Engaging content - branching

Students take different pathways through learning content based on choices they make or their performance. Branching may consist of interactive scenarios or differentiated content.

Good practice guides and tip sheets

Good practice guides and tip sheets have been developed to support quality in both curriculum design and teaching practice. Good practice guides provide a pedagogical overview and tip sheets provide you with practical strategies and ideas for implementation. Links to engaging content-related resources are provided below. 

Design principles for creating engaging digital contentSourcing and creating digital content

Camtasia icon


Camtasia is video recording and editing software that features simple drag and drop editing and libraries of effects and interactions. With Camtasia, you can record, then edit your computer screen activity, audio, and webcam input. If you capture video footage on mobile devices or digital recorders, you can import and edit it. Camtasia is available to all staff and can be downloaded via the IDS Support Portal. Home use licences are available (request via Service One). Camtasia is available for both Mac and Windows.

  • Training is available for making educational videos in Camtasia. Refer to iEnrol for scheduled and upcoming sessions

  • The first time you start Camtasia, the program will open a tutorial video. You can find this video again later under Help > Open Getting Started Project within Camtasia. This built-in video will give basic instructions on how to use Camtasia
Good for

  • Creating interactive or differentiated video content; for example, branching video scenarios or giving the learner control of the order in which they view sections of the video content

Useful features

  • Interactive hotspots and timeline markers allow creation of a non-linear path through the video 
  • Click and drag effects from library onto video timeline
  • Properties panel to define required actions to enter
  • Easy but comprehensive editing and timeline manipulations


        • Considerable planning required
        • Can become time consuming
        • Cannot be hosted in Kaltura and maintain interactivity, therefore no ability to use the accessibility features or analytics in the Kaltura Media Vault 
        • No viewing analytics within the exported video
        • No captions/transcripts 

        • Must be exported as Web Page (for Smart Player) or SCORM (for gradebook integration)
        • SCORM activities are generally a poor experience on mobile devices and can be incompatible
        • Different process to publish in FLO compared to standard video


        • Plan out the choices and branched pathways on a story board
        • Make sure your viewers won't feel lost
        • Camtasia project files can be large. While working on your project save your files to the hard-drive of the computer. Once complete store them on OneDrive or S: drive. Your U: drive generally wont have enough space for these large files. Having your project files on network storage will slow editing down and can also cause crashes.
            Help resources

                PowerPoint iconPowerPoint

                Good for

                • Easily creating branched content through use of triggers and linking on slide objects
                • Creating scenario based branched learning (eg text-based 'choose your own adventure' style narratives or scenarios where learners make a series of choices and experience the consequences as they move through the scenario)
                • Creating a package of content that students can navigate through in a sequence they choose
                Useful features

                • Use action or link (from Insert menu) to link to presentation slides in required order
                • PowerPoint will update links if slide order is altered

                  • Printed or PDF cannot indicate the branching


                  • Interaction for branching will only be available when viewing in Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow
                  • Must be provided as .pptx or .ppsx files
                  • Learners must download and open the file;  they cannot view it within FLO, and therefore they need PowerPoint on their computer
                  • Mobile devices require Microsoft PowerPoint app

                    • Careful planning is required. Use a story board to map out possible paths through the content/scenario
                    • Create links which allow users to navigate back to previous pages
                    • Test all possible pathways
                    • Design so that your users won’t feel lost
                    • When using Link to set up navigation between slides you can add a screen tip which displays when the mouse is over the link
                            Help resources

                            Lesson iconFLO Lesson

                            The FLO lesson is purpose built for branching scenarios. A lesson presents a series of pages to a student who is asked to make some sort of choice underneath the content area. The choice will send them to a specific page in the Lesson. The pages in the lesson can be either content pages with choices presented as buttons or question pages where the next page will depend on selected answer.
                            Good for

                            • Mixing static content, choices and questions to determine the route the student takes through the material (eg decision or problem solving scenarios)
                            Useful features 
                            • Purpose built for branching scenarios
                            • Branching can be based on a choice or based on answers to questions
                            • Can have time limit
                            • Can be set up as a scored activity; integrates with Gradebook
                            • Some analytics available about student interactions with lesson
                            • Possible to provide a progress bar and/or menu within lesson
                            • Requires considerable planning
                            • Not as straightforward as some FLO tools
                            • Limited page layout and styling options
                            • Build all the content and question pages first, then define all the jumps and linking
                            • Map out all possible journeys through the content
                            • Test thoroughly and ask a colleague to review 
                            • Design your lesson pages to help your students know where they are in the lesson
                            • Embed media (images, video, audio) in your lesson pages for rich experience
                            Help resources 

                            Quiz iconFLO Quiz

                            Good for

                            • Providing differentiated feedback to students based on their answers and overall  performance in the quiz
                            • Provide struggling students with some additional resources on the basics and give high-achieving students some extension materials 
                            Useful features

                            • Some branching achievable through the quizzes overall feedback using grade boundaries – link from feedback to different information for different grade ranges
                            • Use access restrictions to further content based on quiz result (Activity completion restriction)


                            • Quizzes with Essay type questions would need to be manually marked to activate branching based on quiz score


                            • Use in conjunction with FLO pages/books and 'stealthed' resources/activities (resources which are available but not displayed on the homepage of your FLO site)

                            Help resources

                            Glossary iconFLO Glossary 

                            Good for

                            • compacting content into one place (eg glossary of terms)
                            • organising information (eg using categories) for efficient learning
                            • students can interact by adding content/controlling the space

                            Useful features  
                            • Entries can be automatically linked where the concept words and/or phrases appear anywhere within the topic. Filter needs to be enabled and auto linking set per entry where required

                            • There are three settings required for auto-linking. All three must be reviewed:
                              • Topic level – glossary auto-linking filter must be enabled 
                              • Glossary level – setting to automatically link entries must be on  
                              • Glossary entry level – each entry that will be linked must have the setting checked 
                            Help resources 

                            FLO tools:  Book Page

                            Good for
                            • Organising content (chunking of related content)
                            • Page: embedded video takes up less space than in the FLO homepage
                            Useful features 
                            • Links between FLO pages or between chapters within a book can be used to create branched learning and scenarios, but not with an assessable component  
                            • Use of the availability status 'Make available but not shown on topic page' (stealthed activity/resource) can control entry point  
                            • Not assessable  
                            • Book has inbuilt navigation which would still allow linear or totally free navigation through content  
                            • When transferring between FLO sites, all interlinked pages must be included or linkages will break. During the transfer process, It is not easy to identify interlinked pages
                            • Design to avoid students feeling lost   
                            • Map out carefully  
                            Help resources  


                            Digital Content Producer iconDigital Content Producer 

                            The Digital Content Producer is a highly talented member of the Online Learning Team in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, who has an extensive skillset with multimedia and digital content, and can work with you on the development of complex digital learning resources.

                            If your needs are not met by the existing tools or the resource you are looking to create is complex in some way, please speak with the Learning Designer in your college about your needs as there is some capacity for digital content production for learning and teaching.

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