Writing Scenarios + Free Tools: ID Links 4/12/22

Curated links on writing branching scenarios, free tools, content curation, xAPI, and getting started in Storyline.

As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. This post includes links on writing branching scenarios, free tools, content curation, xAPI, and getting started in Storyline.

Writing branching scenarios

Does writing style change how learners perceive choices in a branched scenario? – Learningworld Design

Description of PhD research on how the writing style of choices in a branching scenario affected which options learners chose and how they thought about those options. This is a small sample size, but still interesting results in favor of using dialog for branching scenario choices.

Finally, version with dialogue-based choices (see screenshot above) was perceived as more personal and engaging, “lively” and helpful for making a selection (“made me feel like I was talking out loud in my head”).

The findings from this pilot questionnaire seem to indicate that providing framing in the options themselves has more effect on the learner than providing it in an introductory text.

Additionally, options written as dialogue were experienced as more personal and elicited higher emotional reactions of the learner towards the characters. This may be of use in courses about soft skills.

-Miranda Verswijvelen

Write better elearning scenarios: active or descriptive choices – Learningworld Design

In branching scenarios, descriptive choices “You tell him he is right” feel very different than active choices “”You’re right!” I agree with the author that there are no hard and fast rules in branching scenarios; you can use both effectively, depending on the situation.

The most important aspect of branching scenarios and interactive stories are the choices presented to the player/learner. Choices are what make interactive stories different from other creative writing outputs such as novels, plays and movies.

Choices can feel totally different to a player depending on how they are written, even if they seem to have the same outcome.

-Miranda Verswijvelen

Free tools

Formfacade – Customize Google Forms UI

Use Google Forms but customize the look and feel so it’s more modern, plus additional features. This is a paid tool, but it’s cheaper than Typeform for a similar style.

RSS Generator – FetchRSS

Generate an RSS feed for any website, even if it doesn’t have its own. This is really useful for keeping everything in your RSS reader rather than checking a much of separate sites. h/t Mike Taylor

{placekitten} – Placeholder kitten images for developers

Need a URL for a placeholder image? Get a kitten in the size you want by adding the width and height in the URL

Content curation

How I Create My Weekly Newsletter (and personal curation tips you should steal) – Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor explains his process for collecting and curating resources for his newsletter. This would be really useful for anyone looking for a more systematic way to read and learn about a field, even if you don’t want to publish it later.


xAPI Tutorial: Get started in under 1 hour – eLearningArt

Start learning how to use xAPI quickly, with a basic html page and a simple “send statements” button. This uses resources from Anthony Altieri and Mel Milloway. Everything is free, and this has step-by-step directions for non-programmers (but you do have to edit some html).

Get started in Storyline

Recording: The Least You Need to Know About Articulate Storyline 360 – E-Learning Uncovered

This is a recording of a webinar by William Everhart and Diane Elkins from early in the pandemic. While there are many other resources on Storyline out there that will teach more, the premise of this was that it would give you just enough to create something quickly. If you’re looking for a quick start in Storyline, this would be a good way to jump in and practice before moving on to other resources.

Additional resources

Check out my complete library of links or my previous bookmarks posts.

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