Tom Kuhlmann is VP, Community for Articulate, where he manages the Articulate user community. He also writes the Rapid E-learning Blog which is published weekly to over 100,000 readers. Tom has developed and managed e-learning courses for both large and small organizations. He’s passionate about learning technology and his core focus is on helping people succeed and grow. He is known throughout the industry for his practical, no-nonsense approaches to e-learning. He’s also a frequent speaker at ASTD and e-learning industry events. He has a Master’s in Education Technology from Pepperdine.
In this conversation, Tom discusses the new Articulate Storyline 2.
Geetesh: What are your favorite features in Articulate Storyline 2?
Tom: There are a lot of nice features in Storyline 2 such as motion path animations, HTML5/mobile authoring, and Articulate Replay (a bonus application). But for the sake of keeping this post short, I’ll just focus on the interactive sliders and share a few examples.
One of the goals with interactive e-learning is to have the users interact with the content. We want them doing things onscreen as well as making decisions. The interactive sliders are really easy to use and empower the course creator to do all sorts of things.
Here are three unique examples:
- Traditional Slider: Regardless of the demo, many sliders are used to adjust content and make some comparison. In this example, the user can slide the animation back and forth to see how motion is converted from rotational to linear.
Click here to view slider example.
- Navigational Slider: In this next example, we see the slider used as a replacement for the next button. Normally, this type of demo would have linear controls with a previous and next button. What’s nice about this solution is that the end user can quickly slide to the screen they want to access without continuously clicking on the navigation buttons.
Click here to view slider demo.
- Compound Sliders: Sliders can look any way you want them to. What’s also pretty slick is that you can connect multiple sliders to a single variable. Thus as you move one slider, the others can move in unison. In the demo below, there’s a navigational slider that you can move from left to right. However, there are others sliders as well: the rocket, background, satellite, and planets. They just don’t look like sliders.
Click here to view the slider demo.
The interactive sliders in Storyline 2 really open up a lot of what you can do to engage the learners and create an effective interactive experience.
- Here are some more examples of interactive sliders submitted by the community members.
- Here’s a tutorial is if you want to learn how to create interactive sliders.
Geetesh: How easy is it for a Storyline newbie to get started – and create something quick? How long is the learning curve?
Tom: The first time people use Storyline they’ll feel what I like to call “PowerPoint” comfort. The tool is designed to be familiar and easy to use. If you’re comfortable with PowerPoint you’ll find a home in Articulate Storyline. And in that sense it’s easy for someone to get started.
Ultimately it’s just a screen. And you decide what to put on it. And there’s really only so much you can put on the screen: text, images, video, shapes, etc.
As far as learning curve, it’s really a matter of what you want to do and how complex you want it to be. We kind of like to think that Storyline is a tool that grows with you. In some authoring tools you have to learn quite a bit about it to just get started with basic courses. That’s not the case with Storyline. You can open up a file, add content, and publish in no time at all.
However, Storyline’s capabilities evolve as your skills improve and your needs change. For example, you can do some complex things with variables. However, you don’t need to learn anything about variables to get started. But when you do get to the point where variables make sense, Storyline’s got you covered.
I’ve facilitated dozens of getting started workshops and after about an hour, most people feel comfortable working with Storyline. From that point, it’s just a matter of figuring out what you want to do and then learning to use the features to do it.
Geetesh: What resources do you offer to those who want to get started today?
Tom: What really separates Articulate from other companies is our fanatical focus on our customers. We want to make sure that you’re successful using our tools. Because of that we have all sorts of resources available to help Storyline users succeed. But it’s not limited to Storyline (or Articulate customers). If you need to build e-learning courses and need help, we’ll do what we can to help you.
- E-Learning Heroes Community. We’ve connected about 200,000 e-learning developers who answer questions, share files, and talk e-learning. If you want ideas or need some help, this is the best place to go.
- Free e-books: We have almost a dozen free e-books that cover all sorts of topics related to e-learning.
- Free templates & assets: One of the best features in Storyline is that you can save what you create as a template and share with other users (very similar to how PowerPoint users can share slides). We have all sorts of free downloads that will help course authors build better e-learning.
- Informative articles and posts: Every day we publish new articles that cover all things e-learning from production tips to working with subject matter experts. If you need to know something about how to build e-learning courses, then you’re sure to find that we’ve written a great post to help you out. I also write the weekly Rapid E-Learning Blog posts and share all sorts of tips and tricks.
- Weekly challenges: One of my favorite features is the weekly e-learning challenge. We use that to help people learn more about the tools and think about course design in different ways. Often people are stuck working by themselves and in a rut doing the same boring things over and over. The weekly challenges help them do something new. Even if you don’t participate, it’s fun to see what others do.
There’s a lot to like about Articulate Storyline 2. If you need to build e-learning courses you’ll get a complete authoring solution where you can do everything from screencasts and software simulations to more traditional presentations and e-learning courses. If you want to learn more jump into the community and ask.