Share Your E-Learning Hacks

Aug 10, 2016

It’s summertime and I think that means we all deserve a little vacation. But, sometimes it’s hard to feel like you have the time. When I’m feeling that way I try to find whatever stress reducing and time saving hacks I can find to make my course creation go just a little faster.

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite timesavers to get you started:

But what I really want to do is learn from you! What are some of the ways you’ve found to shave minutes off your workflow and get more done? What are the tips and tricks that have made your creative light bulb light up?

Share them in the discussion below and/or on Twitter with #elearninghacks! We’ll be highlighting our faves in an upcoming article to help the whole community take a nice day off.

88 Replies

Great discussion topic, Trina!

One of my favorite (simple) Storyline #elearninghacks is to save client projects as shortcuts in my taskbar. This is especially helpful when I’m working from client .story projects using custom themes and layouts.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Set up a template based on a client’s style guide
  2. Drag the .story or .storytemplate icon to your taskbar
  3. Right-click the Storyline icon in the taskbar and choose Pin to this list

The client’s template is now immediately available via a Storyline shortcut in my taskbar.

This saves me the extra couple of steps from opening a new project and inserting files from template. 

Can’t wait to see what other power users share!

David Glow

I did hacks at LSCon a few years back.


As folks filtered in, I had slides that just shared 10 dead simple hacks, and I reviewed them quickly at the beginning of the session:


I had a few other more involved hacks:


Including my favorite (this is huge for folks needing good assessment pools):

#ATDAscend will present several of these, but have a few new tricks added ;)





Phil Mayor

I have a slide with all my buttons and animations that I use all the time that I import into every new project as a fast start.

I also use a program called snippets lab to store all of my code so i can quickly insure it.

When test javascript add an alert at the beginning of the course if the alert does not fire then the syntax is wrong.

Scott Kaye

This one is old hand for the experienced instructional designers, but always something that gets lots of "oohs and ahhhs" for the novices.  I am huge on object grouping.  When changing sizes, layouts, aspect ratios, etc, nothing makes life easier than grouping all the objects on your slide.  Allows you to treat all content as one when resizing and still makes it easy to click on an individual object to change its properties.


Kristin Savko

I'm a huge fan of inserting slides from other projects...especially if it's something like an interaction.  

Two things that I always try to remember when I'm trying to save time:
1. There is nothing wrong with the basic built-in multiple choice layout. If I can create the majority of my inline assessment that way, I can save a ton of time (versus making fancy selection buttons...which are nice, but I use them sparingly...where they make the most impact). 

2. MASTER SLIDES. A good master slide (both on the slide master and feedback master) are HUGE time savers  (and they get a lot of junk off each individual slide). 

Nicole Rye

A small timesaver...for whatever current project I am working on I keep a folder on my desktop with all my 'assets' this way when I need to grab an image or clip quickly, I only have to to click once to get to the folder rather than diving into a huge string of subfolders to find the project. At the end of the day I drag the folder into the project folder.

Rebecca Hay

I use Photoshop quite a bit. But, sometimes, it works quicker and easier to just pop the image into PowerPoint and do a quick edit. Does a decent job on removing most backgrounds unless the image is really complicated. Also, I use PowerPoint when I have a document converted to an image, or a text heavy screenshot, to sharpen the image (text). Double click the image, on the Picture Tools Format toolbar select Corrections. The Sharpen/Soften setting is at the top. Right sharpens, left softens. Helps make the text in the image clearer and more readable.

Jackie Van Nice

Great topic and great ideas - and Montse, I am SO going to use yours!

Phil's reusable slide with all of his buttons and animations reminded me I always make a "design elements" slide in a separate scene for each project I do in Storyline. I put all the RGB/hex codes for the color scheme there (with swatches), any logos I'm using, names and samples of all the fonts I'm using - and anything else that I wouldn't want to lose. (Unique animations, buttons, etc!)

I like it because it's nice to have all that info in one place (good to have if the project has been on hiatus for a long time) but it's ALSO great for the client because once they take over the source file they never have to wonder what fonts I used or anything else when they're doing maintenance.


Ashley Chiasson

So many good tips here!

When I start a new project, I'll usually create a new theme colour with all of the colours from the palette so I can easily swap colours out. If you don't have the capability to do that, you can create shapes of each colour off-canvas and use the eyedropper to quickly change colours as necessary.

Lisa Smyser

It looks like I'm not the only one who struggles with organizing files! I like to have quick access to my project files, but don't want to keep them on my desktop. So I put them in the regular folder structure and then use the Library feature of the file explorer to link to them.

Here's how: Navigate to the folder in file explorer. Right-click on the folder and select "Add to Library" and add it to a library you create. I call mine "Current Projects" and I keep folder links to all active clients there. It's a fast way to get to the folder while maintaining my file structure... must have structure! HAHAHA

Judy Nollet

This tip doesn't save time, but it might help your sanity. In the FEEDBACK MASTER, I delete the colored rectangle shape and the line, because those can't be resized or moved on a given slide. Instead, I add a fill color to the text boxes (typically using a slightly different color for the top one). Doing that means I can resize and/or move the CORRECT and INCORRECT feeback boxes to best fit each question.

I also apply separate colors to the text boxes for the CORRECT and INCORRECT feeback, so it's obvious from the color if the answer was right or not. Well, at least to those who aren't color blind.

Oh, and if you use special color themes and fonts, don't forget to apply them to the FEEDBACK MASTER, which doesn't pick up the themes and fonts you set under the Design tab.

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