Say goodbye to bullet-point eLearning

Muhammad Nurul Islam | 06/21/2018

Many eLearning courses start as a bullet-point ridden PowerPoint. But simply transferring the content from PowerPoint to an authoring tool, like Articulate Storyline 360, isn’t going to magically transform your eLearning. So, what can we do to get away from bullet-point slides? And what do we need to do to take our eLearning courses to the next level?

One way we can move away from boring, static lists is by converting it to a click-and-reveal activity. This blog will show you how we used Articulate Storyline to transform this: 

Parcel course 1

Into this: 

Parcel course 2

In this example we are creating an eLearning course for a logistics company. The learning objective of this slide is to ensure learners know which checks to complete before loading a parcel onto a van. You can see the completed course, here. If you’d like to recreate this yourself, follow the step-by-step guide below.

Step one

Instead of a bullet point list, we are going to change each bullet point into a ‘parcel’ to load onto a van. I created my parcels in Articulate Storyline, using the rounded rectangle shape and added the information as a text box on top.

Parcel course 3

Step two

To give the appearance of these parcels coming onto the conveyor belt, we need to first position them off-slide, to the left-hand side. Name each of your parcels as ‘BT_01’ ‘BT_02’ ‘BT_03’ and so on, for easy identifying later on.

Parcel course 4

Step three

Add your conveyor belt and van to your slide. I used stock images and Adobe Illustrator to create both of these graphics.

Step four

We want to give the appearance of the parcel moving along the conveyor belt and into the back of the van. To do this we need to create two motion paths for each of our parcels.

Top tip! To make your life a little bit easier, hide the boxes you aren’t currently working with by clicking the ‘eye’ symbol in your timeline.

First, we need to add the entrance animation, which moves the parcel onto the screen and onto the conveyor belt. We do this by using a motion path, with the direction set as ‘left’. Change the name of this motion path to ‘BT01_Entrance’.

Parcel course 5

Now we need to create our second motion path, which moves the parcel from the conveyor belt onto the back of the van. Rename this motion path to ‘BT_01_Load’.

Step five

We only want our second motion path to move when our learner clicks on the box. We do this by adding a trigger which moves our parcel (BT_01) along our ‘loading’ motion path (BT_01_load) when the user clicks on the parcel (BT_01), as you can see below:

Parcel course 6

We also need to add a second trigger, which hides the parcel when the animation completes:

Parcel course 7
Step six

We now need to add the same motion paths from step four to our second parcel:

  1. To move the parcel onto the belt (BT02_entrance)
  2. To move the parcel from the belt onto the van (BT_02_Load). Remember to add a trigger that starts this motion path when the learner clicks on BT02 – in the same way we did for our first parcel in step five.

Step seven

We want our second parcel to roll onto the conveyor belt when our first parcel is on its way to the van. To make this happen we have to use an off-slide shape animation to control when parcel BT02 is moving. 

Create a box, put it off-slide and name it ‘control’. Add a downwards motion path to the box and make the duration 1 second. Change the settings so that the motion path starts when the user clicks on BT01.

Parcel course 8

Step eight

By default, the entrance motion path for BT02 (created in step six) will start when the timeline starts. If we leave this as it is, both parcel one and two will appear on the conveyor belt at the same time. So, we need to add a trigger to start BT02 moving along BT02 Entrance when the motion path on our control shape completes, as you can see below:

Parcel course 9

Step nine

Now it’s time to check everything is working correctly, so save your Storyline file and preview your course. Once you are happy that your course is working correctly, you need to repeat steps four to seven for each of your remaining parcels. When you are finished, your slide will look like this:

Parcel course 10

So, there you have it, a great way to transform a static bullet-point eLearning slide to an interactive click-and-reveal activity.

Muhammad Nurul Islam

Muhammad is a content developer at Cursim, Omniplex's learning design and development division

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