Authoring Tools
Authoring eLearning with Articulate Storyline - How it works, Pros and Cons
Dec 1, 2022
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When you delve into there warding and creative field of developing eLearning, you want to know the bestauthoring software for your organization's learning development team. In the process of finding this, you've probably fallen down a rabbit hole or two income across Articulate Storyline in the process.


This article is going to take you through everythingyou need to understand Articulate Storyline. We'll discuss its upsides and downsides and how to get the best out of this remarkable authoring tool.


Grab your notetaking software of choice (pen and paperwork just fine!) and come get Articulate with us.


What is Articulate Storyline?


Articulate Storyline is a powerful,award-winning software created for designing interactive courses with ease. Whenyou explore the Articulate Storyline offering, you will discover two differentoptions:


·   ArticulateStoryline360


·   ArticulateStoryline 3


What's the difference between Articulate Storyline 360and Articulate Storyline 3? The difference between the two is that Articulate 360is a subscription to a suite of tools that includes Storyline360, which offers continuous feature updates and new content.


In contrast, Storyline3is a license for perpetual use with limited updates. This system is similar tobuying a Microsoft Office package versus having a Microsoft Office 365 login.


Besides Storyline 360, Articulate 360 also includessubscriptions to:


·   Rise 360: a web app for creatingfully-responsive courses


·   ContentLibrary 360: a collection of slide and character templates thatspeeds up course creation


·   Review 360: a web-based collaboration tool forcollecting feedback from stakeholders


As a suite of tools, Articulate 360 puts all of thetools and resources you need to create online learning effectively andefficiently into the palm of your hand.


Now that you know how Storyline 360 fits into theArticulate offering, we'll focus on Storyline 360 specifically.


Who is Articulate Storyline For?


You're in excellent company when using ArticulateStoryline as your authoring tool.


118,000 (and counting) make it part of their learningdevelopment strategy.


That includes every single Fortune 100 company and instructionaldesigners across 170 countries with 125 million learners.


Why do so many people trust in Articulate Storyline?Articulate Storyline prides itself on being simple enough for beginners yetpowerful enough for experts. Getting started with Articulate Storyline may seemdaunting at first. Thankfully, plenty of onlinetutorials take you from Articulate Storyline zero to hero in an houror less.


That's right; sometimes, we have to take eLearning courses to create more engaging and effectivecourses.


Do not let its user-friendly interface fool you,though. Storyline is highly customizable, allowing even the most advanceddevelopers to be creative.


What is the Best Use for Articulate Storyline?


There are very few scenarios where Articulate Storylinewon't be the authoring tool. If you need to develop a training or learningmodule that takes place in a virtual place and does not require the learner tointeract with something physically, you can create it in Storyline.


However, that doesn't mean that Storyline can't be partof a learning program that requires hands-on interaction. For this type oflearning, you can take a blended approach to training and education.Blended learning combines the best of both worlds with eLearning modules andin-person learning.


How Does Articulate Storyline Work?


When you first enter Articulate Storyline, itsinterface may remind you of Microsoft Powerpoint. This familiarity makes itincredibly accessible for developers of any experience level to learn. Afterall, most people in corporate environments use Powerpoint regularly.


Storyline creates lessons based on slides that arecombined with written instructions, audio, video, and interactivity to createcourses that engage and pull learners in. No tedious clicking through whilehaving a conversation with a co-worker here! Articulate Storyline helps youauthor helpful lessons and not just tick-box exercises in compliance.


Customization couldn't be more simple with ArticulateStoryline! Whether a developer wants to start with a blank slide as their blankcanvas or use many available slide and character templates is entirely up tothem. However, even when using the templates and pre-built interactions, youcan change things around using easy-to-use dials and sliders.


Since many studies have found learners respondpositively to quiz feedback, Articulate Storyline makes it easy to add feedbacklayers. You can make these colorful and exciting or more professional and paredback. Whichever feedback layer you choose, your learners will benefit fromtesting their knowledge.


Remember, although Articulate is a free-form editingsoftware, that doesn't mean you can't use pre-built interactions and slidetemplates as the perfect jumping-off point for your creativity. One of the mostanticipated updates to Storyline was the addition of a responsive player thateasily adapts to every possible screen and orientation—no more needing toreconfigure for every possible screen in the office.


Articulate Storyline Features


One of the best ways to discover whether a software isfor you is to look closely at what features are available. There are hundredsof features that make Storyline the fantastic piece of kit that it is.


However, we've picked some of our favorite ArticulateStoryline features for you. They are:


Intuitive User Interface: familiarity makesusing this software a breeze. Open it up and play around with it.


Content Library 360 Integration: no need tonavigate away from Storyline 360 and interrupt your workflow. All templates andstock media is right there. That's more than 9 million illustrations, icons,videos, and photographs.


Enhanced Slide Templates and Characters: thesetemplates help you create courses faster, while photographic and illustratedcharacters make lessons easy for learners to relate to.


Intuitive Visual Timeline: Trigger events appear where and when you wantthem.


Design Themes: create a slide master to create acohesive and compelling look across your entire learning.


Import Content: import existing Storyline orPowerpoint projects to upgrade with ease.


