Starting online training

Feb 25, 2013

HI everyone

I'm new to online training but not training! I've been a trainer in my industry for 15 years but want to go online with my courses. I have worked in the Hair and Beauty industry for 20+ years. It is a very fast moving, fashion, creative world - so my training is very much fun and animated based - So having search high and low I have found Articulate and need to get started! I have limited resources and time due to my children who have special needs - but I'm very excited to finally have a way to work from home to support them but at the same time, doing something I love! If I can't get out in the world to train then world will have to come to me!

So here is my questions I need some help with!

I'm looking at all programs (presenter / quiz / storyline etc) - which do I invest in first? would love to get all but i will have to budget and get as I can, what will give me the best and quickest results?

I need to put film into my training as reading and pictures alone will not gain the interest of staff but I'm concerned that it must be fast (no stop starting - they will get bored very quickly)! Any ideas advise on best way to achieve this?

On the animated characters would I be able to Green screen and put myself within the slide? 

Any advise on running an online training company would be greatly appreciated

Thank you for reading - looking forward to hearing your ideas and experience

With kind regards


10 Replies
Scott Hewitt

Hi Caroline,

Good luck with the new venture!

You can download trial versions of the software to see what is most suitable for you needs. I'm sure that you will get lots of forum posts as well offering advice as well.

Three days I wrote a blog post about creating short bursts of content and not getting too hung about content quality - - I'd also ask your staff, I'm sure that they are already using YouTube and other video channels. In our projects we like to get the learners involved in the development process as soon as possible - they are the end customer!

I also like the development idea of MVP - minimum viable product - a fast and quick way of test your product/course. You can then review, design and make changes before it is too late or the changes are too hard to do.

I'd find a large big online company and ask if you can come and visit them for an hour! Tell them what you are doing and you would like to find out about the industry. You'll get loads of insight. They might say no - they could say yes! - Always worth trying.


Caroline Turner

thanks Scott

My nan always said "if you don't ask - you don't get" - I'll do a search for a few companies and then get in contact - never know! 

I've done the trails - I'm just concerned that it has got to be fun and exciting and not a "death" by power point online - but that maybe my starting point! i looked at story line but it seemed so slow to build - but that was me not the program I'm sure! But again training course is expensive but to get the most from the program I'd need to go. Chicken and Egg - which first!!

I have a number of businesses that will trail the courses so i can get feedback and adjust and I'm filming in a few weeks time which I can then edit to slot into the "presentation"

Thanks again

Scott Hewitt

Hi Caroline,

If you have a look at Garr Reynolds book and website - Great book about presentations, PowerPoint and Zen! Well worth looking, I've given this book away so many times. It helps with design and layout ideas as well.

I do like the idea of trying and having a go! We've used loads of software as we develop custom software there isn't an piece of software that is perfect. If you have a look at some of the courses that people have using Studio there is some great work around - commercial companies are using Studio 09 and Storyline and producing great work.

Have a look at some courses that people on this forum have created using the software, that might help you?

Happy to help,


Daniel Brigham


For what it's worth, I'd suggest starting with Articulate Studio. Then, when you've gotten really comfortable with it and you get a contract that warrants it, perhaps get Storyline as well.

Why Studio first? Well, it works with PowerPoint of course, and working with PPT everyday will help you with your design skills which are so critical to this business. (I know you can do more complex stuff in the Adobe suite, but if you're learning toward Articulate anyway...) Studio also offers tons of built in interactions which are a lifesaver for some new to the field. At this point, Articulate Studio (because it works with PPT) has a richer set of design features (you can do more with text, images, and animations.)

Now, I've got Storyline, as well, mostly because clients have been asking about publishing to flash and html 5. In my view, Storyline is more the e-learning tool (with its variables and slide layers for scenarios and tab-like interactions) and Studio/PPT that nice blend of presentation/e-learning tool. Anyway, that's my take. Feel free to PM me with any questions, and we'd love to see you over on the Freelance Heroes thread. --Daniel

Steve Flowers

Hi, Scott - 

Really interested in the article you wrote above but it's kicking a 404 for me.

For what it's worth, I totally agree with the premise you laid out above. We often put much more time into engineering packages than it's worth. I"ve written a bit about this myself

Julio Cesar Bonilla Pardo

Hi Caroline,

Articulate also recommend, please send me your email:, I refer the book of Garr Reynolds - Presentation Zen.

Now if you want to create a LMS (Learning Management System), I recommend Moodle is free, secure and very reliable and you can post any content and you make to ARTICUALTE courses. You only need a domain and hosting. I can help (at no cost) in the publication and implementation of the LMS.

Excuse my English. : (

"It has more value, no one else knows, but who else contributes and shares"

Cali - Colombia

Ken Stafford

I have come to Storyline directly from Captivate 4 - 5 and 6.  Captivate is very clunky and full of bugs.  I have found for near the same money Storyline is by far more advanced and can do so much more, easily.   The forums here are excellent so if you don't know how to do something a superhero will help you.  Unlike Captivate Articulate staff  regularly read the threads and offer support, even to the extent where they will allow you to send your project to them so they can fault find.

Among many other things I develope e-Learning for staff in our NHS Trust.  Many hours are saved using e-Learning as apposed to expensive classroom training. On-line training saves in back fill (covering staff away for training) and there are no travelling expenses claims.  We save thousands of pounds a year using online training.

Come to Storyline Caroline you won't regret it. 


Ana Lucia Barguil

Hi Caroline,

I started using Storyline less than a year ago.

I got the trial version of Studio (Presenter, Engage and Quizzmaker) and Storyline, and I tested both. 

Presenter is very easy to use, because it works with PowerPoint. You create the slides, record the narration and synch the animations. Some Powerpoint animations do not work in Presenter. I tested Engage and Quizzmaker too, and these are interesting tools. But you have to move from a program to the other, and this really bored me.

I chose Storyline because I have to record software simulation, and it has the html5 option. I think I made an excelent choice. It's not as intuitive as Presenter, but when you open the program it shows some links to tutorials: "Getting started", "Inserting content" etc, and I progressed step by step.

I subscribed to the Articulate community blogs and they are my post-graduation course. I love the Weekly Recap of the "Word of Mouth" blog, and Tom's blog is fantastic, I've spent hours and hours reading his posts.

My firsts tutorials were " "death" by power point online", as you've said, but they have been improving as I learn new features. In the begining they were very simple, and now I can create some more complex things. 



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