David Anderson talks ELC and Articulate Storyline


David Anderson, community manager at Articulate and two-time E-Learning Symposium presenter sat down to an instant messenger chat with E-Learning Council’s Sanjay Nasta.  David shared his thoughts on the exciting current state of E-Learning, but was tight-lipped about Articulate’s new desktop authoring tool, Storyline, which is currently in beta. To learn more about Storyline, visit the Storyline thread and follow David on Twitter for updates and blog posts on Articulate and the E-Learning community. 


David: I can’t talk Storyline, no matter how hard you try

ELC: What’s Storyline?

David: LOL, you’re smooth.

ELC: :) What topic are you most passionate about?

David: About E-Learning, I think what’s most exciting is seeing how so many users are now able to participate in the design and development process.

ELC: So the Subject Matter Experts directly being able to create the course?

David: SMEs are one group, yes! But trainers, consultants, professionals, teachers and even new IDs in their first job role. authors who are creating hybrid books/courses based on their expertise.

ELC: Why is that a passion for you?

David: They wouldn’t have been able to do that a few years ago… not without hiring someone. I started out in design and writing. Then went up the corporate chain before realizing I like designing and writing. I’m good at it (as far as I know) and I guess I’m happy and fortunate to do it for a living.

ELC: True. It shortens the connection between learner and expert.

David: There’s always something to learn… even for experienced IDs. So why should we be so hard on an SME or first year ID for building less than stellar training? It’s part of the process and how we learn. The great thing, at least from what we do in the community, is finding ways to share the “how” and remove the mystery around building E-Learning. It’s not rocket science… well, unless you work for Boeing.

ELC: Good point, David. That’s one of the reasons people love your presentations at E-Learning Symposium. It takes some of the mystery away. What are some of the challenges for first time course builders?

David: The challenge that I think helped make Tom [Kuhlmann] so successful, was helping new users, novices see final products… see what’s possible and what’s available. E-Learning includes so many rich presentation options – audio, video, timelines, interactions- but most designers struggle with how to combine and choose those tools so they do what they see others do which might be text+image= course.

ELC: You and Tom do a great job at helping people create a rich visual learning experience. What I like is that it’s not focused on Articulate as a platform.

David: Most, or a lot, of the users we meet are doing everything themselves: writing, designing, development and often some SCORM work.  Articulate, and I sincerely mean this and would say if I weren’t with them, understands the value of helping its customers… And helping them often means helping them when it’s unrelated to our tools.  People remember that.  But, our tools are easy.. What’s not so easy is writing, designing scenarios, visual design… so we spend a lot of time building simple, actionable and repeatable templates and examples that anyone can drop their own content into.

ELC: I agree. That’s why Articulate and E-Learning Council are so well aligned. We are both passionate about improving the quality of learning. 

David: It’s fun, right? Less about angling and more about what attracted us to the industry we love. You guys have a great community. I see it when I participate in your events. It’s a great group who know one another beyond the events.

ELC: It is. I am passionate about creating great learning; passionate about learning transferring to performance.

David: It’s an exciting time for E-Learning.

ELC: What are some of the changes you are seeing in learning? What are some of the things that your community is asking for?

David: Okay, that’s a good question. I think it would be that we’re seeing a group of E-Learning designers evolve beyond just creating courses… a lot of users we talk to and work with have been with Articulate for 2 or 3 years… and they’re maturing and looking for different ways to deliver courses and training. Maybe as supplemental or JIT courses, or more logic-based and social simulation type training. But then there’s this huge new group that’s just getting started and creating their first courses. So we see the audience and community growing, evolving like we haven’t before. So for us, that’s both exciting and challenging. We get to talk about and show things we haven’t been able to before, but we also need to spend time figuring things out. 

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