ELH Challenge #179: Learning a Language

When I was an English teacher (11-16 year olds!) my main “competitor” was definitely the Latin teacher who had the classroom above mine, who taught using Cambridge University Press’s famous Latin books. There was something about the continuing ongoing story of a Pompeiian family that really grabbed my students and led to all kinds of in-jokes. Apparently the books are something of an institution, having been used since the 70s. There’s even a Doctor Who episode which seeks to remedy the inevitable fates of the characters when it’s time for “volcano day”!

When I remembered that the books are available online in PDF form now (You can find the first one here!)  I knew that I had to use them in this week’s challenge.

The demo below uses hotspots and triggers to play audio when characters are dragged into a particular area of the screen.

There weren’t any suitable backgrounds in the book so I broke out my graphics tablet and tried to draw something in a similar style and add some watercolour paper overlays to match the tone of the original 70s illustrations.

The audio is just Google’s voice for Latin text-to-speech, and I really couldn’t comment on its accuracy (pretty sure it’s normally Kai-killy-us not Kai-chilly-us.)

Click the image below to play!

latin

Scrolling Lighthouse (Storyline Challenge #169)

View the demo here!

Scrolling panels have been getting a lot of love over at the weekly Articulate community e-learning challenges.

I feel like they are one of the most sidelined features in Storyline. It probably says a lot that the only time I have had to use them is in situations where a client wants a lot of text on a screen, but doesn’t want the font size to get too small!

After taking a look at some of the examples, I decided to find a vertically orientated diagram which would be difficult to view in close detail without  the ability to scroll. When I saw this cross-section on wikimedia, I knew I had to use it!

Unfortunately, despite growing up by the sea and visiting a fair number of lighthouses, I don’t actually know the first thing about them, so don’t expect this to be factually accurate!

My Take-Aways from this Challenge:

I’m still not a scrolling panel convert, but this challenge did make me consider some new ways that they could be used.

Perhaps my biggest discovery was that they can be orientated horizonally, with a bit of trickery and know how. You just have to group a scroll bar to another object and then rotate them together.

One thing that would help enormously is if Storyline allowed scrollbars to be customised so that they could fit the look and tone of the elearning (I did consider creating a scrolling panel using Javascript, but that’s probably an entirely different challenge for me, being a Javascript novice!)