Does the choice of authoring tool matter to an e-learning course? Yes, it does, is the answer from e-learning developers as well as stakeholders. Why? The answer is simple. When an organization invests in e-learning courses, it needs to see a return on investment (ROI). With an authoring tool that’s easy to use, the time required for developers involved in course creation is cut down. Also, it’s easier for SMEs to make updates to training content when required.
Our team had to design a new hire onboarding program that was interactive and engaging, to replace the current classroom training program. In this blog post, we share how we leveraged Articulate Storyline 2 to create a custom e-learning course for effective new hire onboarding.
Design a Customized Graphical User Interface (GUI)
New hire onboarding is meant to be fun, engaging, and exciting. That’s precisely the reason we did not want a run-of-the-mill GUI for new hires taking the course. The menu that learners had was structured in the form of buildings they could click, to virtually explore the different departments in the organization.
The GUI did not display the standard buttons associated with an e-learning course. The Home button took learners to the main menu where they could choose a building to explore. The menu option also displayed the slides in each module.
Articulate Storyline offers the capability to disable/enable options listed on the menu. Instead of giving new hires free access to any of the slides from the menu, the slides the learner was yet to go through were disabled. We also included an email icon on the GUI which allowed learners to get support, in case they had any queries regarding the training content.
We did not want the audio script to overlap the screen content. The closed captions functionality in Storyline was leveraged to display the audio script.
Add Interesting Navigational Elements
While designing new hire onboarding, always keep in mind that it is necessary to deliver the essential information first. For example, in our e-learning course, it was necessary to introduce new hires to the values and culture of the company before proceeding to give them department-specific information.
We used Articulate Storyline to customize the menu. By using restricted navigation, we were able to ensure that new hires went through the first 2 modules in a sequence. After that, they were free to explore other sections of the course, in any order. The standard Previous and Next buttons were not included in the course. Learners had to follow footprints to navigate to the next slide.
Include Engaging Interactivities
The new hire onboarding we designed used a lot of interactivities to make the course engaging and interesting for new hires. Slide layers, triggers, variables, and states make it easy to build custom interactions. Storyline supports videos in different format types and that makes adding videos a breeze. Videos designed using Flash were converted to mp4 format and included in the course.
Storyline has a feature that automatically compresses videos to preserve high quality and maintain low file size. Videos are set to Auto Play but we also wanted to give learners an option to play or pause the video. This was achieved using triggers where play or pause media was set as the action.
We also used drag-and-drop interactions that made the course interactive. For instance, the leadership team was introduced using a customized drag-and-drop interaction. On dragging a card and dropping it in a placeholder, the leadership team member’s picture was revealed and the new hire was able to get more information on that person. We also used drag-and-drop interactions to assess the new hire’s knowledge. Before we introduced the values of the company, we had to check the learner’s understanding of what each value means. This was done using a drag-and-drop interaction where the options were set to snap in place only when the learner selects the right answer. Wipe animations, click on tabs, and mouse over effects were used to enhance the visual presentation of the course.
Develop a Customized Assessment
The power of customization offered by Articulate Storyline also extended to the final assessment included in the online onboarding training. The gamified assessment certainly motivated learners to take the course. Learners had to be restricted from going back to a question they had already answered. They were also restricted from navigating to the next question, without answering the question on the current slide. This was done by locking the option selected by the learner. Storyline also made it possible to offer learners numerous attempts to retake the assessment.
If you are looking to customize your e-learning courses, you can rely on Articulate Storyline to help you design an engaging training program. And if you are planning to outsource Storyline course development, here is a checklist to follow. Which authoring tool do you think is the best choice to design interactive e-learning courses? Share your opinion with us through the Comments section.