can most university/college faculty use Articulate?

Nov 12, 2013

Hey, folks. Would like to hear from those of you working in higher education. Wondering if you guys use Articulate StoryLine, etc. to author content and upload into your LMS's.

To what extent can these tools be used by faculty? Or do they need to stay with the ID team? Based on my experience in the past with older authoring tools like HyperCard and HyperStudio, Flash, Director, etc., they were too hard to learn and support and scale; and even when faculty could learn them, the end products were crap. The goal is to find a tool that is easy to use, support, and scale that faculty can use and produce decent learning modules.

I saw this example of Artculate Presenter and was impressed:

But is this anomalous, or do most of your faculty produce modules of similar quality?



Blackboard, Inc.

14 Replies
Elizabeth Miles

Hi Peter,

I work in higher ed and quite a few of our faculty use Articulate Presenter to record their lectures.  They don't use animations or the other tools in the Studio suite, which is understandable because teaching and research take up so much of their time.  If they want something more interactive they partner with me to create it.  We've had wide adoption of Presenter, in part because students have requested it. They love being able to view lectures at their convenience, and are even more appreciative when their instructors put the web and podcast versions on Blackboard.  Faculty have taken to it because creating content in the PowerPoint interface with which they're familiar is fast and easy. It only takes me a few minutes to get them up and running and then I usually assist with the upload to Bb, so some level of IT support is necessary.  I wouldn't recommend Storyline to faculty - they simply don't have the time to invest in learning it. 

Hope that helps!

Rob Morgan

I am in higher ed as a trainer and use Storyline. I was the first at the school to get the program but we now have 8+ licenses here. Primarily it is used by staff for training and not by faculty mainly because our team that helps with online courses are all MAC people and they are not fans of having to use Storyline in a virtual windows environment.

Last year we had Blackboard as our LMS and Storyline worked fine with it. This year we switched to Canvas and it was a little more difficult but still was able to upload. Personally, I prefer to host my storyline trainings on our website rather than on teh LMS but you do lose the ability to track as easily if you do that.

Morten Skoglund

I work at the medical faculty at the University in Oslo. Here we use Storyline to create courses to support the traditional learning. Courses we are working on now are:

Biomedical Ethics

Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Communication and nutrition

Leadership in the healthcare organization

We use movies with actors, photo and interaction for these courses.

Peter Campbell

Elizabeth - sounds like Storyline is too much of a learning curve, but Presenter works for faculty.

Rob - are you finding the same thing? You talked about Storyline but not about Presenter. Also, can you say more about the tracking options in the LMS? Are you able to get grades directly from the Storyline module into Canvas/Blackboard? (I assume this is a function of the extent to which the LMS is/is not compatible with SCORM, AICC, or Tin Can, yes? Does one export type support gradebook integration, whereas others don't?)

Morten - so you are a faculty member? If so, are you and your other faculty colleagues unusually tech savvy, or do you find Storyine to be fairly easy to use and support?



Morten Skoglund

Hi Peter

Here at the faculty we have a section for Medical Informatics. We are responsible for developing e-Learning and academic administration systems for teaching at the Faculty. However, my position is fairly new, just about one year old and is a part of the future elearning strategy here at the faculty.

My background is purely technical. I have been involved in the planning, design, creation and implementation of elearning projects since around 2002 in Oslo, Norway

On another note, I think that Storyline is a good balanced product which suits both the beginners and the more advanced users. It is easy to get the hang of if you are into Powerpoint, but still have many advanced features for those who want to create more involving content

Rob Morgan

Peter Campbell said:

Rob - are you finding the same thing? You talked about Storyline but not about Presenter. Also, can you say more about the tracking options in the LMS? Are you able to get grades directly from the Storyline module into Canvas/Blackboard? (I assume this is a function of the extent to which the LMS is/is not compatible with SCORM, AICC, or Tin Can, yes? Does one export type support gradebook integration, whereas others don't?)

I only ever used presenter as part of the free download. My experience has been strictly Storyline. At this point I have been primarily hosting the etraining on our www server and not in the LMS because it was more work. Most of my courses do not require the user to show that they went through the training. However, next year I will be moving a course into the LMS and it will be required. When I export to the LMS in storyline I know there are options that let you set what a "finished" course looks like as in "they must visit X slides, or they must get X score on a test" to complete the training. The problem is that our tech group who run the LMS have asked us not to save our storyline for an LMS but instead to save it for web and upload it that way to the LMS. We will then add a quiz into the LMS, outside of storyline, that will ask them about the training and that quiz will determine their pass/fail not the etraining itself.

It is a more cumbersome way to do it I think but they they were not familiar with storyline and just preferred we not try to connect it via SCORM. When we were using blackboard we had no problems at all using the etraining and SCORM.

