Advice on dealing with a complex subject matter

Greetings everyone!

I'm creating a course on a highly complex scientific methodology.  All the content was handed to me by the SME, but she's not available for regular consultation.  The audience are professionals in the field - mostly PhDs in nutrition (which is not my background).

Given that every piece of information is crucial (formulas, descriptions, disclaimers), I'm not at liberty to make too many changes or reduce the content.  I've ended up with what looks like a Power Point presentation with lots of bullet points and a bit of interaction where I could incorporate it.

I've taken an inspirational look at the Articulate Community Showcase, but I'd like to know if anyone has built a course on a similarly complex topic and how did they tackle it?  Any relevant examples would help me tremendously.

All the best!


5 Replies
eTam Miller

Hi Fay,

I also work with alot of complex topics and regulations, etc. I try to include as much interactivity and interesting design as possible... not always easy with the software tools my employer has available. I make custom graphics using Powerpoint 2007. I once built a laser light box and used Powerpoint to animate the light shooting out of it,  which went over pretty well. Now that we've upgraded to Storyline, I am missing the animation capabilities of Powerpoint big time. However, Storyline makes interactivity somewhat easier, and I've included an example below where I'm trying to teach what the chemical components of natural gas are. I have them pick up a glass slide and put it in a microscope, and then they click on the molecules (which move as much Storyline allows them to) to discover what they are:



Hope this helps. Good luck!


Hi Fay

I agree with eTam's approach.  You need to think up a theme or interface that can be used to break up the content.  I love the microscope example

If you look in the community downloads you can view lots of examples to use or be inspired by.  I used one to make a virtual police station with case studies etc.  You can make good use of the menu buttons on the player to hide away definitions or links and light box slides to display almost anything you want!

The most impressive output I have seen is this one   Always jaw dropping

Good luck with your project


Daniel Brigham

Hi, Fay:

Welcome to the forum.

Dealing with a lot of content is always a challenge. A few things that work for me:

1. Present some of the content through questions. Some people feel that they need to first present the material, and then quiz on it. But that's really just a mind set.

2. Consider put of some of the "nice-to-have content" in a resource doc and place it up in the resources tab of your player.

3. Mix up the type of questions that you ask: T/F, pick one, pick many, drag and drop, open-ended/short essay, use some that have images as answer choices

4. Tab interactions and timeline interactions are a nice way to break up related content.

5. A strong visual look will help alleviate boredom as well.

I've got examples of different looks on my presentations and demos. Brigham Communications Feel free to steal any and all ideas. Lord knows I did. PM me or post back if you have any more questions, and know that most of us struggle with what you are going through. --Daniel

Fay A

Thank you all! Your advice has been of a tremendous help!

I'm not nearly out of the woods, but I'm forcing myself to stretch my mind in ways I hadn't considered

If the final product is decent at all (because it does need to comply with the org in question's image too!) I promise to share some screen shots.

Great work guys!

All the best!