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Mlearning with Articulate Storyline (vs Adobe Captivate)

Recently I had a request from a client to make a current Articulate Storyline course into something that works well on a mobile phone. Gritting my teeth I decided we would have to turn to Adobe Captivate, another common authoring tool and one that apparently works well on both desktop, tablet and mobile. What a nightmare!! After going two weeks over what we thought it would take, and still struggling to produce a working product, in what had turned out to be a clunky tool, I turned back to Storyline in desperation and in a few days had a working mobile course. I thought I would share my learning on how to make storyline work on phones.

Firstly the size - Storyline is not adaptive responsive, it just shrinks - so if you want it to work on mobile, you need to make it tall and thin, or short and wide, so people can view it landscape on their phone. We went with landscape to start with because it was easier, but may change to vertical in future. The only problem with vertical is that it looks a bit strange viewed on a desktop. 1000 x 500 worked well (this will depend on what you have in the player). 

But that’s the second trick, try to take as much out of the player as you can. If I didn’t need the resources tab I would have got rid of the whole thing (this is called a chromeless player if you want to google how to do it). We took out the prev, next and submit buttons and created custom arrows that were big and easy to touch on a mobile. I used hotspot quiz options that submitted on click of the hotspot. 

And thirdly, we took any audio and images which we wanted to go with the muted foreign accented videos, and re edited the video so it was just one media file. When I published, I ticked HTML5 and I reduced the audio to 64kbps.

Its important to note that this was a minimal text course - ideal for mobile - videos, large pictures or icons with minimal text to go with audio. If this was a normal course, I would have had to do a lot of content chunking and chucking to make it work. But it does work - which is the important thing here. Many people, myself included, have said that Storyline doesn’t work well on mobile phone, but being forced to create it by a deadline, has made me realise it can work, it just needs a bit more thought and effort.It might be time for us to start moving away from the default player and resizing our courses - so when our client says “Now I want this to be mobile friendly”, we can say, no problem, it already is.

Admin - 14:18:31 | 24 comments



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