss with SMEs and access all comments in one place

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Andreas,

I saw you posted this in a few older threads, and I just wanted to share a reminder in regards to the ELH Community guidelines in regards to it being a place to share best practices, ideas, and help other users with Articulate questions - but is not designed as a place to sell or publicize other tools. 

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