Introduction to JavaScript for E-Learning

Have you heard e-learning developers talking about JavaScript? Are you wondering what all the fuss is about? Good news! This is the intro you need to understand what JavaScript is, why it’s relevant to e-learning, and how you can get started using it to create dynamic e-learning with Articulate Storyline.

What’s JavaScript and Why Is It Useful for E-Learning? 

JavaScript is a computer programming language developers use to make websites interactive. How does that help your e-learning courses? Well, let’s imagine for a second that Mr. JavaScript is applying for a position at Storyline Corp. The hiring manager and Mr. Player are eager to learn if Mr. JavaScript is the right choice: 

 If Storyline Corp. hires Mr. JavaScript, they’ll be able to use his expertise to help Mr. Player do even more. Let’s take a closer look.

Why Would You Use JavaScript?

Storyline lets you create dynamic interactions with the combination of triggers, actions, conditions and variables. That’s all available for you, out of the box, without JavaScript. Why would you use JavaScript then?

JavaScript lets you do things to extend the power of the built-in tools in Storyline. For example, augmenting Storyline with JavaScript lets you create math functions such as generating random numbers, rounding numbers up or down, working with dates and time, and more. String functions are also powerful in JavaScript. String functions are things like splitting text to count the number of words, searching and replacing text, or checking text for keywords.

Storyline's three variable types (number, text, and true/false) require different triggers to execute the actions. This means that when you're building very complex, highly interactive courses you may end up with dozens of triggers in the triggers panel.

Using JavaScript allows you to group a bunch of variables together. This can speed up the course development process and streamline the number of triggers in the triggers panel. In other words, you can accomplish more with fewer lines of code.

Where to Start with JavaScript 

Think of JavaScript as an ally that you can use to strengthen your Storyline power. I would suggest learning the basics of JavaScript before you integrate it into Storyline. It makes debugging easier. Here are some great ways to really get started with JavaScript:

Keep coming back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any comments, please share them below.

Anne Seller
Sean OBrien