Next up in our series on the Articulate Storyline Guru Contest: a profile of several Honorable Mention courses designed to help you brush up on your professional skills. We love the range of innovation and creativity in these courses: Artisan E-Learning’s variable-driven time management tool, the humorous trials and tribulations of Hitachi Data Systems’ Bob, Kineo’s bold graphics and intricate branching scenarios, and DFLearning’s slick custom navigation. Well done, Honorable Mention winners!
Are You Busy? by Artisan E-Learning
View Are You Busy?
It’s true that some days time feels weightless, and others the tick-tock of the clock makes you panic like a caged cat. What to do? “Are You Busy?” by Artisan E-Learning offers time management tools to help tame your stressed-out tiger into a purring kitty.
The course uses text and number variables to calculate the time you actually have control over in your day—a simple yet powerful exercise. As you fill out the time tally, it’s a snap to access lightbox explanations or examples simply by clicking the “Help me decide” links on each page. The page where you input your typical weekly schedule displays Monday to Friday by default, but you can customize labels and formatting if you work different days. Once your schedule’s loaded in, the course assesses the time you control, then gives tips for managing your obligations.
We love the snazzy calculator Artisan E-Learning crafted to collect your input. Designer Diane Elkins observes, “This course wouldn’t be possible without variables. By using the variables feature in Storyline, we were able to save your entries and reuse them throughout the course, perform mathematical calculations so you don’t have to, display the results back to you, and customize messages based on your results.” The result cuts through the anxious clutter and, hopefully, allays your stress. Even if you’re busy, take a moment to run through this course and you’ll feel better about your schedule. We sure did!
Social Media Guidelines by Hitachi Data Systems
We all know someone who overshares on social media. It’s funny at times, eye-rollingly painful at others. Companies need to be especially careful that employee social media blunders—even innocent ones—don’t tarnish their brand image. To keep employees out of hot water, Hitachi Data Systems cooked up the delightfully illustrated Social Media Guidelines course.
What won us over can be summarized in one word: Bob. This squiggly line-art hero wrestles with complications that make him both human and irresistible. His playful struggles hooked us right in—and made this social media training course resonate with our funny bones.
Designer Chris Perez notes, “The animation style we used required tens of objects per page being animated intermittently throughout. The timeline in Storyline made viewing and precisely timing those objects extremely manageable and time-saving.”
We were also impressed by the course’s simple navigation and customized menu. With one click, you can access a transcript from the sidebar, making the course accessible to hearing-impaired learners. We’re curious to see what’s next for Bob and Hitachi Data System’s talented e-learning design team.
The Right Time, The Right Style by Kineo
You know those super-managers who know just what to do and say to get things done? You can become one, too. Kineo levels the playing field with a leadership primer that’ll guide your transformation into a savvy manager.
Right away we were drawn in by this course’s bold visual design. It uses photographic and stock art images judiciously, punctuated with bright and bold background graphics. This same measured approach is apparent in the way Kineo paces the information flow: not too much, not too little. You progress one digestible bite at a time, thanks to liberal use of triggers and layers, which build click-and-reveal interactivity. We enjoyed the bird’s-eye view during the situational leadership examples, which featured each of the management styles and co-worker reactions in easy-to-follow, four-pane comic strip panels. But our fave part was when we got to do our own social experiments, applying leadership styles to situations and then watching them play out.
Kineo practiced this apply-then-assess approach as they evolved their course in Storyline. “We were able to make amends to the design of the scenarios and apply new art direction very quickly, so we could come up with better ideas and deploy them without hassle,” says designer Paco Jaen. It’s clear they paid close attention to scenario details—photo images, familiar names, common manager characteristics, and typical work situations—which made it really easy to relate to this course. It’s a lively and practical look into human behavior, great for managers and non-managers alike.
Avoiding Meeting Missteps by DFLearning
In this course, you’ll uncover the secret to running engaging, efficient meetings. And, thanks to DFLearning’s adept use of Storyline features, you’ll enjoy doing it.
The course features uncluttered screens that give you a chance to digest the main points visually, while the audio walks you through contextual details. Custom navigation buttons give you all the control you need to choose your learning section in any order you want. And if you have questions along the way, getting details or examples is a breeze. Thanks to hover states, triggers, and slide layers, you just mouse over or click on slide objects to reveal exactly the information you’re looking for.
Drag-and-drop and pick-one assessments do a solid job of reinforcing course content along the way. But the icing on the cake is the “Learning Journal” tucked away on a button in the upper left corner. It’s a place where you can write and print your own notes about each section. Genius! Cleverly constructed with a multilayer lightbox slide, it features several text entry fields to capture your thoughts in one neat and tidy place. With the way this course invites learning as well as application, DFLearning makes it incredibly easy to learn and practice valuable meeting skills. “With Avoiding Meeting Missteps,” notes designer Dawn Ferullo, “Storyline allowed instructional design to take center stage instead of playing a supporting role to the tool.” Check it out before your next meeting!
Next time you have a few minutes, be sure to take a spin through these four courses—not only will you learn helpful tips for your professional life, you’ll see a boatload of innovative e-learning design ideas and Articulate Storyline features in action!