Assessments: assess learner progress viaform-based and freeform questionnaires. Give them feedback on their results viacolorful results slides.


Responsive Preview: it is essential to know howyour course will look and respond when it arrives on a learner's screen. Youcan even publish to Review 360 to collect valuable feedback from stakeholders.


cmi5 Output: One single click will publish yourcourse in cmi5, which is the newest learning management software (LMS)standard.


Learning Record Store: track progress in LRSeven without learning management software.


Accessibility: easily convert to accessibletexts and accessible semantic formatting to support a broader range oflearners.


It looks like there's not very much ArticulateStoryline isn't capable of, but we'll take a closer look at when you may wantto consider a different software in the pros and cons section of this article.After all, one software can't be best for everything. However, ArticulateStoryline comes pretty close to being everything for everyone in the eLearningauthoring field.


How much does Articulate Storyline Cost?


Choosing an authoring tool can sometimes come down to pricing.The full Articulate 360 suite costs $1,399 per user annually for teams of oneperson or more. Buying Articulate Storyline 3 as a perpetual license will cost$1,398, but you won't have access to the other software offerings in. the suiteand will only receive limited updates.


Pros of Articulate Storyline


Like most things in life, there are upsides anddownsides to working with Articulate Storyline. It's time to take a closer lookat the benefits first.


#1 Highly Customizable


When you spend time in the corporate world, you'veprobably seen many built-in features and templates flit across your eLearningscreen. While Articulate Storyline has plenty of those time-saving templates,they can be customized with ease. eLearning authors can add effects, changecontrol triggers, and modify everything to their heart's desire.


#2 Popularity


Surely the popularity of an eLearning authoringsoftware doesn't matter? You can work with the least popular authoring softwareon the market, but when you get stuck on something, you'll struggle to findgood tutorials. Articulate Storyline comes with a wealth of online informationand courses.


Since Articulate has specialized in being the numberone eLearning authoring tool, they have built a robust online community thatmakes their user base feel in control and empowered. If you ever encounter aproblem, you have world-class support at your fingertips.


#3 Easy to Understand


Please do not underestimate how helpful it is to workwith a program that has a familiar interface. The entry point to ArticulateStoryline is easy, and it is a joy to work with. You'll be developing eLearningcourses on Storyline in no time!


#4 Course Development is Quick


Creating valuable eLearning courses can be a time-intensive and laborious process. However,thanks to many pre-installed features and templates, developers can reduce howlong this process takes with Articulate Storyline.


#5 Save Time and Money


At first glance, Articulate Storyline seems like anexpensive piece of software. Creating characters with the correct expressionfor the course and brand demands vast amounts of time that could be spent onother stages of development. However, many companies and developers save timeand money due to features like a broad range of pre-set characters.


#6 Assessment Feature


When you create eLearning courses, you do not simplythrow them into the ether without checking how your learners get on with it.Thankfully, Articulate Storyline has a built-in assessment tool that gives youa 360 view of how effective your courses are and what stage of knowledge yourlearners are at.


Cons of Articulate Storyline


Are there any reasons somebody might choose analternative to Articulate Storyline? We're about to dive into the downsides ofthe authoring tool to help you make an informed choice.


#1 Too Complex for Absolute Beginners


Yes, we've just talked a lot about just how simpleArticulate Storyline is to come to terms with. Still, many of the features thatare fun for an advanced producer of eLearning content may become overwhelmingto somebody new to the role. A beginner may prefer Articulate Rise, which takes user-friendlinessto another level.


#2 High Pricing


Running a business is getting more expensive than ever,and investing in software that costs over $1,000 per license may be too muchof a drain on your finances. Taking care of the generous free trial period will give you a better senseof whether Articulate Storyline is for you.


#3 Slide-Based Lessons are Limiting

Articulate Storyline adopts the slide-based,PowerPoint-style lessons that many of us are familiar with. However, staying inthe realm of slides can limit creativity and may not work with some types oflearners. For example, many studies have examined whether slide-basedlectures are helpful. Spoiler alert: they're not. Turning students into moreactive participants boosts exam scores.


We put this in the downsides section, but slide-basedlearning can encourage self-reflection while clicking through guided learning.Additionally, some students struggle with the self-led approach other schoolsof eLearning favor; a slide-based approach can keep some types of learnersfocused.


Importantly, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to creatingeffective training plans and lessons. It's essential to look at whoyour learners are and be able to adjust your approach accordingly.


Articulate has taken on board much of the criticism of previous generations of Storyline.For example, this latest iteration has taken care of lag issues when savinglarge projects, limited language availabilities, and SCORM support.




In conclusion, Articulate Storyline is an authoringtool by eLearning software developer Articulate. You can purchase it either asa subscription (Storyline 360) or as a license for perpetual use with limitedupdates (Storyline 3).


Whichever option you choose, Articulate Storylineremains the most popular software when authoring powerful eLearning courses fora good reason.


Articulate 360 gives you access to a whole suite oftools, making it possible to avoid downsides, such as some aspects of Storylinebeing too complex for a beginner. This way, you can pick and choose whicheveris best for the project at hand.


Join over 118,000 organizations and let your learningdevelopment creativity run free with the Articulate offering!

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