Prometheus Training, LLC

The Making of Electric Pallet Jack

Have you seen Prometheus Training’s Electric Pallet Jack demo, powered by Articulate Studio 09? Are you wondering, “How did they do that?” This article will answer some of your questions:

Behind the curtain – instructional design

Electric Pallet Jack is a program for 3 distinct audiences, each with a different training requirement. We designed the program so that each audience would get only the training it needed. (A lot of front-end analysis preceded the training design, so we knew precisely what each audience needed to know, where the areas of overlap were, etc.)

We laid out the content into 3 separate, nested branches:

content areas diagram

Creating a branching menu

We allowed each learner to self-select into the appropriate branch of content. They did this via the Menu:

Menu screenshot

To make the menu slide itself, we created action buttons in PowerPoint. Each action button was set up to redirect the learner to a different starting point in the program.

Using the new “Locked Slide” feature in Articulate Presenter ’09, we disabled all of the other navigational elements on the slide. They couldn’t go forward or backward; only the action buttons were live.

Branching paths

Here are the branching paths for each action button on the menu.

Branching Paths

Notice that no learners – not even the "new operators" – got to see every slide in the program. For example, the "new operators” already saw their own program introduction, so they didn't need to see the "safety incident people's" introduction or the “recertification people's” introduction.

To deal with this issue, we created additional branching buttons and locked down slides 11 and 19. Here is a picture of slide 11:

branching buttons

Calling attention to key points

The annotation features in Articulate Presenter ’09 made it easy for us to direct the learner’s attention precisely to the right area of the screen.

On slide 7, we took the “arrow annotation” feature a step further, synching it with both the audio and a PowerPoint list.

On slide 15, we used the “spotlight annotation” feature in sync with the audio.

On slide 16-17, we used the "check annotation" and "cross annotation" to mark off items on the list.

And on slide 24, we use a “rectangle annotation" with a "stretch" animation to call the user’s eye to one particular text field on a very busy screen.

Using the controls

In the Engage sequence on slide 8, we let learners “use” some of the equipment controls. This was done by embedding custom Flash animations inside the Engage sequence.

By the way, notice that the Engage sequence is Big-Brute orange? In Engage ’09, you get to customize the colors to match your palette!

Using quiz features

The Quiz starting on slide 10 has a lot of cool features, compliments of Quizmaker ’09. We were able to customize the look of the slide, build the questions on with animation, use art effects on the slide, use transitions between questions, etc.

The feedback options are particularly rich. First of all, you can use media – audio, in our case – inside the feedback. Even better, the feedback allows you to branch. On question 1 of the slide 10 quiz, if you get the answer right, it takes you to question 2. But if you get question 1 wrong, it brings up an entire feedback slide to reteach a key point. Neat!

Quiz screenshot

Another exciting feature in Quizmaker ’09 is the ability to include non-question slides. Look at Question 3 on the slide 10 quiz. It begins with a slide that sets up a scenario. Then click the arrow to go to the next Quizmaker page for the actual question. And notice that the graphics in the question can be positioned next to the option buttons! That kind of flexibility is standard in QM ’09.

Hope this helps

I hope this gives you the answers you were looking for about our Electric Pallet Jack demo program. Still have questions? You can reach us at

About the author

Helene Geiger is CEO of Prometheus Training, LLC.

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