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How do I build branching Video Stories in Dawn?

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On March 4, 2021, Video stories were upgraded from an alpha feature to a standard feature in Dawn. As previously announced, any work done on Video stories before that date was disabled when the standard feature was released.

Branching Video story interactions in Dawn can be created to allow learners to choose their own pathways when viewing  and interacting with video content. At key moments in Video stories, learners are given multiple choice questions and their answers determine what content they see next. This makes instructional videos more engaging, allowing learners to explore according to their own interests, knowledge, and needs!

There are two major steps in the building a Video story:

  1. Set up the Video story
  2. Create story Scenes and Choices

1. Set up the Video story

To set up Video story interactions:

  1. Select the desired Section in the catalog entry and click Add instruction.
  2. Select Video.
  1. Check the Enable story mode box to turn on the branching video features.
  2. Give the Video story a Title.
  3. Provide the Max mastery award value you want learners to be able to earn over the course of the Video story.

2. Create Video story Scenes and Choices

Video stories are made up of two components:

  • Scenes are individual videos that you upload to the Video story. At the end of each Scene, either the Video story ends automatically, the learner is taken to a different scene specified by you, or the learner is asked to complete a Choice interaction.
  • Choice interactions are decision points you create within a video where the video pauses, and learners are asked to answer a multiple choice question that determines where they go next. Each decision in a Choice either takes the learner to a new Scene, takes the learner to another Instruction, continues the current Scene, or ends the Video story.

There are many ways to plan and create Video stories; here is the process we recommend:

  1. When planning and creating your videos:
    • Map out each Scene and Choice interaction carefully.
    • Decide which pathways you want available to your learners, and make sure they all work.
    • Create a video for each Scene in the Video story.
  2. Upload your Scene videos and create the transcripts.
  3. Add Choices where you need them and connect each decision to the appropriate Scene.
  4. Test your pathways.

Create Scenes

Scenes are individual videos that you upload to the Video story. At the end of each Scene, either the Video story ends automatically, the learner is taken to a different scene specified by you, or the learner is asked to complete a Choice interaction which determines where they go next.

  1. Click Add scene or the pencil icon next to a scene to access this popup.
  2. Provide a Scene title (the title for the Initial scene can't be edited).
  3. Indicate the Mastery award points you want the learner to earn for watching this scene. In the example, we have assigned a Mastery award of 5, meaning that viewing this scene will give the learner 5 out of the possible 30 Max mastery award specified above.
  4. Select the video you want to use from the Video dropdown.
    • Note: In order for videos to appear in this menu, you have to upload them to the Resource library.
  5. Choose what you want to happen if a learner reaches the end of the video. You can choose End instruction (which ends the Video story) or choose a Scene from the Video story and even set a specific timestamp (seconds:frame) within the scene where you want the learner to be taken next.  
  6. Save.
  1. If you automatically generated a transcript or you uploaded one manually, the Transcript appears to the right of the video. If not, a blank transcript appears that you can populate.
  2. When you are done, click Add scene and repeat this process for every other scene you need, then add Choice interactions.

Add Choices interactions

Choice interactions are decision points you create within a video where the video pauses, and learners are asked to answer a multiple choice question that determines where they go next. Each decision in a Choice either takes the learner to a new Scene, takes the learner to another Instruction, continues the current Scene, or ends the Video story.

Video overlays can also be used to branch Video storys

Video overlays in Dawn are text and graphic elements that you can time to appear over the top of a video. You control when they appear, when they disappear, and whether the video continues to play or pauses for the Overlay. Overlays can be clickable, making them another way for learners to navigate in a Dawn catalog entry.

How do I create Video overlays in Dawn?

To add a Choice:

  1. Click the Plus sign where you want your decision to appear in the Transcript editor. This is most likely after the last subtitle Text because the learner will have finished watching the video and will need to choose where to go next.
    • Note: You can also drag the marker on the video scrubber to the desired timestamp and use the Add button.
  1. Select Interaction and Choice.
  1. The Choice editor opens; give the Choice a Title and compose your Question.
  1. On the Choices card, provide each decision option. Click Add choice if you want more.
  1. On the Response card:
    • Select the answer you are defining with the If answer is dropdown.
    • Assign a Mastery award value for each choice. In this example, each Response earns the learner a differen number of reward points out of the possible 30 Max mastery award specified above.
    • Define where the learner is taken if they choose the specified answer using the Go to scene dropdown. You can choose to:
      • Continue video from where it paused for the Choice.
      • Take the learner to any Scene in the Video story.
      • Take the learner to any other Instruction (like another Video story or instruction video) in the catalog entry.
    • Provide the Feedback each choice returns.
  2. Click Add response if you want more.
  3. When you are finished, click the Back button and your changes are saved.
  1. The Choice interaction now appears with a timestamp of 17:00. You can edit it by clicking the pencil icon.
  2. Repeat this process for each Choice in the Video story.

Test your pathways

Once you have created all of your Scene markers, End scenes, and Choices to define the branching pathway options, make sure to test the Video story. Click View as a learner to see what your learners will see.

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