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Articulate Challenges

Triage Training

This is my submission to Articulate’s Medical #ELHChallenge 69. Click the image below to view the demo.

For this challenge, I combined GoAnimate whiteboard animation with Storyline 360 to create Triage Training.

GoAnimate was used to create the video portion, and Storyline 360 was used to create the quiz question. The Storyline player is also used to contain resources for the learner. In an actual course, the Storyline player could be used for navigation, and to organize branching scenarios to tailor the course to each learner’s needs.

I’ve found that courses using the whiteboard animation technique can be very engaging, and the technique works well for both serious and lighter topics.

Authoring Tools: GoAnimate, Storyline 360

Updated: 6/3/18


Your Weight on Other Worlds

Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenge #200 is: How Are You Using Lightbox Slides in E-Learning? Click the image below to view my demo: What Would You Weigh on Other Worlds?

Lightbox Slides

Using a lightbox slide gives eLearning course developers a way to present learners with additional information and/or resources, without leaving the current slide. In my demo, learners type in their weight on earth in the numeric entry box.

Next, they click on a planet to open a lightbox that reveals what they would weigh on that planet, and includes some interesting facts about the planet in question.

Making Storyline Calculate the Learner’s Weight on Various Planets

For this to function, I needed to create some variables, and tell Storyline to perform various functions with the variables.

Step #1: Create the needed number variables. In this case, I used: yourWeight, and a variable for each planet: mars, jupiter, etc.

Step #2: Create triggers that tell Storyline what to do with the variables. On the Planets screen, I created a trigger that sets the value of yourWeight to the typed value in the numeric entry box.

On each lightbox screen, I created triggers to assign each planet’s variable the same value as yourWeight. Next, I created triggers to tell Storyline to multiply the value of the planet’s variable by the value necessary for each planet.

Authoring tools for this presentation: Storyline 360, Plotagon for creating the animated video introduction, and Camtasia for video editing.

Storyline Blocks in Rise

Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenge #193 asks the question: How Are You Using Storyline Blocks in Rise?

Click the image below to view the demo.

Responsive Courses

Rise is one of the apps in the Articulate 360 suite of eLearning applications. It allows eLearning developers to quickly create responsive courses that look great when viewed on desktops, laptops, tablets, or phones. The best part is, as an eLearning designer you don’t have to make layout adjustments manually; the program does that for you automatically.

The course on a desktop computer:

The course on mobile devices:

Why include Storyline blocks in a Rise course?

The Storyline block feature in Rise allows course designers to include custom multimedia interactions. In this case, I created animated video scenarios using Plotagon animation, and edited the videos with Camtasia. I used Storyline to include quiz questions superimposed on top of the videos at the end of each scenario.

Creating Animated Scenarios Using Plotagon

Plotagon is a fun and easy-to-use application for creating animated videos. In the application, you are limited to two characters who can participate in a dialogue for any given scene. I get around this by creating separate scenes set in the same location, with new characters and camera angles. Then, I edit the separate scenes in Camtasia, and voilà! I can have as many characters as I like interact with one another. In the bar scene in this demo, I had 5 characters interact in one scene.

Authoring tools for this presentation: Storyline 360, Articulate Rise, Plotagon for creating animated videos, Camtasia for video editing

Escape the Room

Help Diego escape his cubicle! Diego’s evil boss has locked him in his glass cubicle for failing to properly format his TPS report. Don’t you just hate that when it happens?!

This demo is my submission to Articulate’s Designing Escape the Room Puzzle Games in E-Learning Challenge #198.

Graphic Design with PowerPoint

I used PowerPoint image editing tools to create the graphics for this presentation.


Animation & Video Editing Tools

The animated video in the demo was created with the Plotagon animation application, then edited with Camtasia video editing software. I imported the short video into Articulate Storyline 360 module.

Updated 6/4/18.

Tabs Navigation – ELH Challenge #199

4 Benefits of Donating Blood is my submission to Articulate’s Challenge: Common E-Learning Interactions: Tabs Navigation (2018) #199

Leveraging a Free Tabs Download

I created this new tabs interaction by revamping a free tabs template download created and made available on the Articulate community website by Montse Anderson.

The Benefits of Fruits template is a Storyline 2 template. I upgraded the template to Storyline 360, then changed the colors, fonts, graphics, text, and added text-to-speech audio with background music.

Free Downloads!

Download the Storyline 360 template by clicking here: Tabs Navigation

I used the font Caviar Dreams for the text. To create the cartoon characters, I used the fonts Kartoon Kutz, and Kartoon Kutz 2. Download all three fonts: 3 Fonts

I used PowerPoint to create the cartoon images from Kartoon Kutz fonts. Get the PowerPoint file by clicking here: Font Characters


In The Rapid E-Learning Blog, author Tom Kuhlmann created a great tutorial showing how to create free icons and images using fonts: Create Free Icons and Images in PowerPoint Using Dingbat Fonts

Authoring tools: Storyline 360, PowerPoint

Who has the Right of Way?!

