English Course

Hello everyone, I am helping a non-profit company develop an elearning course about learning english and the SME wants everything to be delivered fast. I was given plain docx files with language exercises without any graphic template and was asked to make them interactive. Now the SME says that he wants to create something more engaging. I told him my opinion but it takes some time to implement and he is not so willing to approve. I attach 4 files so that you could give me some ideas too. Tell me if you like the interactions (I used some templates from the community) and please suggest any changes even if they take time to implement or not. Thank you in advance

17 Replies
Teo Samalis
Teo Samalis
Allison LaMotte

They're all working for me except the last one. I had a look at your lessons and have a few general comments:

Overall, I think the activities are good! However, it does seem like you're only using 2 different activity types: multiple choice and drag & drop. Maybe you could add in some other types of activities (multiple response, fill in the blank, etc.) to spice things up!

The graphic design could be improved. For example, the orange player and the light pink-grey color (see screenshot) that is featured on most slides don't really go together. The objects are not evenly distributed on the slide (see screenshot).

The overall aesthetic appeal of your course can have a big impact on how engaged learners are, so I encourage you to check out these articles and see how you can apply some of these graphic design principles to your courses:

I also have a couple lesson-specific comments:

Exercise 1:

  1. I would put a background color on the drag items so that you can't see the "drop here" text when the items are on the drop targets (see screenshot).

Exercises 3 and 4:

  1. I would use the default Next button instead of adding one to the screen since that's what you do in Exercise 1 (see screenshot). Consistent navigation makes it easier for learners to know what to do.
  2. I would consider putting the first slide in a lightbox slide in the player so that students can refer back to it as they're answering the questions. It's hard to remember everything. That is, unless you're trying to test their memory!

I hope these comments are helpful! :) Let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any other questions. 

Teo Samalis

Hello Allison, thank you so much for your suggestions. In fact I feel OK with myself right now, because most of the things you mention are not my responsibility. At first, I use other kind of interactions in the next exercises and Lessons so I try to mix them and keep a balance on what kind of interaction I will use for each exercise. I aggree with your comments on Exercise 1and will change that. About exercises 3,4 I told them to use the lightbox slide option as I have done to a previous lesson, but the SME didn't want to (maybe they do want to test their memory!). The NEXT button is a good idea of yours even though the SME like it as it is and I will propose to change it (I will figure out a way to make it visible only after the two attempts of the learner).

I left last but not least the graphic design part of your comments, because even though I am not so good with graphic design (I need to read some good stuff on this field), I use as a guide this site https://www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/ in order to produce something nice, but the SME was very strict to use the specific colours.

To sum up, I am not claiming that I am the best Storyline developer and the published files you saw came from plain docx files with no graphics no storyboard, nothing. I also know that we are the easy "victims" when someone is to be blamed for poor engagement etc., this is why we make suggestions to the SME of the client. However, we are not always trusted that we know better.

Anyway, Allison thank you so much for the comments, I can and will fix some of them. I wish I could practice my skills along with a more qualified and experienced developer, because I do this part-time for the last 5-6 years but I never had the chance to work with a team or someone expert on this field.

Ridvan  Saglam

Hi Teo, 

I work as an English Teacher and Instructional Designer for a language school. I'd love to help you on your project. Since it is a non-profit organization, I would be happy to share all the templates I have created so far, and also I can give some graphic design support. 

Have a look at the links below, and let me know which ones you want. 

Here you can find some templates I share on my portfolio website; https://rsdesignn.wordpress.com/freebies/storyline-freebies/

And this is the page where you can see more examples; http://ukla.com.tr/learnersclub/

Teo Samalis

Thank you so much Ridvan for volunteeering, your portfolio is really cool. I already have some thoughts about the graphic design and I am waiting for their response. I also suggested they give me some more time to develop interactions which will be different. I do have similar templates like yours (I didn't have the shootout and the spinning wheel though and they are awesome!) but when they give me 2 days max to develop 5-6 exercises like the ones I uploaded, I can't do much. I hope they give me the approval to work in a not so tight frame, especially regarding time and be sure that I will get in touch with you for some help.