E-Learning Examples: Branched Soft-Skills Scenarios

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I recently presented a session for the E-Learning Guild’s Annual Online Learning Forum 2015 about how to create engaging scenarios for e-learning. (The session was recorded and Guild members can view the recording here.).  In preparation for that session I built a branched e-learning scenario, using Articulate Storyline 2, called The Job Interview.

What do I mean by branched scenario? It means that the learner can follow different paths (or different “branches”) through the course, depending how interview questions are answered. For example: if you select the worst choice for the first question in the scenario and arrive to the interview 30 minutes late, that path, or branch, ends right there. Your interview is cancelled and they’ve moved on to the next candidate.

However, choose the option that has you arriving 5 minutes early and you score bonus points. The order and the amount of questions in the interview, as well as the amount of points scored (indicated through the progress meter), is totally dependent on the choices made by the learner. 

Try it out yourself and let me know in the comments, how many tries did it take you to land your dream gig?

The Job Interview | View Demo

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Want to build a scenario of your own? You may be interested in some of these articles I’ve written about creating scenarios for e-learning:

Want to see another example of a branched e-learning scenario? Tim Slade created a great example on his blog for Call Centre Training.  He’s also written a blog post about it and made the source file available for download. Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid E-Learning Blog also has a whole section on building scenario-based e-learning, chock-full of awesome tips and tricks, so check it out!

Got tips or tricks of your own about building scenarios? Have you seen other scenario based e-learning examples that you’d like to share? If so — leave a comment; I love to hear your feedback. And since you’ve made it to the end of this article, perhaps you should subscribe to my blog!

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4 E-Learning Examples To Inspire Your Next Project

As e-learning developers, we’re always on the lookout for examples that will give us ideas and inspire our next course design. That’s what I’m hoping to share with you in this post! Working with Articulate Storyline and Articulate Studio ’13 on a daily basis means I get to develop all kinds of cool e-learning courses and interactions. I want to share some of my most recent e-learning examples, in hopes giving you ideas for a project you’re currently working on!

E-learning Example #1: Interactive Hover Menu

This is a cool interactivity I created with Articulate Storyline. Hover over an object (such as the lamp or monitor) to view available actions. Once you’ve completed an action, different options become available on hover.

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This interaction was inspired by the game The Sims. If you’ve ever played you know that when you hover over an item you are offered multiple choices for what to do with that item. For example, hover over the refrigerator and you might be given the following options: “Get a drink”, “Make dinner”, or “Grab a snack”. I wanted to challenge myself to recreate this functionality using Storyline.

Almost everything in this interaction, including the monitor, lamp, cork-board, and coffee mug was created using shapes directly in Storyline. You don’t need to create fancy graphics in a separate application: you can create your own great-looking graphics right inside Storyline. You can view a published example and download the .story file for this example on the E-Learning Examples section of the Articulate site.

E-Learning Example #2: Labeled Graphic Interaction

Here’s a great construction-themed interaction developed using Engage ’13. The content was construction safety information, which inspired the black and yellow colour scheme, as well as the thick, chunky black fonts. I like to let the subject matter guide the design whenever possible.

For this project I purchased some great images from iStockphoto that were heavily discounted. One thing I’ve learned is to look for photos that are on sale. A large, high-quality image will often sell for between 20-40 credits on iStockphoto; this particular photo was only 2 credits. If you look beyond the first page of search results and dig around, you’ll often find great photos for a fraction of the cost.

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You can check out the published version of the e-learning interaction, as well as a more detailed post I wrote about how I built it (Engage ’13: How I Built This Labeled Graphic Interaction) on my Articulate blog.

E-Learning Example #3: Colorful Pencil Template

Here’s an example of a fun Articulate Storyline template I created with a bright color scheme. I  was inspired by these colorful crayon photos I came across on a great free stock photography site called MorgueFile. I loved the crayon photo so much I had to build a template around it. I ended up going with a light blue color scheme. I picked up the shade of blue from a blue pencil in the photo, using the color picker tool. You can easily edit the template to make it whatever color works with your project.

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Interested in using the template? You can head on over to the E-Learning Examples site to check out the published version and to download the .story file.

E-Learning Example #4: Tablet Style Template

Tablets and handheld devices are all the rage these days, so I thought it would be great to build a fun tablet-themed template. This template was created in Articulate Storyline and the tablet, all of the app icons, and the sheets of paper in the example are built completely using shapes in Storyline.

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View a published example of the template and download it to use it in your own projects on the Download page of the Articulate site.

Remember: when it comes to sharing examples of work and demos  of your e-learning, you don’t always need to share a completely polished course. Often, small tidbits and examples are enough to inspire us for our next project.

If you enjoy reading my blog posts you might be interesting in checking out my articles on the Articulate website! I post new articles there every week on everything from working with Subject Matter Experts to how to do an e-learning needs analysis. As always, I love to see your comments and feedback!

How To Create Custom Shapes/Graphics in Articulate Storyline

Last week I shared custom shapes I created using Articulate Storyline in the e-Learning Heroes Forum. Community members seem to like the shapes (yay!), and I’ve since developed an obsession with creating custom shapes. In case you’re wondering what I mean by “custom shapes” I mean that using shapes that are available within Storyline I created the items you see below:

Free Office Themed Articulate Storyline Custom Shapes

Everything in the images was created by me (except the wood texture background) by using Storyline shapes. The fun part is because these graphics are just groups of shapes, you can de-construct them, change the colors, etc.

You can also do a right-click on the group, Save as Picture, and then save the shape as a .PNG file that can be used in other applications. It’s a fun way to extend the functionality of Storyline from an e-learning development tool to a graphic design tool.

All you need to do to create your own custom shapes is insert your individual shapes, line them up, and group them.  The image below breaks down how I created the pencil.

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Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve now developed a bit of an obsession with creating fun new shapes. It’s given me all these ideas for fun projects and themes I can create using the shapes I’ve made. For example, I created a really cool looking desk phone (which I will share in a future post) and now I’m working on adding some functionality wherein you press numbers on the keypad, and it links to various slides. I also find that now I’m often challenging myself to see how far I can go “re-creating” simple items right in Storyline. My latest challenge was creating the Microsoft system calculator using shapes in Storyline. You almost can’t tell the difference between the two!

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I made a few more shapes this weekend; I created a few folders, a notepad, and a clipboard. I’ve posted these files in the e-Learning Heroes forum as well, so feel free to download them and use them in your own projects. Here’s a photo of the new shapes:

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I hope this has inspired some of you guys to create your own custom graphics in Storyline. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for future shapes or challenges for me — bring it on! Please feel free to leave me a comment or question and follow me on Twitter!

Articulate Storyline: Sample eLearning Slides

Here are some e-learning slides from a project I created for my portfolio. This is how much of a nerd I am–when I am home on weekends, and in my spare time, I create “demo” e-learning courses to add to my portfolio. I created these slides in Articulate Storyline. Enjoy!