Introduction to the Articulate Player

We have been building our eLearning offerings and are getting ready to launch very soon. But we need to instruct users how to navigate the course (Articulate, Engage, Quizmaker, etc). So I am going to include a HOW TO for the first few programs then later have it as an attachment.

I have some thoughts on the basic things but I thought it would be a good idea to ask what  you would include. I am especially looking for ..."my users can never figure this out...". Some of my learners may or may not have vast experience with computers or the internet.

Look forward to your lists...

25 Replies
Shelly Cook

Just when I think I've heard at all, someone tosses me a new one, especially when it comes to ease of navigation.  Our most common struggle is all things "drag and drop."  For whatever reason, some fairly bright people don't seem to figure it out without instructions. 

The other thing that I find myself providing instructions for is "submit" in the quiz.  I've watched several folks select their answer and want to hit enter instead of clicking the submit button.  And they are frustrated when they it won't advance to next question.

Engage interactions that have the little arrow in the top right (especially the media tour).  Often, without good instructions, the other interaction screens are missed because they advance using the player controls at the bottom instead of the arrows up top.

Generally speaking, I try to either stick with on screen navigation buttons or use the player controls, as the combination - especially if you have "locked" the player controls to force on screen navigation when the user isn't used to it, causes a problem.

Sam Currie

I've just finished a course where I reference a HELP feature, it's an Engage media tour (the one with the swirly buttons) which really just shows the player screen and controls. I mention it briefly in my opening introduction telling students it's available as a tab in the top right, that way if people know what they are doing with the player they don't need to sit through it. You could also do ones for Quizmaker and Engage? Mind you they might struggle with an Engage demo if they don't know how to use Engage (oops! a conundrum eh?)

Phil Mayor

Hi Zara

We have recently started a project that has had a great deal of time spent on this.  We have built a Custom skin to simplify navigation with only forward and back buttons (http://moodle.mylearningspace.me.uk/file.php/1/elearning_for_approval/terminology/player.html), the initial The stumbling block we have found is the engage interactions and quizmaker.  So we have changed the colours for all the buttons to green, and the initial screen gives instructions on what the user should be looking out for with a link for further information if they need it (actually two hidden slides at the start of the presentation).  In quizmaker we highlight the submit button at the start and each questions reinforces the need to press submit (as well as drag and drop).  We also changed the popup text on both engage and quizmaker to ensure they remember to press the green buttons or "submit".

Although to be honest in two years of using the software, I have never had a complaint from the the users on navigation etc

Phil

Gerry Wasiluk

Inserted Engage interactions and quizzes in Presenter sometimes confuse some learners, we find, especially the Engage interactions.

Learners go from using the VCR-like control on the bottom of stock Presenter templates to using Engage controls that are often at the top.

We usually recommend to make quizzes and Engage interactions as slide-only.  Give the learner fewer elements to get confused over and not get upset when something they think should work does not.  A little intro instruction never hurt either.

Ever time I think I've seen it all in interface confusion, a new wrinkle always appears . . . . 

And there's always new learners coming into your organization.  The 200th course that you've done, the one in which you are tired of explaining how the course works, may be the first one in Articulate that they ever see.

Robert Kennedy

I use the same tactic as Bruce.  I had this discussion with another group on LinkedIn and many were averse to having these types of navigational instructions.  But the reality is that we as developers sometimes get immersed in a subject or in development and then really forget about the simple things that some learners might need.  Know your audience.  Don't forget to give direction around the view mode change button.  That's always a little confusing for some.  I have had someone press it then get frustrated because they didn't know how to get the navigation menu back.  So, it was important to example how that little doohickey worked .

Adam Truckenmiller

For the modules that are at the 100 level (beginners) I have done what Gerry explained with having the controls as the 1st screen then having a tab labeled as "Controls"  a later reference during the module. Then when creating the upper class courses like the 300 or 400 then I just make a reference on the first screen mentioning if they need assistance to click on the Controls tab.

Simon Perkins

Hi Zara

+1 for using a Labelled Graphic Interaction as a User Guide.  Like Bruce says, pick a typical slide (preferably one that has as many types of interaction/nav as possible) and annotate it.  Then have an Introduction or Getting Started section that runs off the main menu (or whatever) and iterates the importance of checking out the User Guide (on the top right of your window).

It looks good, it's immediately engaging and it's functional - job done in most cases.

EDIT: I think the LGI can only handle one slide.  If that's the case then I'll make a feature request because I think multiple slides would be great for this kind of interaction - especially in a User Guide where you may have more than one distinctly different types of engagement or nav.

James Brown

I like the idea with the navigation tab but this may in my opinion confuse users. I..e they click on the tab thinking they need to do this to navigate the program. Maybe a better choice may be Navigation Assistance or may just a  Help tab or a Help button in the lower right hand corner of the screen. That's my 2cents worth. BTW - No matter how well you think design your course, you will always have someone come back with, "That wasn't covered in the help topic", when it actually has been explained. They just could not find it. That's coming from years of experience as a software support tech.

