During a recent Rapid e-Learning Design course, one of my students asked if it would be possible to create a “parking lot” space where her learners could write notes as they went through the course. She also asked if they would then be able to see a summary of those notes at the end of the course and print them for their review.
Although there are many different ways to design something like this, most options will likely involve some use of text variables. After doing some further experimenting in Storyline 2, I came up with this simple solution for taking notes throughout the course: View Example or Download Project File.
Building a Space for the Learner’s Notes
Here are the steps I used in this kayak safety course example. First, build a new scene with a new slide and name both of them. I have named both the new scene and the new slide “Sticky Notes.”
On this new slide, insert spaces for the learner’s notes. These should include Data Entry text boxes that you can insert from the Controls button. I used a sticky note design, but feel free to experiment with what look at feel works best for you. I also included a scrolling panel in my example so that the learner has the space they might need for additional notes.
Naming the Text Entry Boxes and Variable
Naming is a key step in this build! Remember, text entry boxes automatically create a text variable when they are built, so once you have all your data entry text boxes in place, be sure to name each text box in the Timeline and its corresponding variable in the Variables panel.
For example, “Note #4 Text Entry” box on the timeline has a corresponding variable of “Note4TextEntry” in the variable panel. This prevents additional confusion later!
Add the Note Elements to the Scrolling Panel
Select the individual note elements and drag them into the scrolling panel on this slide.
Tip: You may find it helpful to use the scale in the lower right to zoom the slide out to accomplish this. It may also be a good idea to insert these elements one at a time to avoid confusion.
Note: I built this example using a lightbox slide trigger from a Player Tab. You could also build a similar effect using a button or a slide. It’s up to you; remember, there’s more than one way to achieve an effect in Storyline!
Building the Lightbox Trigger and Player Tab
Open the Player and build a new Player Tab by choosing the “Add” button from the Features menu. I named mine “Parking Lot Notes”. You will also need to add a trigger to show the appropriate slide when the learner clicks this new tab. I have mine set to lightbox the Sticky Notes Slide (Slide 2.1).
Create a Summary Slide
This slide is where learners see all the notes they added and will more than likely be at the end of the course. This slide can be part of the original scene or created within its own scene. I have elected to add this slide as part of its own “Summary Scene” and have named the slide “Travel Journal.”
Now, we need to add a place to show our learner’s individual notes. You can do this by creating text boxes and inserting the individual variable references for each text variable. I have done this again using the Sticky Notes theme.
Now publish and play the entire course. Pretty neat, huh?
As I mentioned earlier, this is only one option for creating a notes section…there are more! I hope this gives you some ideas for what to do with your upcoming courses. Good luck and let me know what questions or comments you have.
And remember, with Storyline, if you build it, they will learn!
Update: Please note that the interface of the faster new trigger workflow (in Storyline 360 update 3.33.20625.0 or later) will appear slightly different! While the process is the same, this article uses screen captures from the classic trigger workflow.