Help Me Branch Like a Rock Star

(posted on behalf of Natalia Spurgin)

Help Me Branch Like a Rock Star

I am putting together a course that starts with a main menu that has 4 hyperlinked icons. The user clicks on one the 4 topics to explore. Inside each topic, the course is linear and ends with a knowledge check then a next button that returns them to a static version of the main menu where they can click which topic they want next.

So my question is, how to I get them out of the loop? After they complete the 4 different topics, I need them to proceed to the next portion of the course. Am I going about it the wrong way?

Any ideas, help or feedback would be greatly appreciated! He's an image if my explanation was unclear...

11 Replies
David Anderson

Currently, there isn't a way in Studio '09 to auto-show a button based on completed slides.

Two common approaches include:

1. Branching to the four topics but in a linear way.  So from your Menu 1, your learners would branch directly to Topic 1 and proceed through each topic before going to Menu 2. This ensures learners view all material and always have a visual on where they are in the course.

2. Include a non-linear branching option like you currently have. But in place of Menu 2 slide, you'll include either a Quiz or a slide that asks learners to "confirm they've viewed and understand" the content in the previous 4 Topics.

Each Topic slide would include a link to the Quiz or confirmation slide.

The quiz could ask targeted questions about content in each of the 4 topics. The reasoning here is that learners need to know the material well enough to proceed.

Hope that helps!

Hugh Gardner

After trying various mockups, I have to agree that this isn't something that stock Articulate can currently do.  I could probably do it in Captivate or Lectora with some convoluted scripting, or you could have someone write a custom set of flash menus that communicate the number of times they have been loaded (probably checking an external file), but any of those are going to take you more time and effort than you probably wish. 

I would suggest submitting a feature request, the most direct being an option to add a branching item (invisible but customizable) to a powerpoint slide via articulate.  Something that records how many times it has been loaded and has options to redirect based on the number of times it has been loaded.

Zara Ogden

What I do when creating branching situation is I create a Menu 1a that the user clicks first and then a Menu 1b. The user clicks on any item they want then when finished they are linked to Menu 1b. Menu 1b includes all the info that Menu 1a includes but it also has a "next" button that will take them to the next part of the presentation. For a specific example PM me. When it comes to tracking i usually track number of slides and then pick 3-5 less than what is actually there.

Kate Hoelscher

When doing this for tracking, I usually base it completing a quiz in combination with having a second identical menu slide with a next button.  If it doesn't matter how much they saw, only that they finished, I set the quiz question to ask if they are finished and want it marked that way, and correct is yes. 

Natalia Mueller

Thanks everyone! What I'm trying to do actually looks more like Zara's with Menu 2 ACTUALLY being Menu 1b (doh!). Each topic ends with a short knowledge check leading to Menu 1b where they can choose the next topic to view. The order doesn't matter as long as they view them all.  My challenge is that I need them to view all 4 topics without skipping out. Then I need them to have a way to move on to the rest of the course after they complete the 4 topics/knowledge checks.

I'm not completely opposed to David's ONE QUIZ method, but I'm not clear on how to ensure they see the other topics first (stakeholder requirment). Plus, they still have to take an external assessment in the LMS so I hate for them to have pretty much two identical quizzes nearly back to back.

Here is another point that may factor in to your awesome ideas- All I have for them after they view the 4 topics is the "wrap up" and resources end slide.

I would love to learn all about these "tracking" options you speak of. That's a new concept to me, though maybe it's what I need to learn to make this possible. I don't have programmers/scripts as a resource, nor do I have the luxury of time or a flexible deadline. So the simpler the solution, the better.

I can't thank you guys enough for taking the time to give me suggestions!


Bob S

Without programming or an LMS that supports content status conditions, the challenge is how to record information "inside" the course itself as to what the learner has seen right?

So just spit-balling ideas here, but would something like this work... ?

How about using the "hot-spot" question type in Quizmaker to create a graphical navigation.

Would take a bit of creativity, but that would provide a trigger (feedback) and a way to effectively record the choice (right/wrong).


Zara Ogden

Super easy to accomplish what you want. 

Ok create all your slides just like i suggested. 

Also create you Quiz slides. 

Now lock down all your menu and info slides

ok now look at each question slide. On the slide in PPT there is an options or properties button. Click on that. Here you can change where the learner will be taken when they pass or fail. 

For a pass You can direct them to the Menu 1b (with the next button)

When they fail you can direct them back to the info slide for that topic. Once they have completed all the slides they can move on. 

don't forget to hyperlink your menu slides too. 

Here are two pics

Natalia Mueller

Sorry- my work firewall stole my last comment. Many thanks to you all for your awesome suggestions. I look forward to exploring some of them when I'm on something less critically time-sensitive. Tho I've been doing this for quite some time and everything seems to be critically time sensitive...

Anyway- I'm a tad embarrassed to say that the solution I've come up with is to just add a button to Menu 1b that says "click here after all topics have been viewed" and then let them continue to the rest of the course.  It won't win me any awards, I know, but at least I can get my one-woman the show on the road.

Thanks again! Ya'll are rad!

blair parkin

Hi Natalia

The solution you came up with is very similar to what I am using at the moment for some product knowledge modules we have. The link to the quiz sits alongside all of the other menu buttons. Yes they can skip straight to the quiz but as they have to get 100% to pass my thinking was if they can get 100%  then they know enough to sell the product anyway. I turned off the Review Quiz (so they can't see the correct answers) and if they fail they are directed to a failed page instructing them to review the module before re-trying the quiz.

Sometimes we can get too wrapped up in making awesome learning experiences and don't give our learners enough credit that they will be able to navigate their way through it.


Natalia Mueller

Great solution, Blair! I agree completely. I usually try to give as much freedom as possible. Unfortunately, not all of my projects allow for that and this happens to be one where the learner has to see it all. c'est la vie

I'm excited to hear about all of the possibilities quizmaker seems to provide. It looks like I need to step out of my comfort zone a little and learn some of these other tools.

Have I mentioned lately that this community is awesome? Cuz it is