Keeping Learners Focused & Engaged Using Learning Journals #425

Using Learning Journals in E-Learning #425: Challenge | Recap

Looking for a way to practice working with variables and keep your learners focused and engaged? Try adding a learning journal option to your next project.

Learning journals can be a great tool to help learners record their thoughts, insights, and questions about the course. They’re also a fantastic way to learn to work with text variables and references in Storyline 360. 

Check out the following examples to get an idea of how learning journals can work in e-learning.

Watch. Explore. Reflect.

I like this example because it features YouTube videos that give learners a big-picture overview of the topic, followed by a drag-and-explore activity, all before asking the student to jot down their ideas about life from outer space.

Ron Katz

Example | Ron Katz | Website

Just-In-Time Journals

This example features a learning journal icon that’s available on every slide in the course. Giving learners a persistent means to track their thoughts and enhance their learning experience.


Example | Thierry EMMANUEL

Challenge of the Week

This week, your challenge is to share an interactive example that shows how learning journals and note-taking can be used to encourage learners to reflect on the material.

If you’re new to variables or need assistance with your example, let us know in either the comments section or in the Build Better Courses forums so we can help. 


Here are some resources for Storyline users. If you’re using another authoring tool or even a tool that doesn’t support variables (like PowerPoint) you can still share your ideas.

User Guide:

  • Storyline 360: Working with Variables. Use variables to remember information—such as a learner's name or a numeric value
  • Storyline 360: Adding Variable References. Variable references let you display that information anywhere in your course.
  • Storyline 360: Print Slide Trigger. Let learners print individual slides, such as certificates, with a single trigger—no coding required.

More resources:

Share Your E-Learning Work

  • Comments: Use the comments section below to link your published example and blog post.
  • Forums: Start a new thread and share a link to your published example.
  • Personal blog: If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We'll link to your posts so your great work gets even more exposure.
  • Social media: If you share your demos on Twitter or LinkedIn, try using #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can follow your e-learning coolness.

Last Week’s Challenge:

Before you reflect on this weeks challenge, check out the practical ways course designers transform static content into interactive e-learning:

Converting Static Slides Into Interactive E-Learning #424

Converting Static Slides Into Interactive E-Learning #424: Challenge | Recap

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.

Learn more about the challenges in this Q&A post and why and how to participate in this helpful article.

Got an idea for a challenge? Are you interested in doing a webinar showcasing how you made one or more challenge demos? Or do you have some comments for your humble challenge host? Use this anonymous form to share your feedback:

Ron Katz
Laura Hansen
Jonathan Hill
TJ Barber
TJ Barber
Kali Maginity
Amy Wightman
Wrenn Corcoran
Courtney Roberts
Shannon Page
Kali Maginity
Carrie Susong Gurkin
Robin Janzen
Wrenn Corcoran
Robin Janzen

Regarding the email client - that is something I had not considered! I may need to add both email and print options just in case they have one and not the other... On the final screen, the first thing they do is enter their email address (or where they would like it to send), which populates a variable that is used in JavaScript. Below is the code, reduced to only the first two variables for simplicity sake. var player = GetPlayer(); var useremail=player.GetVar("EmailAddress"); var subject="My Why - My Notes"; var SlideOneNote=player.GetVar("Authentic"); var SlideTwoNote=player.GetVar("Admiration"); var mailto_link='mailto:'+useremail+'?subject='+subject+'&body='+"Authentic self: "+SlideOneNote+" %0D%0AMy Admiration: "+SlideTwoNote+" %0D%0A "; Expand