Are you looking for a way to make e-learning courses more dynamic and engaging? Look no further than drag-and-drop interactions. Drag-and-drop interactions give your learners the opportunity to make decisions and engage with course content, and can be an excellent learning tool when used appropriately. That begs the question, when should drag-and-drops be used?

In my experience, they can really come in handy when you want your learners to:

Storyline 360 offers a variety of ways to create drag-and-drop interactions. Let’s have a closer look at three easy techniques.

Graded Quiz Slides

Storyline 360 offers 11 graded question types, two of which are prebuilt drag-and-drop interactions. The nice thing about Storyline’s graded question slides is that they’re superquick and easy to set up since you don’t have to create a single trigger. All you have to do is select the type of drag-and-drop question you want—matching or sequence?—and insert your content.  

View a Storyline 360 Matching Drag-and-Drop Quiz Slide

View a Storyline 360 Sequence Drag-and-Drop Quiz Slide

Matching activities are great when you want learners to make a connection between several items, for example an event and the date it occurred. Sequence is great for having learners identify the order of a process or task.


Freeform slides let you convert any regular slide into a graded drag-and-drop quiz slide in a few clicks. Freeform slides are a really powerful tool because they allow you to completely customize every single aspect of your slide and drag-and-drop interaction. Freeform is perfect when you want to create a drag-and-drop that is not a matching or sequence activity, for example, to sort incorrect and correct items or to match non-text items such as shapes or images. Here are some examples of customized drag-and-drop interactions created using Freeform slides:

View a Freeform Gamified Drag-and-Drop

View a Freeform Placing Drag-and-Drop Activity

To create a freeform drag-and-drop interaction, insert a new slide and click the “Convert to Freeform” button on the “Insert” tab of the Storyline 360 ribbon. Select the drag-and-drop option, then click Insert. Storyline will automatically create a graded drag-and-drop quiz slide, and will even add the “Submit” button and the feedback layers. You will be presented with “Form View,” where you can assign your drag items and your drop targets.

Storyline 360’s Drag-and-Drop Freeform Form View

When you’re in Form View, you’ll notice that there are options available to you in the ribbon.

Options available in Drag-and-Drop Freeform Form View

A few things you can do here: shuffle the answers, assign a results slide, and assign the number of attempts learners have. Above all, the one key feature you need to know about is the “Drag & Drop Options” button.

Drag & Drop Options

Knowing about these options can save you a ton of time and headaches. These options give you flexibility when you’re tweaking your drag-and-drop interaction to work just the way you want it. Need your drag items revealed one at a time? No problem! Do you want to allow multiple items onto one drop target? Just check the box. These options will let you customize your drag-and-drop interaction to behave just the way you want.


There’s one more, little-known, way to create a very simple, ungraded drag-and-drop interaction by using a single trigger. You’ll need at least two objects on your slide to make this work. The “When” drop-down menu in the Trigger Wizard offers two options:

These Drag Drop Events are available in the Trigger Wizard

By using either of these options in a trigger with two objects from your slide, you can create a very simple drag-and-drop interaction. However, you can’t customize that interaction in any way and it can’t be graded. For that reason, it’s typically recommended to use the freeform drag-and-drop interaction, which is superpowerful, graded, and offers many options for customization.

In Sum

Creating drag-and-drop interactions with Storyline 360 is intuitive and easy, no matter which method you choose. Go ahead, build your own drag-and-drop interaction so you can see for yourself how quick and easy it is. Let me know how it turns out in the comments below!

Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.

Brett Lacey

I am not sure where would be a good spot to ask this question on here, but I am working on a course that will be uploaded to my school's LMS. I wanted to ask if there is an option to just add in a link on our learning portal that will open up the published course (using Storyline 360) in Articulate Online, so when students go to open the course on their tablets or cellphones, the feature to download the Storyline Player will appear, so they can view the course properly? I have uploaded it to the school's LMS, but it just opens up using the preset dimensions of our LMS, meaning on a laptop, you have to use scroll bars to move the screen up and down, left and right, in order to click on the "Submit" button at the bottom of the window, or to go to the side menu. When I tested it on my cel... Expand

Nicole Legault
Greg Younger

Thanks for posting these, Nicole. I'm a fan of drag-and-drop interactions - so many creative possibilities! But there's one reason I've limited my use of them in Storyline. Maybe you can help with the problem I've encountered: no partial credit. Forgive me for using one of the interactions you posted above as an example. I'm not picking on you - as far as I can tell, this is how Storyline handles drag-and-drop, and it perfectly illustrates what I'm talking about. Faced with seven steps to put in order, I might mistakenly switch the order of steps 3 and 4. But I've placed steps 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 correctly. I'm pretty close - I'm 71% correct! But the only feedback I get is, "nope, that's not right." So I start juggling steps, but blindly: I don't know which (or even how many) items a... Expand

Nicole Legault

Hi Greg! Thanks for posting your question. A few features that could help you achieve exactly the customization you're looking for would be 1) variables and 2) drag-and-drop states. Are you familiar with these handy features? For example, take a look at this example (included in the above article) This Freeform drag-and-drop makes use of the drag-and-drop states that are built into Storyline. You can read more about them here: Notice how when you click the submit button for that interaction, the ones that are incorrect turn red? That's a way you can provide partial feedba... Expand

Greg Younger
Nicole Legault
Nicole Legault
Diana Banik
LaVon Bowman

Nicole, I did not know which topic to post this under, Articulate Storyline 360 or Rise. I am building a drag and drop (Free Form) to insert into an Articulate Rise course. Base layer has the drag and drop with directions. They would get only 3 attempts to get it correct. (I also added the the "number of attemps 1/3 or 2/3 or 3/3. layer 1 (correct: has Success "Congratulations!" message that will display when they get it correct on 1st, 2nd attempt or 3rd attempt. Layer 2 (try again): shows you did not pass "try again btn). Llayer 3 (Incorrect): displays after 3rd failed attempt "You did not pass" with the correct answers in the correct order. I am using a single slide with layers so I can insert it into a Rise course. I started using an example I found on this page. I... Expand

Anatascia Boateng
Lyndsay Holder

I am creating a drag-and-drop interaction where learners are dragging pieces of vegetables, fruit, grains, etc. to learn about correct portion sizes. There is a plat and six pieces of broccoli for them to drag and drop. The correct answer is three pieces of broccoli, but I have six pieces of broccoli in the answer bank. Is there any way to structure this free form drag-and-drop so that any of the six pieces of broccoli, as long as there are three on the plate, would count as correct? As I have it built now, I'm having to have three of the pieces of broccoli be incorrect, which would be confusing to the learner. I want them to be able to choose as many of the broccoli as they desire, but when they hit submit, it is only correct if there are three pieces of broccoli on the plate. Is that an ... Expand

David Bullock
James Bright