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Useful Storyline Tips and Tricks for Better elearning

I’ve been coding elearning modules using Storyline for a while now, and every now and again I find a feature or a different way to program something that could have saved me time if I’d only realized it had been in the system the whole time. Here are some of the best ones:

1. Turning off base layer objects

In the past, sometimes I’d want an object to disappear once it had been clicked on, to free up the space for the layer content. I knew of several ways to do this – I could put in a trigger to change the state of the object to Hidden when it was clicked on, however, I would also have to put in extra triggers to unhide the object once the learner left the slide or closed the layer. I could use the ‘Hide Objects on Base Layer’ option in the layer options and duplicate anything that still needed to be shown. I could make ‘blocker’ objects that were the same colour as the background to hide the item at the bottom of the layer under the content.

However, there’s an option in the timeline sidebar, where all the items on the layer are shown. At the bottom of the list of layer objects, there is a menu to show all the ‘Base Layer Objects’. This allowed me to hide any of the base layer objects I wanted when that particular layer was visible – without having to create extra objects or triggers as a workaround.

elearning object panel
Storyline timeline panel

2. Adding Animations to States

Did you know that when editing the state of an object, you can add new objects with their own animations? This is great for labels that fly out or appear in your eLearning module when an object is hovered on. In the image below, when one of the buttons is hovered on in the eLearning module, the button icon changes, and a text label scrolls out.

animated hover state
Phone button

You can also add sound effects specific to states. I get a lot of use out of putting ‘ding’ and ‘buzzer’ SFX into the ‘Drop Correct’ and ‘Drop Incorrect’ states, respectively. This gives immediate feedback without the learner having to click the ‘Submit’ button or having to read anything. This also saves on programming feedback into layers.

3. Object timing

Sometimes, when creating objects in slides with a very long timeline that you only want on screen for a few seconds, it is difficult to drag either end of the object timeline to the place you need it to be, especially when even zooming out of the slide timeline all the way still requires you to scroll. However, when you right-click on an object in the timeline, at the bottom of the menu there is a ‘Timing’ option. This creates a pop-up that allows you to set the exact start and end time for the object. This allows you to be very precise with when the object enters and exits your scene, or at the very least lets me shorten an object’s time without dragging the end for several screens.

popup to adjust timing on elearning objects
Storyline Timing window

Let us know your favourite tricks to working with Storyline to develop engaging and interactive elearning modules, or contact us to see how we can help you get the most out of the program!


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