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Book Review: Learning Articulate Storyline

September 13, 2013

I recently read the book Learning Articulate Storyline by Stephanie Harnett.

I’ve always admired Stephanie’s work and was excited to see how she approached her book. You can see Stephanie’s work at her website (all built in Storyline) and in her super-informative Screenrs.

Articulate Storyline.As an avid Articulate Storyline developer, I wanted to find a resource that I could use with my contractors and even clients to get them up to speed on how to use the software. Since there is no official “user manual”, this book offers a really nice self-directed learning resource to learning the product, with some bonuses:

  • Stephanie’s deep understanding from an instructional authoring perspective. While I know Stephanie is a talented instructional designer, it really shines through in her approach to the book. She gives advice that is both feature rich, but more importantly, it’s written from the perspective of “why should I do this”.
  • Her “voice” shines through – everything she explains reads exactly like she was sitting beside me talking me through things.
  • Samples and examples she points to at the beginning of Chapter 4: Adding Characters and Audio, and the additional resources/links in the summary of Chapter 7 are like instructional design gold!

There are exercises to follow along step by step with the flow of the book, which was nice. Since I have experience with the software it’s hard for me to know how a complete novice would find the structure of these exercises, but they were logical and easy to follow for me .

Minor things I’d like to see in future editions:

  • I would have liked to have seen some of the tips in the chapter: Rapid Development show up in the beginning of the book, as she raises some great points about setting up for re-purposing which might affect how you approach a project from the beginning.
  • I would have also liked there to be a bit more visual distinction in the “follow along” sections, just to make them pop (I was working with an epub version), but that’s a personal preference. Additional icons would enhance the navigation of the book.
  • I would have loved to seen the types of examples provided in Chapter 4 for other chapters: Quizzing, States and Layers, Variables and Adding Visual Media.

Overall, this is a great book to help someone get up to speed quickly on Storyline and even a seasoned user will pick up a tip or two.

You can hear Stephanie talk about her book in a recent eLearnChat episode and host @rickzanotti’s written a review of this book as well.

If you want to win your own copy, check out Articulate’s review of it: http://www.articulate.com/blog/heres-a-new-articulate-storyline-book-chance-to-win-a-free-copy/

Even if you don’t win a copy, you should consider adding this to your bookshelf!

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