To analyze Kevin's work

It looks like my boss really likes to see something like in the below. We have four different learning objectives. But, only one objective is available to click each time. Thus, our students cannot jump over to finish the course without looking at other modules. This is a great flow of e-learning product. Could you let me know how we can do this in articulate? Or he uses other software such as Flash? It looks like I can learn something new every day.

17 Replies
Kevin Thorn

Hi Sami,

This was built in Articulate. Or should I say it was designed and constructed in PowerPoint including the branching, and published using Articulate and assigning the Slide Properties accordingly. This course has zero Flash development other than the opening .flv movie on the first slide.

The 'trick' is in the branching. In your scenario where you want learners to choose an objective without the need to look at other objectives is accomplished through varying copies of the same slide. 

Slide 1: Four objective 'buttons'

Slide 2: Destination of first button.

Slide 3. Destination of second button

Slide 4: Destination of third button

Slide 5: Destination of fourth buton

On Slides 2-5, place a 'menu' button allowing the learner to return to Slide 1.

Next, fill in any subsequent slides between 2-3, 3-4, and/or 4-5 and numbered accordingly. At the end of each objective [set] you direct them back to Slide 1 to choose the next objective.

Hope this helps!


Sammy Hwang

  Thank you so much for your specific explanation, Kevin.  

  I am glad to hear that you did almost all of your work in powerpoint. 

  Can I ask one more question? 

  Do you achieve the unlocking and sliding door animation in Powerpoint, too? 

  If you don't mind, could you let me know how you did that?

Kevin Thorn

Hi Sami,

Yes, the first slide was done in PowerPoint. The graphics were created separately and brought in as .png files and animated using PowerPoint animation.

The first set of 'doors' are hi-res images of the side of a helicopter and then cut to look like to opening panel doors. Each door then animated with a motion path to the left and the right respectively. The second set of 'doors' are simply two hi-res images of shipping containers and the same motion path assigned only this time up and down respectively. The images were from this texture site:

Sammy Hwang

Really? Kevin said that everything was done within Powerpoint except the first intro. Can't we achieve this by copying the slides four times and change the open and closed locks icon with active and inactive hyperlink? If I am wroing, please let me know.

I tried to get what he did in his quizmaker section now.

Kevin Thorn

Nope. No programming. No variables. All PowerPoint and Articulate.  Not everyone knows how to program and even though it would have been easier for me, I wanted to build something that anyone could re-create with simple techniques in PowerPoint. The trick is using mirrored slides, graphics, and mouse clicks synced to animations.

Yes Sami, it was four mirrored slides. Actually eight slides. (4 at entry, and 4 at completion depending on how you navigated). The first set had four locked padlocks for each objective and one unlocked padlock for the objective you're about to enter. The animation was set to "hide" the locked padlock and "appear" the unlocked padlock at the same time 1 second after landing on that screen. The "GO" button is a graphic made in PowerPoint and then saved as a .png, then re-inserted with a hyperlink to the appropriate slide.

When a learner completed an objective, the slide was mirrored as the earlier entry slide. The previous accomplished objective now has an unlocked padlock 'only' indicating (visually) that you already visited that section - the second set of 4 objective slides.

Does that help?

Sammy Hwang

That is what it is. Gently directed them to check all the objectives. I think I am getting how you did in your quizmaker after I saw your work and David's tutorials. Thank you so much Kevin for your kind explanation. You did deserve to earn the Articulate Guru award for all your effort and time.

Kevin Thorn

@Robert - I had originally thought about that approach. It can be done, but it involves many more slides duplicated and a very complex branching set-up. Instead, using a simple animation and visual progress recognition, you can direct  a learner down a linear path without them *feeling* as if they are.

@Sami - Thanks! Good luck with your projects and don't hesitate to ask if you have anymore questions.

Sammy Hwang

Hello Kevin, 

 I just got another question. I am not sure whether we are going to issue the certificate after each module is done or not yet. 

Regardless of the decision that my boss will make, how can we make the certificate be available only when the users complete the course? I clicked the attached section and the certificate link is not available during the course. Another considerable thought is right there. 

Kevin Thorn

The certificate I used in this was more for the novelty of it and put it as an Attachment. The downside to this is as an attachment in the top bar, it is always accessible.

There's a couple ways to approach this depending on your boss and how you want to go about it. One way is to let your LMS handled the certification. Most LMSs have them built in and some even allow you to customize the certification 'document.' You build it or use one of their default templates, and then 'assign' it to the course upon completion.

Another way is to associate it with the course. Like the Turfgrass course, I made an 'image' of the certification on the last slide. Yet, I gave instructions to print it using the attachments button. I'd have to test but someone else may have tried this - place a button/link on the last slide that points to the PDF within the package. You do that at publish time, but afterward you'll have to manually insert the PDF in the 'data' folder of the published Articulate package.

One way I know works is to do the same above, but the link is an absolute reference to another location on the web server. We put all certifications to various courses in a single directory and put that URL link on the page that references access to launch it on the last screen of the course. When a user clicks the button/link, a new window opens with the PDF for printing.

Anyone else have an idea how to approach this?