Building e-learning with Star Wars Toys

When I first saw the Articulate ELH Challenge, Using Toys to Design Playful E-Learning, I immediately knew I wanted to pull out my old Star Wars action figures. The challenge for me was determining what type of e-learning to create.

The Idea
I decided on three things I wanted to incorporate in this challenge, a quasi-realistic scenario, a Star Wars look and feel, and humor. I’ll talk a bit about my thought process and design for each of these items.

The Scenario
While my entry is tongue and cheek with its use of toys, I still wanted it to be somewhat realistic. I didn’t want to throw the toys into the course purely as eye candy, but make them the characters in different scenarios. So, what type of situation could I come up with? I started thinking about the Empire as a corporate juggernaut, with stormtroopers as expendable worker bees. This nudged me toward an onboarding scenario for new Empire troops with an Office Space-esque “Is this good for the company” mantra. Thinking about typical onboarding topics led me to the irony of the Empire putting new recruits through ethics training. After all, an entity bent on galaxy domination still needs its minions to be ethical, right?

From here I came up with three scenarios to test a new recruit’s ethical sensibilities.
1. Company property
2. Workplace gossip
3. Company loyalty

The motivation and fear factor was a no-brainer – Darth Vader. Positive feedback means you continue as an employee of the Empire. Negative feedback means a less-than pleasant encounter with Lord Vader.

positive-feedback negative-feedback

The Look and Feel
I toyed with the idea of using images of spaceship interiors for my backgrounds, but decided to build simple backgrounds with shapes and muted colors.

armory bounty-hunters

Color Palette
Since this is the Empire, it needed a lot of black and red. I emphasized this design in the quiz question slides.

empire-colors quiz-color

To make the scenario slides pop, I used yellow backgrounds for the text boxes.

I used three fonts for this entry. I used the Distant Galaxy font for the scenario text and as my title font. It’s a good replica of the Star Wars font.

I also used the Crimefighter font as my caption and quiz question text. This is a comic book font that is my go to font for comic book speech bubbles.

Finally, I wanted something catchy and retro looking for the first slide. I used the Streetwear font to get the look I wanted.


Special Items
I had fun adding a few additional features. First, I created the silhouette of Darth Vader with shapes in PowerPoint. I started with a profile image of Vader and then played with the shapes to get the look I wanted to achieve. Is it a perfect replica of Darth Vader? No, but I’m okay with that. The main thing I wanted to achieve was to construct a passable replica of Vader using only shapes. So, success!


Creating the lightsaber animation was actually an afterthought. All it consists of is two rectangles (black handle and red light) with an animation on the red rectangle that is synced with the audio of the lightsaber turning on. Easy-peasy and a cool effect.

Another thing I love about the Star Wars movies is the quirky use of scene transitions. While I couldn’t get the exact feel of those movie transitions, I tried to replicate some of these with slide transitions in Storyline. The slide below uses the clock transition and is in mid-transition.


The last item I wanted to use in this challenge was humor. I tried and hopefully achieved that goal in my quiz questions and feedback for the learner.


To view my entry for the ELH Challenge, click the Launch Demo button below. For another Star Wars entry in this challenge, check out Trina Rimmer’s Vader the Interrogator entry. And if you are feeling inspired, create and submit your own entry.

Launch Demo

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