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;)




How I revamped the Call Center demo

This file, my first branching scenario, was created almost one year ago for the Weekly Challenge #47. Although I was happy with the result, with time I realised that having no audio, users were forced to focus on dialogs and characters expressions at the same time, overloading their visual channel. This condition is better known as The Redundancy Principle.

I decided to improve this scenario by applying Allen’s CCAF model:TouristOffice-BeforeAfter

The Context: Sara working at the Tourist Information Office of Barcelona

The Challenge: helping Sara by answering phone calls on her first day on the job.

The Activity: applying phone etiquettes and providing accurate information in different calls.

The Feedback: the learner receives instant feedback on every choice, and at the end the activity, a graded score and the tourist’ comment from the “Quality survey”.

Click on the image to launch the new version

What I decided to preserve:

  • The characters
  • The colour palette
  • The basic information about the tours in the city of Barcelona

What I modified:

  • The fonts
  • The layout: cleaner, more focused on the activity than on the character’s details and poses.

What I added:

  • Objectives and Guidelines for this Module
  • Custom navigation buttons and Menu
  • Three Number variables to track the learner’s progress

It is highly likely that when another year has passed, I’ll rework the demo again, but this is the best way to learn, don’t you think?


Learn how to build a custom navigation player in Storyline

Interactive map: 12 Best fountains of Rome

FountainsI used to teach Geography, so I love maps and everything related to cartography and spatial representation of data. Maps are used throughout all the sciences and in virtually every aspect of our day-to-day life.

When I heard Weekly Challenge number 86 was about interactive maps for e-learning, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a thematic map. The week of  Challenge 86, I was on holidays in Rome, and besides the ancient monuments you can visit in this beautiful city; I was impressed by the large quantity of water fountains you can find everywhere. so I selected 12 of which I consider are the most spectacular fountains, and located on a map. Although this is a personal selection, I think you might agree with me in most of them.

All information about the fountains is based on Wikkipedia-List of fountains in Rome. Some images are licenced under Creative Commons, others are public domain. The ribbon used for the title is from FreePik.

This demo is also available in Spanish

Step Graphics: 3 basic Yoga poses

Step graphics are interactive explanations that make it easy for learners to sequentially walk through a process, workflow, procedure, or related items. They can be used for all types of learning interactions, from procedural training to interactive storytelling.

The aim of Weekly Challenge nº 36 was to create a step graphic to communicate a process. I started to take Yoga lessons last year, so I was inspired to create a quick guide of Yoga poses for beginners.

There are tons of free videos of yoga, but I needed my own characters showing the pose step by step. At the website, I found good tutorials of the poses I had decided to illustrate. Pausing the videos at every change of position, I took 4-5 screenshots of every sequence. After that, I drew every image in an illustrated style, using Illustrator’s calligraphic brushes. Finally, I created a slide for every pose in Storyline.



Design a Cover for an odd eLearning training title

This week the eLearning Challenge was one of the most popular and funniest ever. The objective of Challenge #73 was to:

  • make up an odd or silly title for an e-learning course
  • design a course cover slide using your silly title

After checking some Training Course’s Titles in various websites, I decided to come up with something related to the Workplace Safety.

Every company should protect employees with safety training courses. No matter if it is a big industry or a small office; these courses must help employees identify potential hazards in their workplace.

The title for the Cover I designed is “Hazard Hunters”, referring to the fact of being alert to detect and prevent different types of hazards. The font I chose for the Title is Stencil Font, commonly used for army-themed texts.ELHChallenge#73-Odd-cover

Most common hazards would be included in this Safety Course, so on this Cover, every category would be represented by an icon and colour.


Types of Characters used in e-Learning

What types of Characters can we use in our e-learning courses? How can we use them effectively? Do photographic Characters have a greater impact than a cartoon figure?

I became interested to learn more about this topic especially after checking Weekly challenge nº18. I searched the web trying to find some guidelines. Starting from the basics, I created a short presentation, with some comments about the main characters used in e-learning: doodles, pictograms, humanoids, icons, silhouettes, cliparts and people cut out images.

Click on the image below:

Characters_used_elearning-v2You can download this presentation from SlideShare

What I learned about this topic is that there are no fixed rules when choosing a character for our online course, it depends among other things; on the type of content, the learner’s needs, and the budget we have. However, after reading some blog posts, I’d like to highlight some personal conclusions:

  • Characters are used to illustrate a concept or to engage the learners; providing them guidance and feedback.
  • Simple characters like doodles, humanoids or pictograms, work great to represent abstract concepts, processes and instructions, because learners focus on the information rather than on the character’s details.
  • Silhouettes are good option to create contrast and stand out an object or a character. They’re also race neutral so we can add them if our content must respect diversity.
  • Cliparts have evolved from the first styles similar to pictograms, to the more detailed images that we can find today. Like any other vector image, their versatility to be customized makes them a good option to create something quickly.
  • Cut out people in different poses and expressions, are ideal to appeal to the emotions, and to work on behavioral changes.

Resources I used:

Flat-book template by Tom Kuhlmann

Images source is mentioned at the end of the presentation.

Learn more:

Video: Characters in e-Learning by Tara Bryan


Call Center training in e-Learning: the Tourist Office

Weekly Challenge #47 was about creating a Call Center interaction. In the same vein of previous participations, I designed a demo for Travel and Tourism training area.

As I’m planning to visit Barcelona next year, I thought it was a good opportunity to create the demo including information about the main touristic attractions. I imagined a Tourist Office scenario, where the tourist agent offers different guided tours. I found free images of two ladies talking by phone, cut them out; and played around with poses, combining expressions and dialogs in the timeline.

Click on the image, and answer the call!








Resources used for this demo:

Images of Barcelona:

Guided tours mentioned in this demo, are based on Barcelona Turisme website, the official organization of tourist promotion of Barcelona.

This demo is also available  in Spanish