Making Storyline projects easy for SME review?

As part of our approval process, we need several geographically-dispersed SMEs to review our courses. We need them to see and hear the course as learners will, so limiting their review to the initial PowerPoint files is not an option. In the past, we have used the following strategies, each of which has been problematic:

1. Just post the course on our server (or Articulate online). Let the SMEs type up their notes in a Word document or an email, referring to the specific screen numbers.

2. Adobe Captivate reviewer. This is a deeply flawed application-- and Adobe's lack of support for it is one of the many things that helped me switch to Storyline. However-- the idea itself was good: Providing SMEs with a way to play the course and add comments to specific screens. Too bad it was an unreliable hassle. And too bad for Adobe that Storyline has leapfrogged Captivate in terms of most of the capabilities that matter to us.

3. Print the course out as a Word document or PDF with screen shots. Unacceptable: We need them to hear the audio, see the animations, and try the interactions. 

Has anybody found a better way?  We want a product or strategy that's simple enough for SMEs with basic computer skills to be able to use. Any insights would be appreciated.

21 Replies
Laura Winkelspecht

Good question. I will be interested to hear other options. Here's my idea: Why not do a combination of 1 and 3? Give them the fully functional course to go through and also screen shots in a document that they can make notes on--the document should also include the script if there's audio. This will make it a little easier for SMEs to edit and annotate and make it easier for you to understand what changes they're suggesting.

Daniel Brigham

Michael:

Is the storyboard broken down by slides -- if so, perhaps you could just create a column called "Articulate review" or whatever and have them make their comments there. This might sound a bit nefarious, but you don't want to make it too easy for SMEs to make comments. You are already probably going to get some wacky (read non-value-added) comments. I've attached part of sample storyboard that contains a column for SMEs' comments.

Michael Heckman

Good suggestions. The trouble with using Word or PPT for comments is that we want reviewers to experience the course as learners would-- complete with interactivity and sound. When we give them Word documents with screen shots, they tend to skip the real course and just read. 

I like the idea of adding a text box and connecting to a DB. However, that would involve removing the text box on each slide and/or re-scaling the entire project after  we have received all of the comments. That would be a considerable level of effort for each course. Unfortunately, it looks like there's no workaround comparable to Captivate Reviewer for Storyline courses. We'll just have to continue asking them to refer to screen numbers and write notes.

Colin Eagles

For a couple of projects, I used a Google doc and made it accessible as a player tab.  Reviewers still seemed more interested in sending me long emails; but it could've worked more like what you're looking for.

It doesn't solve for the screen numbers & writing notes piece - but it does allow multiple reviewers to view each others comments (which could potentially eliminate repetitive notes).

Alexandros Anoyatis

Ok then, how about creating a disqus account and embedding that to your RC releases?

Have a look at this : http://www.technetelearning.com/portfolio/demo07/

It will just be a matter of adding the necessary (disqus.com generated) code to your published story.html, which will allow them to quickly post comments.

Reviewers will still have to state which slide they are referring to when they post something, but at least both slide content and comments system will appear next to each other.

Hope it helps,
Alex

Alexandros Anoyatis

@Sij

Unfortunately this is one I cannot share, as it is a legitimate client project. It was made 100% with Storyline (from video grabbing to scene editing) though.


@Trish,

You can go to disqus.com and sign up for a free account. From there, be sure to check http://disqus.com/admin/universalcode/ for instructions on how to embed this to an HTML page.

I'm not sure if you can embed on a PPT file - I suspect you could via web object or something, but it will not help you much (comment system grows bigger inside the web object - all sort of inconsistencies may arise).

The best way would be to add the code contained in the link above, to an HTML page (such as your published story.html). Unfortunately you might have to do this every time you publish a new version of your story (unless Steve Flowers can help us out with this one).

Hope it helps,
Alex

Peg Simmons

Michael Heckman said:

Good suggestions. The trouble with using Word or PPT for comments is that we want reviewers to experience the course as learners would-- complete with interactivity and sound. When we give them Word documents with screen shots, they tend to skip the real course and just read. 

I like the idea of adding a text box and connecting to a DB. However, that would involve removing the text box on each slide and/or re-scaling the entire project after  we have received all of the comments. That would be a considerable level of effort for each course. Unfortunately, it looks like there's no workaround comparable to Captivate Reviewer for Storyline courses. We'll just have to continue asking them to refer to screen numbers and write notes.

Peg Simmons

You could make a copy of your original PPT then adapt the copy for SME review as suggested. This way you would still have the original in which to make the necessary changes. I'd be interested in hearing how you finally work it out and if you find a solution that works for your SMEs without adding a ton of work to your "rapid development" process.

Brenda Heilman

Hi Michael--

Here's what we do--it's a bit 'old school', but it works:  publish the file and post the published folder to a shared drive (or any public drive).  Create a Google Docs spreadsheet with the format you like (columns for date, reviewer initials, comments, etc).  At the top of the Google Docs spreadsheet (and before the reviewer-complete columns), insert any review notes you wish and an html link to your course's published file.  Be sure to set the document up to be 'shared' and then send the link to as many reviewers as needed.  They can click on the link, be transported to the review document, and view the course/enter comments--all without siging up for an account.  Note:  we use Storyline's 'menu' as our review slide numbers--just have the menu on the left of your player, making sure to enable the menu option of 'numbering the menu items'.  When you're done with review, just uncheck the 'menu' option from the player.  I've inserted an image of a sample google doc spreadsheet for you below:

Ulises Musseb

We use ReviewMyElearning for collecting all comments. It's a very robust tool, it's free for some limited use, can accommodate for people who don't have an account with them, and can be set for all reviewers to see (or not) other reviewers' comments.

To us this is a very powerful tool.

Additionally, aside from the LMS we have a replica of the live LMS for testing purposes. We use that for the purpose of testing course functionality before it gets published in the LMS.

Printing slides and combining documents, receiving emails from different people is a tedious ineffective way of revising courses.

HOWEVER, a very important thing that I do when working with projects where there are multiple stakeholders, and not necessarily together, is to have a discussion, conference call, WebEx, whatever method gets them together to define objectives and content, and to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the scope of the project.

By the time the course is on my desk, it is expected that the content of the course is certified as final. Minor changes and corrections are understandable, but I stress out that When the course is in ReviewMyElearning is not the time to define objectives and content.

Heather Wolfe Hall

Hi guys.  We have used Slide layers and a Freeform Notes field.  On the main stage, there is a button "Review Comments" which opens a slide layer for the reviewer to add notes.  At the end, javascript aggregates all the Notes Fields and sends those via email to the developer.  We use somethings similar to allow users to take notes during the course as well.