Need Ideas on Labeling Slides that Branch Off

Hi everyone,

I need a little help with ideas on how to label slides that branch. Currently, we do "Slide # of #" (eg - slide 2 of 10) at the bottom of the screen.  The problem with this is, many slides have branching scenarios or interactive buttons that take the user to "additional information."  They are not linear. The users are also not required to click on every button, thus, they do not have to visit every single slide if they don't want to.  The labeling is simply to show student progress so they know [roughly] how far into each module they are. 

Leaving those 'sub-slides' blank is not an option, due to my boss's own feelings on the matter, but I think we can talk him into a better solution if we find one.  A progress bar is one idea, but might get a little tricky with the branching & skipping of slides.  A few other ideas have been tossed around, but I wanted to reach out to this community and see if anyone else has tackled this issue, or if you all have any fresh ideas on actions we could take.

I appreciate the help!

6 Replies
Christy Tucker

What is the labeling used for? Is it to help identify which slide you're referring to during reviews?

For branching, I have sometimes used an alternate naming scheme like 1A-1B-1C as three choices from question 1. I don't usually make that visible except during reviews, but you could make it work. Progress bars are tricky with branching; you have to make them show progress through the scenario regardless of what slide number it is.

In books, we often have an appendix with separate resources. Could your additional info be in a separate section with its own numbering?

Shon Isenhour

No, it is basically just as a reference for showing how far into the course you are.  We want students to have an idea of how long until they finish each module.  In a linear course, knowing you are on page 5 of 10 would be easy (I'm half way done!).  But with branching it becomes more difficult to display that progress.

Christy Tucker

If it's just to show students how far they are, I guess I'd still go with a "page 5 of 10" but note in the intro that not all pages are mandatory. During branching, I might switch to an independent numbering scheme that goes by how many decision points they have passed rather than strictly by page numbers.

Christy Tucker

Let's say you have 4 decision points in the scenario. You could say "Question 1 of 4" or "Choice 1 of 4." That way even if the slide number goes backwards (which often happens), you still show forward progress. You're basing it on the number of questions to answer before reaching a solution rather than the total slides (which is irrelevant in branching anyway). You could also do a progress bar for just that part of it, where your progress advances by how many decisions have been made. I don't do it that way in my courses, but if you're backed into a corner, I think you could make it work.

I might also try to probe further with the boss who insists on this about what he wants to accomplish. Personally, I think in a branching scenario it's more important to know how you're performing than how close you are to finishing. Something like the "motivation meter" in this example that visually represents your success (or lack of it) would show people how they're doing and take the emphasis off of "geez, how much longer is this course going to take?!?" If people feel that way about your branching scenarios, you have a larger problem than whether or not you show page numbers.