As an Instructional Designer for 12+ years, I have used a number of tools to build both classroom and online courseware. Some have been extremely difficult to learn and others haven’t had the functionality I needed to build an effective product. That all ended last year when I joined a team that required us to learn a tool called Storyline, developed by Articulate. In a nutshell, this tool allows you to quickly create interactive courses. So why is it so great and how can it help businesses achieve their goals? Read on.
Learning Storyline is almost as easy as working with Microsoft PowerPoint. If you know how to create PowerPoint slides, you can use this tool. The difference is that what the user sees is not just a set of static slides or even a bit of animation, but rather a playground of interactivity which is proven to increase retention and engage the learner.
So why interactive courses? As I just mentioned, studies have proven that students learn best when they actually DO something. People learn a small percentage by reading content. They learn a bit more by reading and hearing content. However, the learning increases by a very large percentage when the reading and hearing is accompanied by an action of some sort, whether that be a click, a drag, or even a full-blown interactive exercise. So instead of just clicking Next several times to get a required course over with, the leaner is required to engage on a much deeper level, and this in turn, increases retention and an increased ability to apply what was learned (which is the goal of any sort of training, right?).
The applications of an online interactive course are many:
- Customer service scenario where you guide your trainee on how to handle a return from a customer.
- Turn a how-to about routine workplace tasks into a fun onboarding lesson.
- Build a 101 course that works on all devices (mobile, tablet, PC, etc.).
- Build a course that allows users to work through the content in a linear fashion or jump around. This is great for role-based training or those with various job descriptions or experience levels.
- Easily add features such as drag-and-drop to reinforce written content.
- Build compliance training that can be accessed anywhere, and on any device.
- Integrate sorting and process activities, YouTube videos, and fun knowledge checks.
And a tool that makes these assets easy to create? Every company has documentation, processes, and tasks that must be taught, retaught, and revised. To make this information fun and easy to consume is, in my opinion, crucial to ensure retention, application, and positive change. I honestly do not know one company that DOESN’T need something like this in their arsenal. Check out www.articulate.com and download a free trial. Based on my years of experience, this tool will not disappoint.