Ryan Best

We deliver our courses on two LMS systems (an internal Moodle system and the 2U system) for the USC School of Education. Only the interactive components are created in Articulate Storyline by my staff. Since our faculty are focused on either teaching or research, it leaves little time for them to learn how to develop interactive components for their online courses, so we utilize them as SMEs.  In our case, unlike some of the others, my group manages the internal LMS and utilize an custom n-house course editing system to author, edit, and track the massive inventory acquired building online courses. The Storyline modules are output with finished HTML wrapper from our course development system and we just paste it right into a Moodle page and skip all of the meticulous fixing and fine tuning of coding.  

Storyline is pretty nice. I've also used Captivate, Dreamweaver, Raptivity, etc. None of them are perfect, but each has their pros and cons. Over all, though, I like Storyline.

Tania Lee


I am instructional designer/technologist in higher ed and have used Storyline 2  for a couple of months - I am hoping to learn more advice about how to share this tool with faculty and other colleagues at our school. I have two follow up questions - do you suggest creating templates for faculty to pick and choose from?   I know storyline is pretty open ended in that you can create quiz questions but also scenario, labeled images, video quiz modes, and now it seems Storyline 2 has a slider and motion path feature (which I haven't gotten around to use but have watched many great tutorials on) but I am wondering how are faculty generally using or requesting to use storyline for? 


Looking forward to learning from the community!

Ashley Chiasson

Oh man, I WISH my faculty members could use Articulate products; I can't even imagine where the university would be if they could...however, the reality is that there's only one of me and there are many of them, and it's hard enough to get faculty members to set their research interests aside to develop new courses or revise old.

I've chatted with IDs working in the US, and it seems as though there are MANY differences. From my perspective (and I'm sure many other Canadian institutions are the same), the faculty collective agreement ties our hands with abilities. Even if our faculty members were experienced in Articulate products, the effort involved for development would greatly hinder their ability to churn out courses as quickly as they do. It's unfortunate, but understandable.

stephanie counts

Hi, this is my first post to the community!  I have been using Storyline 2 to finish my Masters, but also have used it to produce some short modules to help out other faculty with specific concepts.  I have found it a much greater learning curve and have been considering backing up to Studio to gain skills and reduce production time.  I have yet been able to get Blackboard to recognize the SCORM package (2004 used) so it launches but will not report any scores.  I love the product!  It would be nice if there was an option for analytics on the back end that weren't as pricey as budgets are being reduced.

Sharon Huston

I'm currently an ID at a large university, and I'm also a former professor.

My office uses Storyline, but it hasn't (yet) gained much traction among our faculty.  Part of this is the "new" factor, and part of it is the high price point.  I do know a few faculty who are experimenting with Storyline.  All of these users could be classified as "power users" who can accomplish complicated tasks using software in their own fields.  As a result I have to do a little hand-holding initially, but faculty become independent quite quickly.  As a former professor, I'd feel comfortable training my faculty peers to use Storyline.  I think two or three small sessions, 1 - 2 hours each, should get people up to speed on the basic functions.  I could also see offering an advanced session on triggers.  If the product wasn't so expensive we'd probably be offering training sessions now.

While Storyline has many advanced features, it's important to remember the interface is designed to be familiar.  It looks like PowerPoint, so users don't spend as long in that uncomfortable new app stage.  

Also wanted to mention we're a Blackboard school, and I've successfully used Storyline SCORMs with large classes.  The grades go into the gradebook, but do experience a few hiccoughs now and then, much like the native Blackboard tests, but it's pretty simple to reset individual grades. I think our largest this semester has about 200 students.

Andrea Love

After reading the replies above, I am wondering if the University implementation has been resolved or not? I am interested to know if the LMS integration has become easier along with grading the knowledge checks/games/assessments. Are those results being uploaded automatically? After speaking with a couple of IDs and professors, they do not want to spend over 1,000 a year on a license for one person to access. Is this going to change soon? I would love to implement Storyline 360 capabilities in my dissertation to inspire and engage college students in their learning. 

Thank you, 


Math Notermans

As i work for 2 universities, Tilburg University of Law and Fontys Engineering, at both we use Instructure's Canvas as LMS/DLO i encounter this often. We especially use Rise because most teachers can easily learn it and work with it. Although that works, i do notice quite a few of them do lack the time to create courses in Rise and/or Storyline so in the end its me and my team creating it for them and they only act as SME's.

Plans i have are creating custom Storyline blocks to use in Rise and directly on Canvas by teachers. Thus making them more reusable directly on Canvas. In fact similar to the way you can use Storyline blocks in Rise now...but then directly on the LMS.