Building Course Solely in Storylines or Blended with PowerPoint


I finished reviewing the majority of the Storyline features. Wow! I hope we purchase the software. We recently upgraded to PowerPoint 2010. It appears that this new version of PowerPoint has many great image creation features. I'm learning all of them.

I'm wondering if many folks are building thier courses straight in Storylines or creating some PowerPoint slides/images and importing them into Storylines.

I'm interested to learn your opinions.



13 Replies
Natalia Mueller

NICE BRUCE!! I didn't even realize you had done that. I love that Story Lion series. Did you by chance make any screenrs showing how you did any of that?

I have a week off while transitioning between roles and I'm actually excited to spend it catching up on all things Storyline. I guess that's what happens when a tool is that fun to use

Laura Peterson

Hi Bruce,

My company just bought this for me (after much begging on my part). I'm preparing to develop my first Articulate Storyline program. I story boarded the program the old fashion way and really DON'T want to use PPTX if I don't have to. I would love to jump right into Articulate. But, I actually don't know how to get started. I've searched the forums and I don't see "creating" a program without first leveraging a PPT. Can you give me some guidance? I have a few days to focus on this exclusively... which is a rare event. So, any help or direction or pointing to resources would be greatly appreciated.



Bruce Graham

OK Laura

"Masterclass" - YEY! 

Could be interesting as I am UK-based so we have a timelag, so let's use this to our advantage....

1> What is your topic? Either one you HAVE to produce, or one you WANT to do?

2> Start small - in SL prepare some "Scenes", (using Insert > New Scene"). Each one is to be one "theme", so for example "Objectives", or "Introduction".

3> You are banned from using the terms "Objectives" or Introduction. And no bullets

4> What are the 2-3 things that everyone MUST know, in each Scene. What are the behavioural changes you want to get from them after the section, what are they doing wrong now, or how could they do what they do better?

5> Decide on a (simple) theme - so for example use a free source, and start to think about the graphics, and the fonts/colours.

6> Once you have done that....close your eyes in a quiet place.  Imagine that you are looking at the course - what do you SEE, what do you HEAR, how does the course make you FEEL at each point? When do you want to be challenged? When do you feel that something is un-resolved? How does that resolution happen in terms of the learning that you are presented with?

7> I suggest that you start with just using the menu at the side of the SL player, although you could try and jump right into complexity and use the one I have attached. look at it, run the "course", then pick it apart to see what is happening. There's nothing scary about Variables, Triggers, Conditions and States. Trust me and go for it.

Does that help get you started? I have about another 45 minutes before I give up for the day. I will also PM you something else.

Tell me when you need to have this finished.


Nancy Woinoski

Hi Laura -  

Here is what I do when starting a new project in Storyline.

1. The neat thing about Storyline is that you can specify the dimensions of your published story so the first thing I do is set up my Story size by clicking Design on the toolbar at the top and then selecting Storyline Size.  If you are happy using the default size, you can skip this step but it is much easier to change the size upfront before adding any content.

2. Next I edit the player properties to set up the look and feel of the Storyline player by clicking on the Player Icon located under the Publish settings on the toolbar. I like a very clean look for my player so usually end up turning off most features and set the base colours to transparent.

3. Next I set up by slide masters by selecting View on the main toolbar and then selecting Slide Master - the slide master is similar to what you would find in PowerPoint - it is here that you set up any backgrounds, colour themes, fonts and any common objects that you want to appear on your slides.  When doing this, take the time to set up your colour themes and font themes because they determine the defaults that display when you add text to your slides.

4. Now you are ready to start adding slides. You will see that by default, there is one scene and one slide when you start a new project.

You can add additional slides to the existing scene by clicking Insert on the toolbar and selecting New Slide ( again similar to Powerpoint.

One you have your slide added, you can apply the master layout by right clicking on the slide and selecting the layout just as you would in Powerpoint. 

5. Once you have your slide, you can begin adding text, images, video audio, buttons, layers etc based on your storyboard design.

This is just a very basic approach to getting started with a project from scratch. The real fun comes in when you start to explore all the different features for creating content. I suggest you spend some time viewing the tutorials/demos and posts in this forum to get some ideas of what can be done.

Mike Taylor

"...If you are happy using the default size, you can skip this step but it is much easier to change the size upfront before adding any content."

This makes me think about the set of questions that are best to have answered up front. (i.e. before you start developing).

Does anyone have a list of things similar to the size that you always want to know before starting a new project?

I'm thinking a simple form or checklist that might include things like:

  • Publishing dimensions
  • Hosting location (ie. LMS, website, etc)
  • Tracked via LMS, etc
  • Color schemes /skins
  • Fonts
  • Include/Exclude:
    > Notes / Transcript text
    > Additional supporting Reference/Resource materials (Linked vs embedded)
    > Navigation menu
    > etc
  • Assessments/Quizzes
    >Graded or not
    ># of attempts allowed
    >Passing score
  • How will updates to content be handled

I'm sure there are plenty more things that could go on a list like this.