Using Question Banks in Storyline: activity to identify palm trees

This time, I learned how to use Question Banks in Storyline. Question banks are really useful to randomize and organize related questions within a course.

The idea

Since my visit to a Botanic Garden last month, I became more interested in the different types of palm trees, as I learned there are so many species in the world, that identification is sometimes difficult. I created an activity to learn how to easily classify a palm tree based on its key characteristics: leaves, trunk, and height.

The design

The Question Bank of this demo contains 9 questions, grouped in two quizzes of 5 questions each. Each question is formed by 4 slides, so I had to link them in the Draw.

The question layout is based on the example shared by Montse Anderson, where you get instant feedback from the correct answer. I must admit there are a few points to improve, the navigation, for example, I didn’t use the default player, so buttons might be sometimes confusing. The objective is to encourage the learner to practice, showing their progress in the Results slide.


What I learned

Quizzes are really easy to manage with Question Banks. You can even randomize question draws to keep quizzes from being predictable. Or you can group related slides to be presented together. Question banks can be reused or imported from another project.

Click on the image to view the demo.


Next time you see a palm tree, I’m sure you’ll identify some features you didn’t recognize before;)




Double-tab navigation: Colored sand beaches

The Idea:

It was 2006, in those days social networks were not as popular as they are now, and people used to forward emails through large mailing lists. One day I received a PowerPoint about the colored sand beaches around the world and I was so amazed by the pictures it contained, that I saved it in my Documents folder.

A couple of months ago, cleaning up the folder, I realized I had kept that Powerpoint all that time, and decided to convert it into something more interactive. Click on the image to see the result:


The Research:

Searching on the web, I found lots of pictures, videos and articles about the coloured sand beaches. All images included are under Creative Commons licence; in total, almost 40 pictures and 4 videos were included. In the web of the University of Georgia, I found a sample image collection of sand from around the world. I picked the most representative samples, those from the beaches that I had written about.

Most of the information is from blog Sand Atlas and from the U.S. Geological Survey. Check the rest of the sources on the Credits section.

The Design: rounded tabs, borders and buttons!

Using basic shapes, I gave every element in this demo a rounded style. Top tabs are ovals that grow double the size when they’re selected and Bottom tabs are simply two overlapped ovals.

To create the double-tab interaction, I needed 50 layers and 20 triggers! And 12 T/F variables for the customized Menu. Enjoy!

How U-shaped Valleys are formed?: Show a process with animation and images

Glacial_valley_formationIt’s been a while since I’ve decided to start making my own images and animations. Animations and sequences of images are perfect to show processes; to illustrate changes in time and over space.

I had some notes from the time I taught Geography, and after searching some information on the web, I decided to illustrate the formation of a U-shaped Valley.

Using Artweaver, I drew a valley diagram, and combining layers, I got the different stages of the advance and retreat of a glacier and the resulting U-shaped valley. After exporting all the images; I used them to make a GIF file with GifMaker. There were two specific erosional processes at the base of the glacier, which I considered it was better to represent them separately, so I sketched two simple animations using Animatron.

On NASA’s website, I found amazing photographic files of the retreat of (still) existing glaciers.

Finally, I put all together: information, images and animation, using Storyline.

Download my animation from Wikkimedia Commons

View this project in Spanish: Formación de un Valle Glaciar

Information contained in this demo is based on scientific and educational resources. Below, some of the references I used:

Wikki Books: Glacial erosion and deposition

The Geography Site: Valley Glaciers.

USGS: A glacier carves a U-shaped Valley

Physical Glacial erosion 

Drag-and-Drop #16: Prepare the Premium Cheese Burger

The weekly challenge #16 “Creating drag-and-drop e-learning interaction” was posted on December last year, but as I’m learning to use Storyline, I thought it would be nice to start from the basics and practice the built-in freeform questions.

The challenge was to show some creative ways to use drag-drop interactions. With some ideas in mind, I finally chose a simple task, like preparing a cheese burger, and started creating the activity in Storyline. The objective of this activity is to drop all the ingredients in the correct order, practicing as many times as necessary.

cheese-burgerOn preview mode it worked fine, but when I published the output file, default Prev/Next buttons appeared on the Review Quiz slide. As I read in this thread this is a common issue, I duplicated both slides, hid the duplicated ones, and linked them, creating a loop, so that the learner doesn’t notice he is swapping from one slide to another.  It’s not the ideal solution, but it works, and I also added a reset button in case any of the items are blocked.

Premium Cheese Burger is a generic name; however, you might find the real burger I used for inspiration, in the menu of the largest chain of fast food restaurants. 😉

Please taste/test it and enjoy!

Dynamic quizzes with Kubbu

Kubbu is an e-learning tool to create online activities and track student’s progress. Similar to Educaplay, this platform offers creating and sharing exercises like: Crosswords, Quizzes, and Matching elements. Every type of activity has it owns print-out module for offline homework.

An useful feature is the option of adding feedback to the quizzes answers, so if students choose the wrong choice, a prompt box reveals the correct answer and explanation (image below).


Quizzes (Slider and Composer) are the only activities where  pictures and sound files can be embedded.

In the shared activities section, you can find samples built by teachers and grouped in categories. Check them by clicking on the image.