Who has the Right of Way?! is my submission to Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes Challenge #195: How Can Learners Choose Their Own Avatars in E-Learning?


In this learning game example, the user selects an avatar that is used throughout the game. The the game is also personalized with the user’s name.

Answering the questions correctly is the way to earn points and earn a Right of Way Expert badge.

Authoring Tools: GoAnimate (for the animated video background), and Storyline 360.

Updated 6/4/18.

Adaptive Learning Paths in E-Learning #196

Is tending bar better than attending business school for developing leadership skills?

The Leadership Skill Training quiz is my submission to Articulate’s ELH Challenge #196: Designing Adaptive Learning Paths in E-Learning:

“With adaptive learning, one or more parts of the course will adapt to the skill level of the learners. Learners who demonstrate mastery early in the course could move faster through the course and be presented with more advanced scenarios and quizzes.

On the other hand, learners who underperform would move more slowly through the course and be presented with more practice opportunities and foundational information.”

How the Quiz Adapts

After each answer, learners receive immediate feedback.

Learners who answer the first four questions correctly are taken to a Results slide that declares them experts. They do not need any more practice with this skill.

Learners who miss one or more of the first four questions automatically continue on with the quiz to answer a total of eight questions. If they do not pass the quiz, they have the opportunity to retry the quiz.

Conditional Branching

“Using conditional branching, learners who score below a determined point value will branch to a remediation scene where they’ll have additional practice activities. …The branching is transparent to the learner so they don’t even know they’re seeing different content from the other learners.”

To create the conditional branching, I set up a series of slide triggers to tell Storyline where the learner should be taken, based on their accumulated score points, and whether this was their first or second attempt at the quiz.


Below is the quiz storyboard (a road map of the quiz), which shows how the quiz is set up.

Authoring Tool: Storyline 360

Software Simulation: How much is your time worth?


Articulate Challenge #144: Slide, Drag, and Hover Past Boring Next Buttons 


This ELH Challenge is about creating a navigation structure without using the ubiquitous NEXT button to move viewers from slide to slide. The module I created is called How much is your time worth?, and there is no NEXT button in sight.

The Business Problem Addressed 


A fictional healthcare provider, SoCal Solutions Healthcare, wants to encourage their members to use their online healthcare portal, rather than always phoning Customer Service for information and to make appointments.  This module seeks to describe the benefits of using the website rather than the phone to take care of most of the members’ needs, and it also gives the members some practice in using the website to accomplish a simple task. 

Slider Navigation




The first part of the module uses a Storyline 2* innovation, the slider, to advance the viewer from layer to layer on the introduction slide. The introduction describes the problem of phoning Customer Service for help – the long wait on hold that can be a frustrating waste of time.

*I’ve since updated the module to Storyline 360 – 11.28.17.

Software Simulation




The second half of the module is a software simulation, where the user must perform the correct action in order to advance the slide. I used Storyline’s screen capture function to record my keystrokes and mouse movements as I completed the software task, and converted the video produced into a timed quiz format. Viewers get pop-up hints to help them complete the task in under two minutes.

I used the built-in Storyline quiz timer in the top right of the screen to help motivate the learner to complete the task quickly. 

Authoring Tools: Photoshop (to create comic book effects for the images in the Introduction section), Storyline 360

Creative Image Effects – Challenge #156


This is my entry for Articulate’s E-Learning ELH Challenge #156: Creative Image Effects for Stock Photos in E-Learning. Click the image above to view the Mad Men-inspired demo.

Tutorial/PowerPoint Download

I used PowerPoint to create the comic book photo effects shown in the demo, using the steps shown below. To download the PowerPoint Photo Effects Step-by-Step zip folder, click here.

Authoring Tools: PowerPoint, Articulate Presenter 360

Another Medical Template FREEBIE!

This is another entry for Articulate’s E-Learning ELH Challenge #171: Course Starter Templates for the Healthcare Industry. The template is fully customizable. I based the template on the Articulate 360 Journey template, available in the 360 Content Library. I changed the color scheme on the PowerPoint slide master, and added new graphics, some animations and slide transitions. The process was remarkably fast and easy!

Click on the image above to view the demo. 


There are two versions of the medical template available to download in a zip folder; one version is a PowerPoint file, and the other is an Articulate Presenter file. If you don’t have Articulate Presenter, you can still use the PowerPoint file on its own, or import it into Storyline or Captivate.

