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Professional tool for creating courses

We will discuss one of the most popular tools for creating e-learning materials in Articulate Storyline. It is distinguished by the high quality of the program itself, and the product coming out of it. This is why Articulate Storyline is often chosen for professional development e-learning content, undeterred by the cost of this product (about$ 1,400,, there are discounts for educational institutions or wholesale purchases).

On the official website you can download a demo version of software provides full functionality for 30 days. It should be borne in mind that the program is installed exclusively on Windows. Users of other operating systems will need a virtual machine.

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The Storyline interface familiar to all users of modern office programs, as menu ribbon tab (ribbon). Program of Russification. However, made with its help training materials (navigational elements), you should not worry — they can be localized in any language, including Russian.

The course consists of slides, navigating which can be both linear and programmed. A template editor for slides and feedback (dialog boxes, messages that occur in response to the student’s action). There are also many templates for different types of slides (explanation or test). As in PowerPoint, here you can set the slide size, animated transitions between slides and animation on the slide.

An important feature of Storyline is that media object (text, image, etc.) are placed not just on the slide, and on an additional container layer of the slide. Each slide can hold an arbitrary number of layers, which is, in fact, different States of a slide. Change of state (change of the layer on the slide) may occur when a student’s action. For example, when the right answer to the question on the slide there is an additional element (imaging response). Such a reaction of the objects of the course to the actions students is customized with special triggers (trigger). Existing Storyline in Trigger Wizard (the designer triggers) is quite flexible, and most importantly — understandable to a person not in possession of special programming languages. The only thing you need from the developer of the course — a clear plan and logic (and, of course, time).

On a slide in Storyline besides text and images you can place: video, audio, flash animations, geometric figures, characters, web-objects controls (sliders, buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, pressed), markers. It is possible to create on the slide area zoom (zoom region). For each figure, as in PowerPoint, you can choose the style, position along the z axis, rotate, combine, apply effects, choose a stroke style, add text.

Test questions can be realized by using test slides: true/false, single and multiple choice, open response, Bank of words, matching, sequencing, numeric response and the area of depression. You can also implement the surveys.

In addition, simple slides can be converted to slides “Freeform Question” who work in the same way as test questions. Here there are the following types of questions:

  • Drag and drop (drag & drop)
  • The area for clicking (hotspot)
  • Image selection
  • Text input
  • Hidden input (to test knowledge of the key shortcuts hotkeys)

The creation of a Bank of questions allows for a random sample of questions in the test.

A powerful tool for creating serious courses is the ability to work with variables, you can save the data entered for students, and then use them elsewhere. For example, to keep the name of the student and then refer to it by name.

The Storyline can be successfully used to create simulators software (example). Demonstration software can be executed by using the built in recorder. It records what is happening on the screen (screen area) with the ability to concurrently capture audio. In the step-by-step (step by step) every action (mouse click, rotate the mouse wheel) are automatically supplied with comments. You can create demo material, but this where the user himself must perform the necessary actions (try mode, test mode).

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Developed in Articulate training course can be published in all the popular formats of learning materials (SCORM, TinCan, AICC), HTML5, Word (as a set of screenshots), on CD and in the “cloud” environment Articulate Online. The player of course has a flexible configuration: you can change the text and color elements. You have the option to add resources (additional files, or links), the course Glossary, and notes.

It is worth noting that in addition to the Storyline, Articulate has another similar product Studio ’13 Pro. The product comparison can be found here.