Last Updated: May 13th, 2019

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Using Storyline, instructors can build interactive content for online delivery, potentially increasing the range and styles of active learning. Interactive content options include screencasts, simulations, triggers, hotspots, object states and motion paths, sliders, and hover-and-reveal or click-to-reveal markers. Storyline incorporates tools to quickly add animations to slides and transitions between slides. Both video and web objects can be embedded within Storyline. Assessment can be incorporated into Storyline in a variety of formats, including quizzes and freeform assessments; in the latter option, users can manipulate objects to respond to questions in drag-and-drop, select one, select many, and hotspot response types.

Storyline allows construction of both linear and branching content. As in a linear format such as PowerPoint, instructors can build a single linear path, or slides, that all students follow. Storyline adds the option of incorporating adaptive learning strategies to include additional paths to which students may be directed based on their pre-test results. Branching may also be utilized to allow students to progress through content in an order that is student-selected rather than instructor-defined.

For instance, students utilizing a branching Storyline presentation might select the order in which they learn about different macronutrients in a health and nutrition course, or they might embark on a “choose your own adventure” style lesson on American history in which internal assessments direct students to different content based on the accuracy of their pre-test responses. Because Storyline allows the use of multiple and varied assessments at any location(s) within the presentation, assessments can include a mix of no- or low-stakes quizzes, self-tests, and other assessments. Pre-tests with immediate scoring and responses can also be utilized to help students with self-assessment and self-evaluation by identifying strengths and weaknesses in students’ knowledge, which can help them focus on content to address deficiencies

Application to All Courses

Storyline can be used in any course in which instructors want to prioritize interactive content. This format is particularly helpful in providing opportunities for non-linear and active learning.

Storyline is Section 508 compliant, but does not incorporate any ADA compliance review.


  • Ability to design multiple paths through content
  • Many options for interactive content and active learning
  • Embedding options include video and external web objects
  • Wide selection of animation and transition options
  • Familiar author interface, comparable to popular presentation software such as PowerPoint
  • Provides opportunities for creating adaptive learning content


  • Potential for immersive learning experience, including simulated activities
  • Assessments can be located anywhere within the content, and can vary in design, style, and weight
  • Can include instant feedback to student performance on activities and assessments, including rerouting through course content or providing supplementary material to address deficiencies
  • Scaffold suggested supplementary material or next steps according to student mastery of content and performance on assessments

Note that Storyline may not be integrated with your LMS, so quiz results may not be trackable.


To review demos of Storyline, visit Articulate’s Storyline showcase page.

Getting Started

Storyline is a fee-based product and requires purchase of the product and license. You can explore Storyline for a limited free trial at

Review this video tutorial for Storyline 2.

Access the Storyline 2 User Guide.

LinkedIn Learning has a variety of Storyline and Storyline 2 trainings.

Additional Resources

Articulate hosts several resources that will be of use to those interested in Storyline:

  • The Storyline hub provides tips and tricks on utilizing Storyline’s features.
  • A discussion board for Storyline users, which is particularly helpful for trouble-shooting.
  • The E-Learning Heroes downloads page, which houses templates and “course assets” such as icons, layouts, backgrounds, graphics, and fonts not included in the original Storyline package.

Supporting Research

Cagiltay, N.E., Yildrim, S. and Aksu, M. (2006) Students’ Preferences on Web-Based Instruction: Linear or Non-linear. Educational Technology and Society 9(3), 122-136.

Malamed, Connie. (n.d.) Ideas for Designing Non-linear eLearning. The eLearning Coach blog, accessed August 28, 2015

Robberecht, Ronald. (2007) Interactive Nonlinear Learning Environments. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning 5(1), 59-68.

Accessibility Statement

Keep accessibility in mind as you develop course content and build assignments and assessments. Many online tools are not fully accessible, so it’s important to think about how you will make the assignment accessible if requested. The Disability Resource Center and the UF Accessibility page will guide you in making appropriate accommodations. You can also find out more about accessibility at our toolbox page on Accessibility in the Online Classroom.

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