PowerPoint vs Storyline?

If you’re responsible for producing eLearning training courses and materials for your colleagues do you use Microsoft PowerPoint or eLearning authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline?

We’ve found it to be a debate amongst training and development/ learning professionals – what’s your opinion?

As an eLearning provider, we use Articulate Storyline 2 to produce our bespoke and off the shelf eLearning courses.

Here is our 6 reasons we believe, like us you should choose an eLearning authoring tool over PowerPoint when developing your eLearning courses and assessments.

1. Chalk and Cheese: Comparing the two options for eLearning design is unfair on PowerPoint, after all it was designed for the creation of Presentations whereas Storyline was designed to allow a user to create interactive eLearning courses.

2. Limited Interactions: here’s just some of the functionality not available in PowerPoint:

  • Question/ Section timer: Counting up or down you can limit the amount of time a learner can spend on a section/ answering a question
  • Branching: Storyline uses logic and branching to take your learner on a journey, their preferences or answers can dictate the order in which they complete a course or sections they must complete.
  • Triggers: functions such as the progress button being locked until an activity is read/ complete or understood can be included
  • Assessments: use can pepper questions throughout your eLearning course or include a mandatory assessment at the end
  • Limit number of attempts: when facing a question or a challenge you can limit the number of attempts your learner can have
  • Control: when it comes to designing your course the use of triggers and branching allows you to control your learners journey as well as what and when they see your material.

Leading us nicely to number 3

3. Death by PowerPoint: it’s a real thing! No matter the topic or the way the text is placed on the slide it will always be a presentation.

4. Time Consuming: ‘Work arounds’ are required by PowerPoint to inject interaction and animation and this (depending on requirements) can become quite time consuming and ultimately lead to multiple of slides required to deliver a key messaging with an engaging tone.

5. Measure Engagement/ Learner Knowledge: Arguably the biggest pro for Storyline over PowerPoint is the ability to include interaction in the form of questions and challenges within your eLearning – enabling deep engagement between the learner and the course, however this is only useful if you’re able to monitor the performance of an individual or group and then harness this information to validate the course and deliver more effective/ the required training next time.

6. Audit trails: Whether its compliance based such as Fire Safety eLearning courses, H&S or something bespoke to your business values and goals the reporting functionality available from a Storyline course provides you with an audit trail so you can demonstrate not only that training was delivered but that it was understood as well.

Final Thought

Bringing this blog full circle, when designing an eLearning course, it is unfair to compare PowerPoint with authoring tools such as Storyline 2 – they were designed for a different purpose.

If you’re looking to deliver classroom based training that’s instructor lead and working with a low/ little budget, then PowerPoint is the ideal tool. If however you’re looking to develop an engaging, eLearning module that’s delivered to your employees on an individual basis with reporting functionality there really is only one winner, an authoring tool such as Storyline 2.

I guess the next question you now face is, do you develop your eLearning courses in house or partner with a company like eLamb and outsource your eLearning development? We know what we’d suggest!

Have we missed any reasons to use eLearning authoring tools over PowerPoint?

Don’t be shy say hello