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  • Writer's pictureHeather Saigo

Learning Storyline 360 and Launching My First Project

Updated: 4 days ago

Learning new software can be daunting, but I love trying new learning technologies. My current obsession is Storyline 360, part of the Articulate 360 suite of instructional design apps. This program is powerful and really enjoyable to use. By watching tutorials, using community resources, and drawing on my previous experience with other design and game development programs, I have created my first project. It is not perfect, but as a lifelong learner and educator, I am sharing this "first draft" as a way to overcome the paralysis that can come with pressure to be perfect. Part of the instructional design process is prototyping and iteration, so here we go!

My Learning Journey with Storyline 360

When I first embarked on this learning adventure, I immersed myself in the wealth of tutorials and blog posts from Articulate 360 and the generous, talented community of users. The interface felt familiar -- bearing similarities to PowerPoint -- and I was able to leverage my background in website design and GameMaker to understand object states and triggers. When I ran into unfamiliar features, the online documentation and user contributions from the Storyline 360 community made it easy to find answers to my questions. Each challenge turned into an opportunity to learn something new, and I found myself increasingly comfortable navigating the platform's interactive features.

Introducing the Streak Plate Procedure Activity

This project, the Streak Plate Procedure e-learning module, is designed to introduce or review the basic microbiology skill of creating a streak plate. This lesson guides learners through a sequence of steps to ensure a successful outcome, using Storyline 360's interactive features to keep the content engaging.

Key Features of the Streak Plate Procedure e-Learning Activity

  • Flip cards to introduce materials and define key terms.

  • Video demonstration of the skill in real-world context.

  • Audio voiceover for explanation to enhance on-screen text.

  • Drag-and-drop interactions to simulate the streak plating process.

The Instructional Design Process

Before beginning, I determined that this activity would be used as an introduction or simple review of the streak plate procedure. I decided to keep the goals simple, since I only had a short time to design and develop the project during the free trial period of the software. Accordingly, the learning goals would be placed in the remember and understand levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Since it is an introduction, this activity does not include a summative assessment.

Using backward design, I began by defining the learning goals:

  1. Understand the purpose of creating a streak plate.

  2. Describe the steps involved in creating a streak plate.

From these goals, I worked backwards to map out the sequence of information presentation and designed activities to guide learners through the process. In this project, I did not consult an outside subject matter expert, since I was drawing on personal expertise.

Using Canva, I created a storyboard to visualize the lesson and wrote the voiceover script concurrently. I used graphic elements to build a science-themed background that would set the scene without distracting from the active objects. I created custom graphics to depict changes in the petri dish at different stages in the streaking process.

Next, I built a prototype in Storyline 360

As I constructed the slides, I was able to preview and test activities frequently. I practiced creating flip cards and drag-and-drop interactions. I designed graphics with different appearances for objects in normal, hover, and dropped states. I had a blast learning how to use Storyline 360's animation, interaction, and navigation features.

Review and Iteration

Once I had a complete draft prepared, I asked a science education colleague to test it. After receiving her feedback, I made some adjustments and added a voiceover track. To save time, I used the text-to-speech feature of Storyline 360. The AI voiceover was not as robotic as I thought it might be, although it is noticeably not human.

Try the Streak Plate Activity and Tell Me What You Think

My journey of learning Storyline 360 and creating this Streak Plate Procedure activity has been incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. By combining interactive elements and a structured design process, I have developed a resource that I hope educates and engages learners. While it does not replace the experience of creating a streak plate by hand, perhaps it piques the curiosity of a future microbiologist.

If you're an educator, e-learning enthusiast, or just curious about what can be done with Storyline 360, I invite you to check out my Streak Plate Procedure project. I would love to know what you think.

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