Creating Template with a Published Date (Date course is published to LMS)

Oct 28, 2020

I am updating a template. I have a Welcome slide that needs a hidden published date. I would like to create this in the background (Slide Master) of my slide so that all we (developers) have to do is apply the Master Slide to our course, and not have to worry about copy/pasting.

The ideal would be to have a field outside of the course slide viewing area where we could enter a date (the date we update the course for the LMS) and have that date automatically be inserted into the Published Date layer, which only shows in the slide master.

The way I have this set up is that the user (our LMS team) would be able to click on the blue bar at the bottom of the slide to view the Published Date layer to determine if this course is the most updated course in our LMS.

The Javascript for the Copyright date works, and the trigger to click the blue bar and view the Published Date layer works. I'm just having issues figuring out a way to make the Published Date automatically populate into the Published Date layer from within a field on the slide view. Javascript maybe? I don't want this date to dynamically change, as it only changes as the course is updated by us, the developers.

Hopefully, all of this makes sense. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Thank you!

Michelle Vales

7 Replies
Math Notermans

Hi Michelle, im not sure from your images how the date when it is reviewed is established.
The publish date i can imagine...that is probably just the current data that gets set when the storyline developer is done and publishes the title. However the 'dateReviewed' is that set in your process ? Is there a button on the title the Reviewer can click to state he reviewed it? Or is it republished by him/her when he is done reviewing? Thats unclear to me.

For any variable to show inline somewhere ( %anyvariable% ) you offcourse need to set it.
For the current Date there are no default Storyline triggers to get that done. You need Javascript and the Date object to get that.

Quickly mocked up a setup that gets the current date, writes that to a variable and shows it onscreen. Hope this helps, if not feel free to ask.

Math Notermans

The part to show the published date was somewhat more complicated. In the meta.xml it is stated when you publish...but how to access that ? Well in this Storyline the meta.xml is read in and the attribute for the published date is read and shown when you click 'Get XML'
It is quite complex, but possible as you can see here...

Michelle Vales

Good morning Math, 

Please let me try to elaborate.

We consider the 'dateReviewed' as the date that we, the Curriculum Developers, review the content and make any necessary updates in the course (the .story file). 

We consider the 'datePublished' the date that we export the SCORM file to have uploaded into the LMS. 

Here's an example:

Let's say the story is reviewed and updates are made on 9/18/2020. The 'dateReviewed' is changed to 09/2020 as it's only displayed in MM/YYYY format on the first slide.

The SCORM file for the updated course is exported ('datePublished') on 9/23/2020. The 'datePublished' format is MM/DD/YYYY and is hidden, from the learner, on the first slide.

Let's say on 9/28/2020, our CS team gets a call from Sarah, a Learner, who says she took the course but was unable to complete the course for some reason. We are notified and figure out the issue. We fix the course. The 'dateReviewed' stays the same, as the updates were made on 9/18 and there were no updates to the content, we just had to fix a trigger or two.

The 'datePublished' is updated to the date the SCORM file was exported again for the LMS. Let's say that's on 10/6/2020. Sarah retakes the course, completes it, and gets her Certificate of Completion on 10/8/2020.

Then, let's say, Bobby, another learner, calls in on 10/8/2020 and says he took the course but was unable to complete the course for the same reason Sarah provided on 9/28.

At this point, you would think that the course Bobby is trying to take is the original course that was published on 9/23/2020. But, that course had a problem, was fixed, and republished on 10/6/2020. So why is Bobby having the same issue? Without our CS team being able to look at the date the course was published ('datePublished'), they are not able to troubleshoot this issue. 

Of course, this is a hypothetical situation but could happen. So, we want to find a way to have a 'dateReviewed' and a 'datePublished' inserted on our end, these dates would not be dynamic and would not update each time a Learner gets into a course. These dates would be updated during the EDITING process on the Developer's end.

I was thinking maybe we could use some sort of entry field on a blank slide that is not visible by the learner. We (Developers) would enter a date into a field and that date is copied into the first slide wherever we reference it. Then, we could use states to hide/unhide it for our CS teams. But, I've not been able to get any of this work. Being a newbie, it very well could be just me.

I also thought maybe we could write JavaScript for this, but after speaking to a co-worker, we think it would be tied to Storyline modes, which are most likely behind the scenes. I've asked Articulate Support how Storyline distinguishes between modes (Edit, Published, etc.) and if those modes are accessible to us through JavaScript Triggers, but I haven't heard back. 

I don't know if Storyline is as robust as we would like it to be, so hopefully, this longer explanation makes sense. Thank you!


Math Notermans

Hi Michelle,

If you want to 'timestamp' a version when its edited and put live on a LMS so you can troubleshoot it, that not too hard. With a variable you can do that easily. It wont be automated though, the developer has to specifically set that variable when he saves. The published date in the meta.xml is only changing on a new publish, so that might help too...

When opening in Storyline you are always in Storyline Edit mode. Sothere is no difference. View mode is always in the LMS or in Review360.

Best solution is probaby versioncontrol. When you use 1 version...its the latest version all the time... if you for some reason want them with version-numbers.. or look into some versioncontrol system for Storyline.

Old school version control would be naming your .story-files with dates...
So first version would be...

mycourse_101520.story ( made at 15 octobre 2020 )
A custom variable in the title is filled with "mycourse_1020"
Maybe the title of the Storyline can be captured somehow...
Else this needs to be set manually when working on the title...
This can be shown somewhere in view...either always or just with a hidden button...

So a week later ( 22 oct 2020 ) some user discovers a bug and reports it..
Developers review and fix it...they rename and save the title as
The custom variable needs to be changed too...
And when published its clearly visible what te version is...

Thats the old-school way :-)
Im gonna check whether you can fill a variable in Storyline automatic with its name,
and if there is some sort of version control system to use with Storyline.


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