This recipe shows you an alternative to a course that’s locked down.  I took a course the other day that had a next button that you could see, but you couldn’t use until the narrator was done talking. Gross.

And it’s not just about an operational next button. This recipe is also a great way to dish out something for people who claim they’re allergic to slides full of narrated bullets. I don’t break out in a rash or anything, but too many slides like that and I get sick.

Ask yourself, what if you built a module with no next buttons?

What if your learners could engage in dialogue with you? Why not let them read and process the information. Couldn’t you skip the time you spend on narration and write a script that’s less of an info dump and more of a conversation or a story? Write a module in a conversational tone, write it in the 2nd person. Our brains are much more efficient at processing language that’s directed at them. Isn’t a choose-your-own adventure type path through content more fun than a barrage of narrated then click next slides? Plus it’s easier to lock down.  Take a look.

Here are 2 different examples of how you could do it.

In example 1, I’ll show you how to use buttons to engage in a dialogue about protected health information.
In example 2, I’ll show you how to use the same approach for software training.

What I like best about this recipe is that it doesn’t take any longer to make. Learner engagement isn’t about stuff to click on screen.  In fact, those can easily distract someone from the content of the slide. I think engagement is getting a learner’s mental wheels to turn.  Try it out and see if it works for you.


  • a rapid eLearning tool like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate
  • a conversational script


  1. Write a script that’s less of a narration and more of an engaging dialogue. Speak in the 2nd person. Ask them questions that aren’t part of a quiz.
  2. Customize your button text so that learners choose options to help them proceed.
  3. Create next triggers on some buttons.  Create a show layer trigger on other buttons.

Karl’s Tips

Be sure your learners still have a way to navigate between sections. A menu section is a great way to do it. Contact me for coaching if you’d like to set up a call to see how to do it with your group.

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