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But is PowerPoint the best choice if you want to create interactive eLearning?
Let's first determine what are the main interactive actions that can be created in an eLearning and then we'll evaluate if PowerPoint handles them well.
Generally speaking, there are 3 main types of onscreen interactions: clicking, pointing with the mouse and swiping. Which of these types of interactions can you do using PowerPoint? There is only one answer. That is, you only have 1/3 of the possible interactions and no option to program more.
Below we have presented two examples of interactive scenario. One is made using PowerPoint and the other is made using Articulate Storyline. The two scenarios are identical. The main difference is in the creation process and the time they were completed.
See the interactive scenario made with PowerPoint and the one made with Articulate.
Both versions fulfil the basic intent of the scenario. But do you notice how many slides the PowerPoint presentation consists of? 31 targets. In contrast, the scenario made with Articulate Storyline consists of only 5 slides.
In fact, if the author had not used the original PowerPoint script, but had worked directly in Articulate Storyline, he probably would have used 3 slides per interaction. And since the slides are almost identical, he could have created just one slide with 3 feedback options to reuse. If you don't count the content, building the structure of the interactive scenario would have taken a matter of minutes.
Another advantage of Storyline is that the slides made in it can be saved as templates and easily reused.
Why not use PowerPoint to create interactive e-learning?
- In PowerPoint, the number of interactions is limited.
- Creating interactions in PowerPoint is time consuming.
- PowerPoint interactions are more complex than they need to be. They contain links to slides and so it takes 6 slides to create an interaction of say 5 steps.
As we said earlier, PowerPoint is a great tool for making multimedia training, but if you want to make a quality interactive e-course, then you better bet on another, more suitable tool. This will save you many hours of work, effort and resources.