Create an Interactive Course Using a Single Image

From Articulate by Tom Kuhlmann

free desktop PowerPoint template for interactive course

This post gives you a two-fer: that’s two freebies for one. I found a free desktop image made available by Anastasia Kolisnichenko. I used the free image to create an interactive course prototype for an upcoming workshop activity. The template is free for you to download and use as you wish.

Below is an example of the template in action. It’s embedded on the blog page. Click here to view the template if the embedded version isn’t visible in the email.

The example above was created in Storyline 2 and uses the zoom region feature andtriggers to pause the timeline. Here are additional published examples:

  • Storyline 1 (less specific control of the zoom feature)
  • PowerPoint (no zoom). I actually like the push transition better than the zoom.

How to Create an Interactive Course Using a Single Image

If you had access to a graphics designer you could create anything you want. But for many of you, that’s not an option. This means you’re limited to searching the Internet forfree downloads and then using those for your courses. The challenge with this is that it can be difficult to modify or customize the free downloads that you find.

You do have some options to customize if you get an .EPS version of the free download. However, here’s a simple technique that doesn’t require a lot of extra work. It just requires an image that has clear potential content buckets. Then you add links to those buckets and add your content. It’s a simple way to create an exploratory interactive course.

  • Locate an image that has multiple components. The free desktop download is a good example. It has areas that can be made clickable with links to additional content. Another example could be a collage style image or a comic book layoutimage.

free template layouts for interactive course

  • Create a separate slide for each distinct area. In the example above I made slides for the computer, picture frame, book shelf, microphone, and calendar. Those are all great potential content buckets.
  • Link from the main image to a slide of the isolated element. Also add a link back.
  • Apply a transition. In Storyline, the zoom feature is a great way to transition in and out. In PowerPoint, it’s a bit more challenging to create a zoom that’s easy to edit. In that case, I used a push transition.

In this demo I used the free desktop image to create the interactive course design. However this production technique works great with other images. The key is that you start with a single image so you have to do minimal editing and customization.

Download the Free Templates to Create an Interactive Course

Here are the download links to the free template. I also included the original graphic in case the link breaks somewhere down the road. Be sure to give props to Anastasia Kolisnichenko who made it available to use.



I’m excited to announce that Storyline 2 is up for the 2015 People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite New Product. And if you love Storyline 2 as much as we I do, I’d really appreciate your vote. Simply click here, and you’ll be taken to the ballot page, where you can vote for Storyline 2 in the “Software – Learning/Workforce Dev” category by using the short code “G171M.” Thanks. It’s really appreciated.

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