Download the zip folder:

Authoring Tools: PowerPoint, Articulate Presenter 360

Using E-Learning to Teach Foreign Languages – ELH #179

This e-learning example is a response to Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes Challenge #179: Using E-Learning to Teach Foreign Languages. The challenge was to create a language training course interaction.

Re-purposing an Existing Template

To quickly create this interaction, I used the Freebie FAQs Storyline Template that I give away on my website. I changed the colors of the template on the Storyline master slide to reflect the colors of the French flag.

Cartoon Techniques

To create the cartoons of the French man & woman in this interaction, I used some of the techniques I’ve employed in previous tutorials, using PowerPoint shapes and drawing tools:

Authoring tools for this presentation: Storyline 360, PowerPoint


FREEBIE: Construction Theme E-Learning Template #183

This is an entry for Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes Challenge #183 – Course Starters: Construction Theme E-Learning Templates. Click on the image above to view the demo.

I leveraged the trusty Articulate Content Library and some of my old Storyline 2 presentations to create this course starter template. The themes available in the Content Library are easy to customize, and you can replace the generic images with specific photos from the content library to suit your needs. I added animations, and used PowerPoint to create some visual effects on some of the images.

FREEBIE Download:

The Construction Course Starter Template is compatible with Storyline 360 & Storyline 3.

Click to download:

Authoring Tools: PowerPoint (for editing images), Storyline 360

Teaching with Plotagon Animation

How Are Course Designers Using Educational Animations?

Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenge #76 is about creating educational animations. My entry demonstrates how teachers can use animation tools, such as Plotagon, in the the classroom to engage students in learning.


In my example, a Driver’s Education instructor would have a class discussion about the most important defensive driving tips. Allow students to express their own views on the driving issues they believe are the most critical. Next, allow students to create short videos concerning the tips they determine are most important. Devote a class period to watching and discussing the videos the students create!


To create my animated video example, I used Plotagon, an application that allows users to easily turn written text into animated videos. I inserted the Plotagon mp.4 video into a PowerPoint presentation, to add some text overlay at the beginning and the end of the video:

Then, I published the PowerPoint as a video presentation and uploaded it to YouTube:

Authoring Tools: Plotagon, PowerPoint

New Articulate 360 Rise Feature: Storyline Blocks!

Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenge #193 asks the question: How Are You Using Storyline Blocks in Rise?

Rise, one of the apps in the Articulate 360 suite of eLearning applications, allows eLearning developers to quickly create responsive courses. In October of last year, I was excited to learn that it was now possible to include Storyline lessons in Rise, using the Storyline block feature.

I played around with the new feature and created an Articulate Rise demo using the new Storyline block function:

Click to view the Articulate Rise demo.

 These are the steps I took to create the Rise lesson:

Step 1 – Create 3 one-slide Storyline video/recipe cards (cookies, cobbler, & brownies). Publish each to Articulate Review.

This is what the brownie video/recipe card looks like by itself in Articulate Review:

Click to view the Storyline module in Articulate Review.

The recipe icon is a Storyline marker that triggers the recipe’s state to change from hidden to normal.


The print icon has an “execute javascript” trigger to print the recipe to a pdf.


The “video” is a series of photos I edited in Camtasia, using some zoom animation effects.

Step 2 – Create the Rise course, & customize with a cover photo.

Step 3 – Add one image/text block lesson:

Step 4 – Select and add the three Storyline block lessons (available to select because I published them in Articulate Review first).

I think the addition of the new Storyline block lesson feature makes it much easier to rapidly create versatile, responsive eLearning courses in Rise. What’s your verdict?

Update: Since this post was originally uploaded last October 2017, I’ve used the Storyline block in one of the Rise courses I developed for a client. I inserted a Storyline learning game I created, called Who has the Right-of-Way? into an online Driver’s Ed course.

Authoring tools for this presentation: Storyline 360, Articulate Rise, PowerPoint, Camtasia


Rotoscoping Animation for E-Learning Courses #167

Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes Challenge #167 is all about creating a rotoscoping animation demo for e-learning courses. To see my demo, click the image below.

I had actually never heard the term “rotoscoping animation” before, but when the classic Take On Me music video from the ’80s was referenced, I recalled the cool hand-drawn animation effect that was used.

Rotoscoping is a technique used by animators, where they trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, when realistic action is required. I wanted to try to replicate the effect. The problem is, it takes a long time to do that!

Since I don’t have time to spend several hours on producing this effect for e-learning, I tried using a shortcut involving PowerPoint’s Artistic Effects filters. 


I created my “rotoscoping animation” effect in less than half an hour! To view the tutorial on how I did it, click the image below.

