Most of my experience with authoring tools up to this point in my instructional design role has been with Adobe Captivate and Camtasia, so this past week I wanted to expand on that by taking a deep dive into Storyline. In this post, I describe some of the resources I’ve found helpful in getting started with Storyline and show some of my work in screenshots. I hope to later add more polished Storyline samples to my portfolio than what I’m able to display here.


Devlin Peck’s “How to Learn Articulate Storyline 360” video served as my starting point. Devlin recommends starting with the Articulate 360 User Guide to learn the basic features and then moving create simple projects to learn the more intermediate tools in Storyline. So this is the process that I followed this past week. I walked through the user guide and then began creating Devlin’s recommended simple projects that enabled me to gain a better understanding of tab interaction, custom drag-drop-interaction, custom slide and feedback masters, built-in quiz with results screen and a custom menu. Another resource I consulted in this process was David Anderson’s video, “The 5 Most Popular E-Learning Templates in Articulate Storyline 360.” I found this video helpful in understanding the basic steps in manipulating states, triggers and tab interaction for my simple projects.

Simple Projects

In these projects I’m using ultramarathon running for my topic because I’m in the process of training for my first ultramarathon. However, I’m not devoting any effort to make these projects aesthetically or visually appealing. My focus is strictly on exploring these more intermediate features of Storyline.

Tabbed Interaction

For my first simple project, I recreated the tab interaction that David Anderson describes in his video. I created basic rectangular tabs at the bottom of the base slide and used slide layers. This project also utilized the ‘hover’ and ‘selected’ states feature to activate the tabs so that they are highlighted when clicked on. My final task was to activate the triggers for each one of the tabs by telling Storyline what to do when each tab is clicked.

Below is a screenshot of the project in the preview screen. The ‘Blister Prevention’ button has been selected, so the matching slide layer appears on the screen.

Drag-Drop Interactions

Creating drag-drop interactions is a great way to assess learner’s understanding of content. In this sample project I used images of a different items that you would need or not need on your first ultramarathon. This project helped me to practice converting a slide to a free form question to enable the drag and drop menu. Within the drag and drop menu I was able to align different items with the correct corresponding object, which in this case was either the duffel bag or the trash can. The configuring of the drag and drop items is displayed in the screenshot below.

I utilized the states feature for correct and incorrect selection and then created a green border and shadow to indicate a correct selection and then a red shadow for an incorrect selection. I also implemented David Anderson’s tip on how to create a reset after someone has made an incorrect selection. The screenshot below displays how the correct and incorrect states provide immediate feedback to the user. In this case, the body glide should be added to the duffel bag and is highlighted with a red shadow to indicate to the learner that the selection is incorrect.

Creating a Custom Menu

The next small project I worked on was to create a custom menu in Storyline. I set up four different chapters and used Storyline’s buttons to that come with predetermined states. I added the additional state of “completed” so that when a learner completes all the activities for a specific chapter they are directed back to the menu and see their chapter is checked off. One of the videos I found helpful in learning how to set up the correct variables and states was Jeff Kortenbosch’s “Create a menu with completed states in Articulate Storyline.” I basically adapted what he did in his video to my menu.

Below is my brief walkthrough of my custom menu that I created for this project.

Creating a Quiz and Feedback Slides

I created a simple 3-question slide for this project. Instead of using one of Storyline’s quizzes, I created my own by using the insert free form slide and selecting the “pick one” to enable multiple choice from the different boxes.

I also inserted a results slide to display the results of the quiz, which in this case is only a single slide. The last thing that I did was add an additional hover state and format the color of the selected and hover states on each one of the answer choice boxes on the slide. Below is a screenshot of the final project.

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