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Storyline and Master Slides

Alright, time for some classic eLearning development discussion!

In the last few blogs, I have been discussing our experiences and lessons learned in the realm of 360 eLearning videos, but since here at Pathways, we are still designing and developing lots of classic (and very interesting) eLearning modules.

Of course, we always strive to take our products to the next level, making good use of the tools and even extending their functionality with external tools. However, the challenges we encounter along the way, don’t always come from using external tools, but also from core (and some times basic) features. I often find myself wondering, when using Articulate Storyline, whether I should or shouldn’t use master slides in my projects.

First, let’s define what a master slide is, for those of you who aren’t very familiar with the tool. Simply put, a Master Slide, is a slide containing elements (e.g. Images, shapes, text boxes, etc.) that can be used as a template throughout an eLearning module. For example, if you have several sections, and the title screen for all of them look the same, you can easily create a master slide and just use that template when necessary, that way you won’t have to recreate the same look and feel every time you need it. Pretty cool, right?

However, is it always a “must” to use these master slides? After my years of experience with Articulate Storyline, my answer is, it depends. Depends on the project, on the graphic design and on the instructional design. I have found that in different projects there isn’t a slide that repeats itself to the point that it is easier to just create a master slide, some other projects have a potential to use master slides, with some minor customization.

Like I always say, every project is different and it is important to always assess the scope and requirements at the beginning, to define exactly what tools and what features from these tools are useful for successfully developing an eLearning module.

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