Authoring Tools: PowerPoint 2016, Storyline 360

ELH Challenge 174: Random Word Generator

This is my entry for Articulate’s E-Learning ELH Challenge # 174Using JavaScript to Create Random Word Generators in E-Learning.

Click the image below to give the Fairytale Generator a spin!



To use the generator, simply click each button as many times as you need to choose your desired components: characters, locations, and actions. Clicking the buttons will generate random words or phrases for each category.

Then, click NEXT to view your customized fairytale. Want to make changes? Click PREV to go back to change the components, then advance the slide again to see how your fairytale has changed.


The generator uses JavaScript to generate the random words. Matthew Bibby has a great, easy-to-follow tutorial on Generating Random Words or Phrases in Storyline on the Articulate E-Learning Heroes community website, along with downloads you can use. I followed his method closely to create my demo!

Authoring Tools: Articulate Storyline 360

E-Learning Noir: Using Only Black and White in Course Design

This is my entry for Articulate’s E-Learning ELH Challenge #172. Click the image below to view the demo.

This challenge is all about creating an e-learning module in black and white. Storyline 360 makes it easy to customize an existing template with lightening speed! I chose a template from the Articulate Content Library, then applied a gray-scale color scheme to the slide master and feedback master.

A bit of tweaking was necessary to get the colors just right, primarily with the text. I added some entrance animations and slide transitions to the slides. Next, I applied a subtle glow effect to the characters on several slides.


I created a short black and white animated video to go on the media slide, using Vyond animation (formerly GoAnimate).

We don’t need no stinkin’ colors!

A FREEBIE Template
  • To download the customizable Storyline 360 template, click here: Basic Black

Authoring Tools: Articulate Storyline 360, Vyond animation

FREEBIE Health Care Tabs Template

This is yet another entry for Articulate’s E-Learning ELH Challenge #171: Course Starter Templates for the Healthcare Industry. This Storyline 360 template can be customized to suit your needs.

Select the image below to view the demo.

For this health care tabs template, I used the “scrubbed” font below to create characters with a medical theme.


Using PowerPoint, I added color to each font picture, before uploading them to the Storyline template.

Download the the FREEBIE:
E-Learning Hero Inspiration

This template was inspired by Trina Rimmer’s Storyline tabs template, available at:

Authoring Tools: PowerPoint, Articulate Storyline 360

Hand-Crafted Explainer Videos – Articulate Challenge #170

Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes Challenge #170 is to create and share your own “hand-crafted” explainer video, similar to a Common Craft style video. Select the image below to view my demo.

The idea is to draw the images on paper, cut them out with scissors, and film your hand-drawn images as you move them about by hand. Record your e-learning script and add your narration to complete the e-learning module.

Use Analog Tools?!

Common Craft - Tools of the Trade

Pens, markers, rulers, scissors… I had a few challenges with this challenge!

  1. I can’t draw,
  2. I don’t own a tripod, and
  3. I don’t have the time necessary to use this approach.

So I decided to create my own version of a quick Common Craft style video, using some of my trusty computer tools:

  • Common Craft cutout icons

  • PowerPoint – to customize the Common Craft icons, and use the PowerPoint Pen tool to draw the Mona Lisa.

  • Vyond, to animate the characters
  • Storyline 360, to add the audio narration and publish the module for the web
  • PowerPoint, to draw the Mona Lisa

Greenery – Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year

Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes Challenge #154 is to use Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery, in designing an e-learning module. I customized a Storyline 360 e-learning template, using the Greenery color. Click the image below to view the demo.

I also designed a short course with Articulate RISE, featuring Greenery.

Click to download the Freebie Storyline 360 Template:

Bonus tip! Check out and download David Anderson’s cool Color Tint and Shade Generator!

Authoring Tools: Articulate RISE, Articulate Storyline 360


Visual Storytelling with Photo Collages #27

Click the image to see the colorful interaction.

For the E-Learning Heroes Challenge #27, Visual Storytelling with Photo Collages, I decided to use the labeled graphic lesson format in Articulate RISE to display my “collage.”

I used PowerPoint to create a comic-book slide, using colorized Kartoon Kutz font characters for images. Then I saved the slide as an image, and used that as the basis of my labeled graphic interaction.

Authoring Tools: PowerPoint 2016, Articulate RISE


Freebie – ELH #165 E-Learning Graphics Using Free Font Icons

View the Demo

Articulate’s ELH Challenge #165 is to create custom e-learning graphics using free font icons. Click the image below to see a Storyline 360 demo of my challenge entry.

Download the Freebie!

Get the editable PowerPoint file by clicking here:

Authoring Tools for this demo: PowerPoint 2016, Articulate Storyline 360