Bruce Graham

Just as an addendum to my graphic above, on the first slide, I always say "...and if you need any help navigating the module, click on the "Navigation" Tab up here"  (with an Annotation arrow flashing away...).

This tends to explain everything, I feel.

These are, (after all...), people who will finish the course, and go to lucnh while texting, using iPads and playing iPods. so I really do not think misunderstanding is a major issue.....

Bruce

Sam Currie

Bruce I tend to agree with you on your method, that's what I do too.

I think sometimes we can "spoon feed" learners too much. It all depends on the level of the training, if it is aimed at learners with limited knowledge of IT, then help is justified, but I think putting it up front in all courses can turn users off when they can work it out for themselves. 

Zara Ogden

Wow...some cool ideas. Thanks Bruce for the labeled graphic example. I think that is a good option. Especially considering I can use it as a Tab.

I am going to recommend that we have a more detailed "HOW TO" to start (like I said I have zero knowledge and expert users). I was thinking that I would create a mini program using the Flintstones (apparently a corporate fav) with PPT and Screenr. It will sample items you guys have listed and general info.

Once users begin to be aware of navigation I am going to include a Graphic Label Tab.

Does anyone have any samples of "how to" that they have developed?

Werner Pablo Meyer

Hi all!

I followed some advice from you and did something like this from Bruce:

Navigate Tips:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7003746/tips_navigate/player.html


I selected several common questions and did a FAQ:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7003746/FAQ/engage.html


Furthermore, as students here in Uruguay (including teachers) are not used to studying on-line did a Decalogue:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7003746/decalogo/player.html

Perhaps they will inspire other best "How to ".

(defects are Google translation, not mine, heh, heh)

Greetings

Marty King

I use animation to show navigation instructions timed at the end of the narration in a handwritten font instructing which button to click onto advance.  I use Quizmaker often and found that this helps with navigation and adds a litte flare to the design. I got this idea from Tom.

Diana Gryckiewicz

hi everyone, thank you again Bruce, i tried the labelled graphic interaction, worked great! here is another one I hope someone can point me in the right direction. here goes. the final exam in my course requires the learner to agree to terms such as they will not cheat. i want them to click on a button called I AGREE before they can launch the exam. your input (as always) would be so helpful. thank you everyone, hope you are having a GR8 day!

Ron Price

I would think there are several ways one could do this.  One option  would be use branching inside of quizmaker.  Your first question could be a simple Survey question - "PICK ONE" with two answer options - Agree/Disagree - Turn on your "Feedback by answer" -  If they agree they are branched to the rest of the questions.  If they disagree, they are taken to a blank slide reminding them that they must agree and then branched back to a duplicate of the agree/disagree question. If they agree this time you  can still launch the rest of the questions, but  if they still disagree - have this one branch to another blank page that informs them that they will not be allowed to continue and  then branch to "finish quiz"  and launch the failed results page since they are obviously not wanting to participate.

Just a thought.

Bruce Graham

Ron Price said:

I would think there are several ways one could do this.  One option  would be use branching inside of quizmaker.  Your first question could be a simple Survey question - "PICK ONE" with two answer options - Agree/Disagree - Turn on your "Feedback by answer" -  If they agree they are branched to the rest of the questions.  If they disagree, they are taken to a blank slide reminding them that they must agree and then branched back to a duplicate of the agree/disagree question. If they agree this time you  can still launch the rest of the questions, but  if they still disagree - have this one branch to another blank page that informs them that they will not be allowed to continue and  then branch to "finish quiz"  and launch the failed results page since they are obviously not wanting to participate.

Just a thought.


This is a nice solution, you could even just do it within PowerPoint, using "Hyperlink to Slide" functionality, with a "see-through" click box behind each of the two statements. Might need a little thinking, but guessing it's relatively simple.

Bruce

Chris Fletcher

not read everything here so sorry if I repeat anyone...

One of the things I used to have to go down into the call centre for in my old job was to show people how to view all the slides in anengage interaction!

"It tells me I can't move on without viewing it all, but I have" is the message. I used to go down and show them how if you click through faster than you can read the content (ie dont let the introductino slide load properly) it wont record it as viewed. I quite enjoyed saying "You're obviously not reading it all if you're getting this message!"

Why not put the navigation help as an engage file in your nav menu? Then you can tell them where to find it. I used to put it in all of mine. I have also done a screenshot of the player controls with arrows showing what each function does on the front page of my training in the past.

Martin Cridge

I normally use a labelled graphic interaction as a user tab, labelled something like help. Depending on the end users I may also insert a slide at the beginning with instructions/guidance. Although it's moving outside the Articulate range of products I've also done a few movies in Captivate showing how the navigation works. Although I've used Captivate for ease of use you could do something similar with screen grabs.