E-Learning Course Personalization

As e-learning designers, we’re often looking for quick and easy ways to create a more personalized learning experience. There are many ways to make courses more engaging and meaningful to the learner, but they all come down to this: letting the learner interact with the content and make decisions. Let’s take a look at three ways you can personalize your next course.

Add a User Name

Asking users to enter their name at the start of the course, and then using that to refer to them throughout the course, takes just a couple of easy steps in Articulate Storyline, using a text variable and a reference.

Here’s an example of an e-learning course that lets you input your name at the start.


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This beautifully designed example, created with Articulate Storyline 2, makes use of the user name to add a touch of personalization. Find out how to add and display the user name in Storyline in this article: Add and Display a User’s Name in Storyline. Need more guidance? Grab this free download
(Storyline 2 - Username Variable Template) and the work is already done for you. Couldn’t be any easier!

Select an Avatar

Another fun way to personalize a course is to let learners select an avatar early on that either represents them throughout the course or simply guides them along. Here’s an example of how you can choose an avatar at the start of the course and have it appear later within a scenario:

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This functionality is easy to achieve when you’re working with Storyline characters (both illustrated and photographic) and variables. Here’s an article I wrote to help you get started on how to build this: Allow Learners to Choose an Avatar Using One Variable, and a free template you can download: Storyline 2 - Choose an Avatar Template

Another fun way to present this content is to let the learners choose the avatar by dragging a slider, as opposed to just clicking directly on the character.

View the demo.

Same idea, but a more creative way to allow learners to make the selection. Learn how easy it was to build this in Storyline by reading this article: Choosing an Avatar with a Slider Using Storyline 2.

Create Branched Scenarios

An exciting and creative way to personalize your e-learning is by creating branched scenarios. A branched scenario has various paths, which encourages exploration and decision-making. Each learner will have a different path through the course based on the choices he or she makes, which facilitates a truly personalized learning experience.

Here’s an example of a branched scenario called The Job Scenario. It includes several personalization touches, including the user name, the progress meter, and branched scenarios.

View the demo.

Another noteworthy example of this was done by Articulate Community member Tim Slade in his Customer Service Sales Scenario. This is a great example of all three methods of personalization: adding your name, choosing your avatar, and branching paths depending on your decision-making.

View the demo.

Looking to learn how to create your own branching scenarios? Start by reading this article (Build 3-Step Scenarios Like a Pro with Storyline), and then check out these 6 Sweet Branching Scenario Examples for even more inspiration!

Remember these three techniques the next time you’re designing a course where you’d like to offer a more personal touch to your learners. Do you have any other personalization techniques you like to use that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate software? Download a free trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.