LMS Tracking with Minimum Slides and branching

We've created a course with a number of slides hidden in Presenter Navigation using the Slide Properties dialog. We've also used scenario-based questions branched to different slides. We have no quizzes to track, so we choose to track by minimum slides and report COMPLETE/INCOMPLETE based upon that criteria. However, our hidden slides in combination with the variables created by the branching scenario create a situation where we don't know how many slides to track. It's conceivable that a user could visit the minimum number of slides simply by virtue of his branching choices- if that student chose to leave the course before they got to the end of the visible slide content, they would be given credit for the course! Alternatively, if they complete all slides and don't visit the branched ones, they're not credited. Apologies if this has been visited, but I've been unable to find a solution in forums or knowledge base. I've checked out the 9 steps, but we're not really troubleshooting- the LMS is doing just what it should. 

13 Replies
Brian Batt

Hi Jeff,

Since you have a complicated branching scheme, you may consider putting a very basic quiz slide at the end of your presentation that asks the user if they enjoyed the course.  Then, track the course by the completion of that quiz.  By doing this, as long as the user gets to the final slide (regardless of how many slides they viewed to get there), their course will be completed in the LMS.

Would that work for you?

Jeff Nauman

Thanks, Brian.. great suggestion... Overnight I came up with something similar by basing completion upon a small quiz I already had as my last slide (I wasn't going to base credit on it, but changed it to eliminate the problem with the slide architecture and minimum viewed). That works fine, except that it seems to create a bit of a dilemma. There are some sharp folks out there who would pretty quickly spread the word that all they have to do to get credit for the course is to hit the last slide and pass the 'gimme'. Not to be outdone, and as the intrepid e-learning hero that i am, I gamely react by hiding the slide. Then, not to be outdone, THEY figure out it's hidden and navigate to one or two slides ahead, reach the 'gimme' and test out. Don't see a way to make them view the entire program AND get credit for it by closing out with the quiz. Do you? I'd hate to think that all my 'creative' interactivity and painstaking construction (learned mostly from your great tutorials and other heroes' suggestions!) would be overlooked with a simple trick by a crafty student. Or am I missing something completely obvious here?

Brian Batt

Hi Jeff,

If your learners are skipping to the end of the presentation just to get credit for it, then there's not a lot that can be done.  If it were me, I would create a final quiz that requires the end-user to have specific knowledge gained from the presentation in order to pass it.  

Alternatively, you might want to place "knowledge checks" throughout the course that are required to advance through the course that are basically ungraded quizzes, but require a passing grade to advance.

Jeff Nauman

I agree with what you're saying- but while a few might take advantage, certainly this wouldn't apply to the majority of our learners. Our course consists of five academic modules and a 6th that is our validation and survey module- the final exam. We're just trying to plug the loopholes. Thanks for your comments and advice- I think we'll be fine with our program by incorporating these ideas.

Shelly Cook

May I suggest you try the "mark complete" widget available from eLearning enhanced.  We've tested it and appears to work with our LMS.  You simply insert the widget on the slide at the end of each possible branch.  Publish your course requiring all slides to be viewed (regardless of the # available in each branch).  When the learner arrives at the slide on which the invisible widget was placed, the learner is marked complete in the LMS. The widget can be inserted on multiple slides in a course, if needed.

If you stick with the "quiz at the end" concept, as discussed in this thread, then you can place a "hidden" slide (with the widget inserted) that you branch to if the learner "passes" the quiz.  You could have a quiz at the end of each branch.  Since the widget slide would be hidden, the learner won't be able to easily skip to it using the outline/table of contents yet no matter which branch the learner takes, they could be marked complete if they pass the quiz.

Hope this helps.  Hey, eLearning enhanced, any kickbacks for free advertisement would be appreciated !  Just kidding... but I'd recommend looking at their products as they can add a little more flexibility and let you leverage Articulate even more.

Jeff Nauman

Hi Shelly- That's a great widget and I will definitely use it in future courses I build. However, for this one I'm afraid I've put myself into a bit of a box because none of my branches qualify for a course closer- instead, I ask a question, branch off of the main to go to a 'branch set' of possible answers, but all will eventually return to the main line. So it's possible for a user to answer question 1 by clicking the correct choice and returning to continue the course without seeing the slides that would indicate incorrect answers. There are no exit points until the end, where in order to beat the 'minimum slides' criteria problem, I set a small quiz to complete the module with COMPLETE as the module tracker. So, I still don't quite have the solution for the user who decides to 'test out' for his or her completion credit. I'll do some more thinking and will share a solution if I find it. Thanks very much for your great suggestion for a really cool widget. 

Renee Tregonning

Hey Jeff,

I too am having a similar problem. My solution at this stage is a 1 question quiz at the end which will be the scoring object and it allows me to neatly get my users to use the finish button to close the session. To combat the users going through the project at will and cheating skipping to the end I unfortunately have gone with the Restricted option with a locked playbar and all navigation created on screen (buttons I have developed with hyperlinks). This still gives the user the ability to feel like they are in control however to a degree you are ensuring they see content before closing out of the project. This means a lot of hyperlinks which is the only way to branch with the Restricted option.

I hope this helps.

PS Shelly!!! That is a great widget, I am definitely going to use!!!

Scott Lindstrom

Due to the fact that I'm also being "requested" to use the minimum number of slides viewed and I have branching as Jeff does, I just wanted to double-check that when you use this option, the "Hidden" slides are counted as well. 

PS, if a user stops part way through the course and finishes at a later date, will the number of slides still be tracked?


Off to look at the widget thingy!

Bill Harnage

Why not lock the navigation and menu so the user can't simply click to the end?  They can go backwards, but they won't be able to skip to the end.

That way you know they've gone through the course to the acknowledgement.  Some people may disagree w/ locking the navigation, but with scenarios like this, the options are limited.

Minimum slides are just that and there is no way to specify which slides are completed, unfortunately.

But, that might be a cool feature to have in the next version of Presenter.. *hint, hint* Articulate

Scott Lindstrom

The Locked option wouldn't work for this audience. The Restricted option which is what I think you're talking about, doesn't work because I have branching via hyperlinks to other sections. It's after you jump that the Restricted option will not let you advance to a specific slide you chose in Slide Properties. Has to be linear. ;-(  If you are using the Restricted option and want to use branching, you pretty much have to build the whole course with hyperlinks. Wahooo!

Thankfully, it's Friday!

John M

I was wondering if you could report to the LMS based on a blank quiz.  That is - create a quiz using only a blank quiz slide and use it as the penultimate slide in the lesson.  The user would have to click the "Next" button to advance the slide, but it wouldn't be a quiz per se.

Does anyone know if this could be used to report a complete or pass to an LMS?