DevLearn 2018 DemoFest Recap: Winning Project: Best Academic Solution

This year was the first year that I have participated in DemoFest through the E-Learning Guild. If you’re unfamiliar, they liken it to a science fair for e-learning projects. Basically, a bunch of demonstrators are set up around the grand ballroom with their projects, and they have two hours to pitch/demo the project to as many people as possible. Those people then vote for one project in each category, and I was BESIDE MYSELF with gratitude when they announced that the project I demo’ed had won Best Academic Solution!

There were a lot of cool projects in the category (I did some recon before we started), so I thought for sure I was going to lose out to one of them. I was so surprised that when they announced the winner, I was watching the stage waiting for the winner to present themselves (typical Ashley), when the folks beside me were like “You won!!! Get up there!”. I wanted to cry. Here are some photos of me being super siked and wanting to cry…and of the awards.

So you’re probably asking yourself, “what project did she demo?!” Let me tell you all about it! The project I demonstrated was one that I had worked on for the Addiction and Mental Health graduate program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. The course itself was Group Counselling, and I demonstrated two specific interactions we created and highlighted the different technologies that we used to achieve the outcome. The project itself launches next year, so we don’t yet have student data on overall experience, but the team and reviewers are happy with the product. Below, I’ll take you through a screencast illustrating what was done.

DevLearn 2018: Session Recap and Resources – BYOD: Articulate Storyline 360: Let’s Get Variable!

Initially when I pitched this session, I thought “ooooh…a play on Let’s Get Physical…that’ll get picked up!”. I had planned on playing variations of that song in the background throughout the session…and then I read the lyrics. They are much more inappropriate than I had originally considered! OH MY!

Then I thought “maybe I’ll dress up in an 80s aerobic outfit”, but my session was at 1045am, and there was not enough morning coffee for that. Ah well! The room was packed, which is great news, and I think only about 10 folks trickled out throughout the session, so I’ll consider it a win. These sessions are always tricky because you never know what skill level folks are coming in at and it’s hard to cater to all within a one hour session, but 75% of the room had worked with variables before and they followed along very well – I was so proud!

Last time I delivered this session, I was having participants build a progress meter AND do closed captions with variables in Articulate Storyline 2 (which wasn’t a thing, so you had to do a workaround) and it was painful for them and for me. I opted out of two complex things for this session in favour of a more successful singular thing, and it paid off!

We started out with a bit of theory:

  • What are variables?
  • What variables are available in Storyline 360?
  • What can these variables do?
  • Why use variables?

I demonstrated a few examples of things you can do with (click each to download the .story file):

Then, I discussed controlling navigation using variables. I provided an example of bad controlling of navigation, and then discussed better ways of controlling navigation.

For those interested, you can download the very brief slide deck that I used here.

Finally, I had participants create a very simple progress meter. You can download the PDF walkthrough of what was done here, and you can watch me create the progress meter in the video below.