Creating an eLearning course can be a long process, especially if you have a lot of slides in your course. For those instructional designers and eLearning developers who have developed a good mastery of Storyline course creation, however, it’s much less time-consuming. Part of achieving that mastery is learning how to effectively and efficiently utilize master slides in your course. There’s a lot you can do with Master Slides, but I thought I’d focus on four key things you should understand that can help you in your course design.
Item 1: Understand the different types of master slides
It’s important to understand that there are two categories of master slides: Slide Master and Feedback Master. Within those two categories you can have several different iterations of Master slides. In addition, when you look at your master slide list, you should understand that there is truly one Master slide for each group of slide masters. It sits at the topmost level and controls, to some degree, the look and feel of those underneath it. When you look at the visual layout you can see that the layout slide masters are indented slightly from the main master slide in each group.
At any time, you can change which master a slide utilizes by right-clicking on the slide then selecting Layout and your desired master from the menu.
In the Slide Master view, the slides that are indented slightly under the master slide are called the layout slides. These are what control the look and feel of your slides.
A feedback master is very similar to a slide master, with the exception of a few pre-configured objects.
As the name implies, feedback masters are used primarily for providing feedback for assessments or quizzes.
Item 2: Utilize Placeholders
Turning our focus to the layout slides, you’ll notice some pre-configured objects called placeholders on many of the layout slides. But what you may not know is that you can create your own layout slide by utilizing placeholders.
Clicking the Insert Placeholder item on the ribbon, opens a drop-down list of the various types of placeholders you can insert. Each of them adds a button to the slide, that, when clicked, opens the appropriate dialog. This is a great time saver when designing a project. Instead of having to click Insert>Picture from the ribbon, you just click on the picture button in your placeholder and an explorer window opens allowing you to browse to the location of the desired picture.
The Content placeholder is useful in that it provides 6 icons, one for each of the placeholder categories.
Item 3: Using Triggers, Layers, and Variables
On a master slide, you can use triggers, layers, and variables just as you would on a regular slide. The only difference is, when they are used on the master slide, they span the length of your project. This could be useful, for instance, if you wanted to create your own Previous and Next buttons (rather than the system defaults) and have them appear on each slide.
Another use of this would be to create a trigger to call a lightbox slide. IE., Maybe you want to have an information button on each slide that calls up a lightbox in which more information about the course, company or technology is presented.
Item 4: Configuring Sizes, Colors and Fonts
At any point in your course design you can open the design tool and create a custom font and color scheme, but maybe you want to just use a preconfigured one, but want all your titles to be 48 font instead of 24. You can just configure that on the master slide and it will carry throughout your course. Or maybe you want just your Title-only slides to use a different font, font size, and or color than the rest of your project. Configure that on your Title Slide layout slide and it will apply to all your Title Slides throughout the course.
Master slides can be an invaluable tool in your course creation. Hopefully, these four tips will help you get started down the path of rapid development.