Course Navigation Alternatives and Using Sound Effects in e-Learning

The Challenge

There are so many different ways you can design course navigation. The Articulate e-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #144 challenged participants to avoid using the dreaded Next button. I loved this challenge as I try to avoid using the Next and Previous buttons when I can, particularly the standard ones in Storyline.

UPDATE: The Articulate-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #242 challenged participants to share examples of how they use audio, music and sound effects in e-Learning to make e-Learning more engaging. This demo definitely fits into this challenge profile.

E-learning audio is more than voice-over narration. Audio includes audio interviews, ambient sounds, natural sound effects, and background music. Used effectively, these can help draw in learners, focus their attention, and fuel their imaginations. 

E-Learning Challenges

Crime Scene Investigation

Click on the image to view the demo

Fortunately I had previously put a lot of development time into this demo before this challenge was posted. With a small amount of tweaking, this demo now showcases how you can navigate a linear course without any next or previous buttons.

The Design

I went back to my previous demo on “Developmental Stages of Teams” and saved the settings I used for the player as a custom Storyline player – then imported this custom player into my new Storyline file. This is a great time-saver – just one tip on this – don’t fill in the “Title” under Features, as this gets included as part of the course player. If you’re collaborating with other developers on modules for a course, you can also choose to “Export” your course player (as an .xml file) so others can “Import” it.

The Result

I retained the original design concept of this demo, which focuses on using compelling imagery and audio sound files throughout the scenario to create a real-life, engaging learning experience from the first screen to the last.

Interactive elements used for navigation include not only clicking on relevant visual imagery, but drag-and-drop and even a slider to select an answer choice and move on in the scenario. Limited visual content prompts direct the learner to some extent, but a level of self-exploration is required to navigate the scenario screens successfully.

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