Workflow for Creating Two Versions of SL Courses

For one of my current projects, I need to create two versions of each course, an interactive version and a video version. The video version needs to have the interactivity removed, layers set to show on timers, etc. There will be updates to the content over time, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to manage the content.

Here's what I think my workflow will be:

  1. Create an "everything" version of the course with both the interactive and passive versions of slides. Many of the slides will be the same, but I'll need to duplicate and adjust certain slides.
  2. Create an "interactive" version of the course (probably just a Save As) and delete the passive slides.
  3. Create a video version of the course. I'll either do this via Save As and deleting the files, or possibly publish the whole thing to video and cut out the portions I don't need.
  4. For all future updates, changes will be made in the Everything version and then exported.

If you have done multiple versions of a course, is this basically what your workflow looks like? Is there a better way to do this?

I might be able to do the interactive version by putting the interactive slides in a separate scene and changing the triggers for the next buttons to jump appropriately. Then, I could export the video following the slide order instead of the next button. That would mean I wouldn't need to Save As for the interactive version.

I was also wondering if I could control this with a variable at the beginning of the course. If IsInteractive = True, then the navigation could go one way to show the interactive versions. If IsInteractive = False, then the navigation could skip the interaction or use the alternate versions of slides. Then I'd just need to set the variable before exporting.

Any tips to make this easier?

6 Replies
Rick Maranta

Sounds like a good plan. I tend to do the interactive one and then save as a separate "non-interactive" version and take stuff out just to keep things separate - but that's me. I find most changes are not that difficult to add to both since in some cases each may use the same slide. I also find Storyline tends to have performance problems while authoring when there are too many images, videos and slides so would rather keep the source smaller.

David Tait

I don't think a single version would be as easy or as quick to work with than two separate versions. I'd probably lean towards creating the interactive one first too, before duplicating and then stripping out anything I didn't need/adding anything extra.

Going forward I'd probably then update the individual versions. Managing one file with some shared and some unique slides sounds like it has the potential to be a bit awkward to manage.

Personally I think the time taken to create a single version with numerous triggers to serve up one version or the other based on a variable will far outweigh the time it will take to create and update two separate versions.

Christy Tucker

The courses themselves are pretty small (mostly 10 minutes or less), so file size and performance generally haven't been problems.

The problem with maintaining two individual versions of each module moving forward will be keeping them in sync. I'm already on the 8th or 10th revision for some of the modules I created last year, so the revisions are frequent and sometimes significant. The time on revisions might actually be sufficient to make the triggers worth it, although I'm also worried about troubleshooting. More triggers would also create more places for something to go wrong, and over time that may create its own maintenance problems.

David Tait

I completely agree with you that a single version with branching could require extraenuous troubleshooting if something went wrong. 

Obviously I'm making suggestions without seeing your setup but I can't quite picture how you would build a single version that could be exported as both an interactive course and a passive video without having to duplicate certain slides. In my head I'm seeing a single file with two versions of the course in it, which would tip me towards two separate versions for cleaner management.

Christy Tucker

Certain slides will have to be duplicated, like when there are multiple layers. I'll need a version where each layer is shown by time instead of as learners click each one. There's no way around that.

I might be able to have both versions of the slide in the same file though. I could use the Next buttons to navigate to the interactive versions of the slides. When I publish the video version, I could choose the option to follow the slide numbers rather than the navigation options. As long as the interactive versions of slides are outside the default slide order, it should theoretically work. I haven't tested it yet though. I probably will test it once to see how long it takes me to set up and implement.

I would be nice to have a feature to hide slides, like in PowerPoint and Captivate. Then I could leave myself an off screen note about which slides to show/hide for the different versions. ("Interactive hide slides 4, 7, 14; video hide slides 3, 6, 13).