As an instructional designer I always thought that there must be more to instructional designing than making storyboards. There must be something more appealing and exciting to do where one’s creativity and ideas can be channelized and that very week my company began Articulate Storyline training for instructional designers.
That’s when I thought to myself – how will I manage creating course on an authoring tool all by myself? Won’t the complexity of an authoring tool confuse me further? That’s when I understood that creating and designing storyboards is just 50% of what an instructional designer does. The other 50% requires you to master the many authoring tools that are present for you to create an eLearning course.
Articulate Storyline is one of the major eLearning tools that is specifically designed keeping instructional designers in mind. Let me share with you the seven lessons that I have learnt while exploring this tool during my training sessions.
An interface that is uncannily similar to windows PowerPoint presentation, I felt I was right at home. This tool not only looks and feels like PowerPoint but works just like one only better!
As an instructional designer you can develop, preview and publish you course instantly! After a while you just forget if you’re using PowerPoint or Storyline! It feels as if Articulate Storyline was created just for me – all one has to do is learn about the triggers and the variables along with a bit of reasoning. You will understand Articulate Storyline like the back of your hand. With much more to offer than your average PowerPoint, this tool always keeps you on the edge of your seat with its exciting features and incredible user-friendly approach that brings simplicity with user comfort.
Articulate Storyline brings forth amazing freedom of use when it comes to creating interactivities apart from the built-in templates and interactivities like click-on-tabs or images. Creativity is the limit. You can literally design any interactivity that best suits your content. Generally, in most of the authoring tools, basic programming knowledge is needed and coming from a literature background I thought I would be stuck in a jam here but Articulate Storyline was so simple that I didn’t need to look for any kind of technical help while adding triggers. Gone are the days when interactivities could be designed only by programmers. Storyline lets you do the same without any kind of coding. This tool does not restrict your creativity but only lets you think outside the box even more. It’s not the tool that tells you what you can do it’s the tool that lets you do what you want to!
Whenever I thought of using a character in my course, I was baffled because I could never find the right pose or expression or even an appropriate outfit for my character. I had to refer to Google images for ideas or buy images online to suit my needs while burning a hole in my pocket. Ever since, life has becomes easier with Storyline’s inbuilt characters, with such wide choices. I no longer need to depend on a visual designer to create an avatar. All I need to do is select the character I need – choose a pose and expression and I am all set to create engaging scenarios in my course to keep the learner hooked!
Another feature to fall in love with is simulation. All you need to know is record and stop and I am sure there is not an instructional designer on earth who doesn’t know this. Simulations need not only consist of screenshots. For instance, we had an FMCG company who required an exciting and a new way for showing simulations. So we went a step ahead and added characters that would pop up and instruct the user about the next step. This was only possible because of Storyline’s easy-going nature.
Customizing is the word of the day and Articulate Storyline knows it too well! Though you can play around with the features in Storyline, when it comes to customizing GUI or developing complex interactivities, you need to be adept in logic and variables, and if you ever find any kind of difficulty in customizing an interactivity or slide, you have Storyline forums or community and discussion groups where you can enquire and troubleshoot your problems and seek help.
Do it yourself:
Last but not the least, for those who love to try out new things and explore endlessly, there is so much to do! I have stayed for hours on end trying out everything I can and I am completely hooked to Articulate Storyline. There couldn’t be a better authoring tool to start learning with.
It can be easily said the Articulate Storyline is well suited for eLearning needs. This tool is an indispensible weapon in an instructional designer’s kitty. All said and done, Articulate Storyline can easily be considered an instructional designer’s best friend.
There is more to Storyline that we can talk about. I’ll take you through what are triggers, variables and quizzing in Storyline in my next blog.