Regardless of whether you’re building finance or business courses, knowing how to build a basic calculator interaction will give you a solid foundation for working with variables.
And once you’re comfortable working with variables, your e-learning world of possibilities grows exponentially. With variables, you can design personalized learning experiences, dynamically present content based on your learner’s choices, and move beyond linear “click next” courses. And that’s the sum of this week’s challenge!
Learn How to Build Your Own Calculator
Learning to build complex interactions is always easier when you have prebuilt source files to deconstruct.
Below you’ll find a handful of free calculator templates and downloads to help you get started with this week’s challenge. Feel free to rework the examples and/or use as a starting point for your own project.
Already know how to build a calculator? Wondering how or why you’d even use one in a real course? Check out the following examples for some practical ways calculators can be added to your projects.
Using Calculators in the Real (E-Learning) World
I like Nicole’s Training ROI calculator because it’s a practical example of how calculators can be used in typical courses. Sure, it doesn’t look like a regular calculator, but under the hood it’s doing exactly what a calculator does best: calculating.
Working on a health-related course? Try dropping in a BMI calculator to let learners assess the overall state of a patient’s health.
Before we move into the challenge, I’d like to share some calculator examples from different industries. The examples weren’t created with e-learning tools like Storyline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build something similar after mastering variables, sliders, dials, and other core concepts.
Is It Better to Rent or Buy?
Use this interactive calculator to determine whether you should rent or buy your next place. The calculator features data entry fields and sliders to help you compare the costs of buying and renting.
The Guardian's Quick Carbon Calculator
The Guardian's carbon calculator features multiple sliders that let you calculate the carbon impact of your travel, home, and shopping habits.
Cutthroat Capitalism: The Game
Learn about the finances and business models behind piracy in this interactive simulation game from Wired magazine.
Do you like to control your own money? Try your hand at running the federal government in this interactive budget game.
Challenge of the Week
This week, your challenge is to share an example of a financial calculator that can be used in e-learning.
If you're new to variables, try starting with one of the free calculator templates below. Depending on your comfort level, you can simply redesign one of the calculator templates or use as a guide for creating your own example.
Already comfortable working with variables? Try adding multiple variables, sliders, and interactive elements to create a more advanced calculator.
Storyline: Free Calculator Templates and Downloads
- Storyline 2: Square Root Calculator By alphonso hendricks
- Storyline 2: Equation Calculator By Preston Ruddell
- Storyline 2: Calculator By David Charney
- Storyline 2: BMI Calculator By David Lindenberg
- Storyline 2: Better Calculator By Dave Mozealous
- Storyline 2: Training Return on Investment Calculator By Nicole Legault
Below you'll find some examples of advanced calculators. Since many of the examples were created several years ago, you’ll need a Flash-enabled browser to view them.
- The Future Military: Your Budget Strategy By New York Times
- Deficit cutting: The Game By St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Budget: What would you cut? By BBC
- Interactive Calculators By E-Learning Examples
Tutorials and Resources
- Share Your Tips for Getting Started with Storyline's Variables #2
- Understanding Variables
- Introduction to Variables
- The Case for Variables in E-Learning
Last Week’s Challenge:
Before you budget time for this week’s challenge, check out the fantastic mockup templates your fellow community members shared over the past week:
Wishing you an exponentially rewarding week, E-Learning Heroes!
New to the E-Learning Challenges?
The weekly e-learning challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.
NOTE: Please don’t use Google Drive or Dropbox to host your projects. Both companies have announced that they’re no longer going to support HTML projects.
You can use our Dropbox file request link to send me your zipped output: https://www.dropbox.com/request/jrqHXAxWwbts234Y4xak. Please include your first and last name and challenge number in the file name: DavidAnderson_122.zip.