Breaking my brains over variables

Oct 10, 2014


I am working on a course which is outlined as follows:

1) Introduction

2) Chapter 1

3) Chapter 2

3) Chapter 3

I'm not using a Menu, don't want that in this specific course.

On my last slide of the Introduction I have an overview of the three chapters with images for all three. The learner can click on the images to access the relevant chapter. After the learner completes a chapter, he gets back to the overview in the introduction.

What I would like is that if the learner works through chapter 1, an object keeps track of the progress in the overview slide. So if chapter 1 has 5 different subjects, the learner completes 2 and goes back to the overview, the object displays a "2/5" counter. This way, I can show the learner know how far he is. 

I did the following:

1) On the overview page I inserted the tracking object (initial state: hidden with four extra states: 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5). On the image that goes to the right chapter, I added a state with a big, fat green checkmark.

2) I added a named Number variable, starting at 0.

3) In Chapter 1, whenever a learner completes a part, I've added a trigger that adds '1' to the Number variable. So there are 5 parts which each add '1' to the Number variable.

4) On the overview page I added a trigger that changes the state of the tracking object to the right state, depending on the right Number count. 

5) If the learner completes all parts (and the Number count goes up to '5'), the big fat green check mark is displayed.

So far, so good, right? Thing is...the module isn't built linear and learners have a lot of freedom in choosing what they want to do in what order. So chances are that people will read the same chapter multiple times. So is there a way to make sure that if a learner goes through part 1 two times, the Number value doesn't jump to 2 (giving a false tracking object!)?

I have aproached this several times, but I can't seem to find a good workable solution.

Thanks for your time!

Ps. Can't upload the story, as it contains corporate information. Alas...

4 Replies
Jeff Kortenbosch

Hi Marijn, or should I say "Hoi"

I think you need to let go of the number variable. This, as you mentioned, might work with a linear course, but not with an open one.

  • I suggest you use true/false triggers for the different sections. Set them to true if completed.
  • On the 'select chapter' page you set a change state trigger for each chapter to display the big fat check-mark, but only when the appropriate variables are true.

It's basically the same as I do in this video, except you need a few more true/false triggers per chapter.

Michael Hinze

If you want a progress indicator like '2/5 for each section', you do need a 'completion' variable for each of your slides and then add them up at the beginning of the Overview slide. I had done something similar a while ago, where learners could 'build their own course', by selecting any topic their are interested in. The progress indicator automatically adjusted, based on the learner's selection. Here is a short blog post and two examples. You could apply the same concept to your per-section progress indicators. It does take a lot of triggers and variables (depending on the number of slides in each of your sections), but it can be done.

david mckisick

Using a number variable for what you are trying to do will only cause you headaches as you have discovered. As Michael points out, your best bet is to create a separate t/f completion variable for each section, and link those to your "landing page" slide object states. So for example, you could have a progress bar with 5 states, 1 through 5. You would then set a trigger on the landing page to "Change the state of [your progress bar] to x on timeline start IF variable x=T", where x equals the state associated with the variable identified in the condition.

Marijn Bierhof

WOW! Those are some quick replies from you guys, thanks a lot!

Changed it in my story now, so that learners cannot complete a chapter until they finish all parts. Once they finish all parts in a chapter, a button pops up so they can go back to the overview. After they finish all three parts, a textbox changes from hidden to normal with the text they have completed the e-learning.

It's not 100% what I want, but good enough for now. And I learned some new stuff about variables, so that's always good stuff! Thanks!

@Jeff: will there be an Articulate day this year or in 2015? Really interested!!

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