Articulate Storyline developers like ourselves were given a brief teaser from the company’s CEO Adam Schwartz in our inbox today that seems to suggest that the company are going to be releasing either a new version of their flagship eLearning authoring software, or indeed something entirely new, in a mere matter of days.

My colleagues are all-a-buzz about the idea of a new version of Storyline being installed on our computers soon, taking us up to Storyline Version 3. Of course right now we are simply reading between the lines of the email that was sent out, plus the infographic that was linked to the email itself, but for me there are a number of things that I have read in that email that seems to suggest that Articulate might be planning something a little bigger than a mere new software version roll-out. Some of these thoughts I share with you below, and if these come to fruition in the next few days we could very well see Articulate cement their place as market leaders in the eLearning creation market.

1 – Sourcing graphics is mentioned as a current issue

For developers that are on a tight deadline or budget, many will source content for their courses from a third party site. Some of the leading websites for stock imagery today are Shutterstock  and Getty Images, though free options are also available and becoming more popular in the industry. What this part of the infograph seems to suggest to me is that we are on our way to Articulate offering their own online store for eLearning assets, perhaps accessible through the software but predominantly run online. This would make sense as this is a model that Adobe has been operating with their Creative Cloud licence which offers access to their Adobe Stock service, which links directly into the software packages used like Photoshop and Illustrator. Such a service could be extremely valuable if the price point is affordable per image, or is bundled in with an Articulate Subscription.

2 – How can the SME partnership be improved through software alone?

For me there are two ways that SMEs can feel more involved in the development process and for this design loop to work effectively for the designer themselves. The first would be the ability to publish courses using Storyline in a specific format that allows a moderator/reviewer to leave notes on a slide by slide basis that can then be viewed back by the designer, either on the published course by exporting those comments back into the software as an XML file. OR maybe the idea here is to again push for a more cloud based solution, whereby Articulate offers the ability to upload published courses onto a special area controlled by the developer, and in this area the moderator/reviewer would be able to view the course on screen, as well as have those aforementioned tools to leave comments that the reviewer can see when they log back into the area.

3 – The Articulate Heroes community will likely feature new premium content

On the final section of the infographic, Articulate seem to paint the impression that their software is difficult to learn or understand, which does not mirror my own feelings about Storyline as a piece of software! But I do understand that there are many people who find using Storyline to become a master at eLearning development to be a constant learning curve. This is where the Articulate Heroes community really comes in to save the day for many people, with its community of people willing to spare a moment to help others that are stuck or need advice, to the abundance of community driven resources and free elearning templates that are on offer. But I can understand that perhaps this current model is not entirely fruitful for Articulate, and if the idea of a new marketplace is indeed the idea that they are going for here, then we may very well see fresh courses, training material or access to exclusive online events being offered as either a marketplace or as part of a new Articulate subscription.

I would be interested to hear what your thoughts are about the announcement by Articulate today and what you want to see come from their eLearning solutions in the near future. For myself, I can’t shake the feeling that perhaps a subscription model for Storyline is coming, that will essentially bring the Storyline customer retention model in line with what we are seeing with Adobe. With Articulate being such a community driven product, I can only imagine that what we discover tomorrow will bring lots of happiness to many existing Storyline customers, including ourselves!

Chris Hodgson

Chris Hodgson

Chris Hodgson is a Digital learning Solutions Developer and Director of Discover eLearning Ltd. He supports SMEs and large firms through the process of integrating eLearning into their organisation. Chris has over 10 years experience working in Higher Education, Independent Training Provider Sector and Charity Sector learning and development.

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