Articulate Storyline meets GoAnimate for some excellent scenario-based eLearning
Here’s a short piece I put together that shows how powerful eLearning can be when you combine an authoring tool such as Articulate Storyline with simple animated videos made from an easy to use online video production site like GoAnimate. Go ahead and click on the link to check it out.
Why I made this.
This just scratches the surface of the power of scenario-based learning. The scenario in this case is a person answering a phone in the workplace. Most everyone can relate to how a phone should be answered properly to present a professional image. That’s the scenario part. In this particular case, it turns into a sort of “choose your own adventure” by selecting what’s the persona you want to use while answering the phone. The feedback from your choice comes in the form of the reaction of the person on the other end of the line who called you.
Now granted, this is not a deep scenario. I just wanted to plant the seed for how a scenario can be used effectively for eLearning and how easy it is to create. If I wanted to use this scenario to teach someone proper phone etiquette in the workplace, I would add several branches and sequels to this scenario. For example, if you choose to answer the phone in an unprofessional manner the result could lead to the caller reporting you to your manager which then results in your manager visiting you for some “remediation.” This lets the scenario play out depending on the action you selected in the beginning.
How I made this.
I used two tools to make this eLearning module. I used Articulate Storyline as the authoring tool and GoAnimate to make the animated video. I will walk you through the basic steps for production.
Let’s start with GoAnimate. This is a great online video production tool that I use to make a lot of my scenario based eLearning. Here’s what you need: an idea storyboarded out; and your recorded narration. In this case I made four very short videos. The intro video and the three possible choices the learner could select from.
Here’s a screenshot of the work area from GoAnimate for my intro video.
Notice that this is timeline based like most authoring tools are. The timeline will contain various scenes which can hold the different poses and actions of the characters as well as different backdrops and audio.
In this case I had three scenes for this intro video. The first scene had the guy working on his computer. I added a computer keyboard sound to this scene. The second scene had the phone ringing. I added a ringing sound to this scene. The third scene had the guy answering the phone. All of these animations are prebuilt in GoAnimate so it’s just a matter of selecting your character, selecting the items you want in each scene from their library (desk, computer, phone, cube walls, etc) and then select the pre-built animation you want for the character.
You can preview your video at any time by clicking on the Preview button at the top of the screen. You can also save your project by clicking on the Save button. When you are ready to actually publish the video select the SAVE AND SHARE> option.
You then have options of how you want to share the video. I like to select the Export your video option by selecting the first icon in that row. This will cause GoAnimate to produce an mp4 video format that you can then download for use in your Storyline page.
The last selection I make is the resolution for the video. For all the videos I use for Storyline I select at the HD 720p setting. This seems to work just fine for any of my online videos. When the video is finished and ready for download you will receive an email from GoAnimate with a link that takes you to the download page. It’s that simple.
Let me wrap up the GoAnimate portion with briefly how I built the other three “response” videos. Each response video has the same four scenes. The only difference is the audio that is attached to the guy that is played when he answers the phone. In order to attach the audio to the character you click on the character and then the Voice tab to upload your narrated audio file. The character will then auto lip synch when the audio is played. Pretty neat concept and very easy to do.
The only other change I make is the final scene to the old guy who makes either a cranky or happy expression. This is another setting that you can select from that is pre-made.
So I have three of these response videos that I published in the same manner as described above for the intro video. Once I have all four videos downloaded I move on to Storyline to put it all together.
I used one page in my Storyline project. This page holds all four videos. The intro video is on the main timeline and the three response videos are on three separate layers that appear when the learner clicks on the appropriate response button. This is a very simple and clean layout. The screenshot below shows the setup.
The only other thing I added in Storyline was a thought bubble to the old man at the end of each response video that had him thinking either he liked the guy’s service or he did not. I could have added the bubbles in GoAnimate when I was making the videos, but I thought I would do it this way so you could see that once you have the videos in Storyline you can continue to enhance them with elements from Storyline.
So there you have it. That’s how I rapidly built this simple example of how we can use animated scenarios to enhance eLearning. If you have any comments or feedback or want additional information, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Schwind is an avid eLearning designer and developer. Story-based scenario eLearning is his passion.