Learning Game

This project was featured for the Articulate Storyline, E-Learning Heroes Challenge of the Week (Sunday, May 5th 2019). It’s an interactive notation reference, practice simulator and sight-reading performance analysis tool for drummers.

My Role

Full scope, end-to-end design and development including competitive analysis, user research and usability testing, illustration (Adobe CC), development (Articulate Storyline) and audio engineering (Logic Pro X).


11 days spread across 6 weeks.

Business Goal

Direct traffic to private lesson sales, cultivate customer retention, build brand recognition and goodwill.

This course is designed at the intersection of marketing and education. It’s an open online educational resource that provides value up front. The rewards are private lesson sales, customer retention, brand recognition, and goodwill.

Learner Goal/User Story

“As a drummer, I want to improve my sight-reading note identification rate, so that I can learn from sheet music and effectively perform with my band.”

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, learners will be able to name the parts of the drum kit, identify notes on the staff, read and perform basic notation.


Beginning drummers, intermediate and advanced drummers who are seeking to improve their sight-reading note identification rate.

Needs Analysis

Needs analysis in this context means finding what learners are missing in their search for online lessons. This information was acquired through:

  1. Observations and conversations while teaching private lessons
  2. Competitive analysis
  3. Blog search query data
  4. YouTube search query data
  5. Google Keyword Planner data
  6. Requests made through public comments
  7. Requests made through direct messages

Data from all sources demonstrate a clear and consistent demand for this course. Learner needs are not being met because business competitors, faced with copyright restrictions, would see a negative return on investment from producing courses that teach learners to read transcriptions of popular music.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment tool is a custom interaction I built in Articulate Storyline. Storyline is an appropriate choice because it facilitates the time-efficient development of sophisticated web-apps. The HTML5 output can be served over the internet and opened by any modern, internet capable device.

There are two assessments in the simulation:

  1. Practice assessment: Learners are presented with a note on the staff. They can explore the simulated drum kit to find the right note. The note remains the same until the learner finds it on the kit. Once the note has been identified and played on the kit, the learner scores a point and a new note is shown on the staff. This process repeats until the 60-second timer runs out. All correct note identifications are scored. There is no penalty for missed notes.
  2. Performance analysis: Sight-reading performance is analyzed in a 60-second timed session. When the learner correctly identifies a note, they score a point. When the learner incorrectly identifies a note, a point is subtracted from their score. At the end of the 60-second-session, the learner is presented with a detailed analysis and data visualization of their accuracy on the eight components of the drum kit. From this visualization, a custom practice session can be launched focusing on an area that needs improvement.


This course is an open educational resource and functions as marketing for my private teaching business. Learners who react positively to the experience and find value in its contribution to their performance are likely to become customers, trust the brand and share the resource.

Google Analytics, WordPress Jetpack Analytics and xAPI statements posted to Yet Analytics will provide data on lead conversion rate, engagement duration, new traffic, repeat traffic and social media sharing.

The course’s contribution to private lesson sales will be evaluated informally through conversation with new and repeat customers. This bulk of data will be compared to other interactions within the greater MOOC (massive online open course). Based on this data, decisions will be made on whether it’s worthwhile to invest time building upon the course as a platform.

Improvements and adjustments will be made to the course based on feedback gathered from in-person testing, peer reviews and online customers.

Media Tools

  • Articulate Storyline (interactive course development)
  • Logic Pro X (drum set audio)
  • Adobe Illustrator (logo and instrument graphics)