How to manage large amounts of content

Hi everyone,

i'm in the process of creating a new course using Storyline, and several of my slides are very content heavy (2-3 paragraphs and some bulleted lists) with no media specified. I could easily split them up into more slides with less content per slide, but that will make for a lot of boring content slides.

Can anyone offer any ideas on creative ways to manage lots of content? To spice things up a bit, I could place the content on a white/blackboard, and show a character pointing at it perhaps... There isn't a lot of interaction opportunity with this particular content, so I'm kind of stumped on how to present it in a way that keeps the learner interested.

Thanks for any tips. 

15 Replies
Matthew Mason

Hi,

I'm working on a course at the moment which is also quite content heavy.

I have split the content into different areas and created "frequently asked questions", which is a page with 5 tabs (1 question per tab) which then links to a layer in the slide.

The layers then have a mix of content which is purely text based, some images with markers and some videos.

It still contains a lot of content but it is chunked down into the individual FAQ's and learners can select the information they need to know.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Matthew

Kyle Perry

You might want to consider removing some of the text and elaborating with audio narration. There is some evidence that learning is more effective when the audio is not identical to the text on the screen, but supports/elaborates on it. Essentially, you could take the entire text-heavy slide and use it as the narration, using a few key words from each for the bulleted items.

If you're really into this, check out this research article: http://agora.unige.ch/tecfa/teaching/staf15/ref/kalyuga.pdf

Belen Casado

I agree with you, @Kyle, and thanks for the link to this interesting article.

  • If the course has an audio narration, I think it's better to remove the text that says the same. In this case, it's crucial that the voice over is engaging.
  • And if it doesn't, then a solution like the FAQ's tab @Matthew mentions, it's what I'd do. In this case, I'd remove all the text that is redundant or can be expressed in less words.
Pedro Fernandez

I agree with the other ideas mentioned by previous posters, however you might also consider an infogrpahic approach.

In a previous module that I worked on I transformed the large amounts of text in to a single large infographic.  The learner's view is from a "zoomed out" perspective.

As the learner moves through the course, the view zooms in to the top part of the infographic and then moves pans left/right or down to the sections that they need to cover.  Using built in transitions and animations accomplishes the movement quite easily with Storyline.

(This is a method similar to what Prezi users might lean towards.)

Bud Keegan

Just consider-- NO ONE will absorb a ton of text on a screen-- our eyes don't like lots of reading on a screen according to research.  If you are required to present the text, you will need to supplement w/audio narration (and the prezi suggestion is a good one).  Alternately you might provide a brief narrative overview and suggest users consult the resources tab for a fuller explanation-- then attach a doc w/all the text there

Kimberly Valliere

As many have already said, use the script/text as the closed captioning. Boil your slides down to one point only. Narrate the additional text since your goal is probably NOT to put your audience to sleep. The battle of too much text on a screen is one waged by many and won by so few. Remember, your e-learning is not meant to be a handout or a teleprompter. If you must include all of the information, add a resource handout and the script. Try to eliminate bulleted points in lieu of a more simplistic approach. Your SME will probably hate the idea, but your audience will love you for it. Perhaps make two versions of the course (more work, I know). One where it is text heavy and boring and another where it is clean, easy-to-read and has better activities.

Here are a few examples of ways to eliminate bullets:

Stephen Forster

I have sometimes gone for the click and show approach to fit more information on a screen, similar to how people may use a timeline. I've found this useful when content can be broken up into smaller chunks. It also gives the user the impression that they are on the same page rather than clicking through to slide after slide. I've attached a simple example.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/248157654/samples/ClickandShowoutput/story.html 

Marjolein Berends

I think you can do two main things:

  1. Is everything necessary? Look at your learning goals and check whether your learners really really REALLY need to know this information. If not, delete it. (A few of the others in this thread have mentioned this already as well).
  2. You said: '. There isn't a lot of interaction opportunity with this particular content'. I am a bit stubborn, but: there is always an opportunity for interaction. Do you want to share some of the 'boring' texts so we can help you? I still have to find the first boring text I can't put into something interactive