Custom variable persistence between sessions

May 29, 2014

I see that there's a way to get my custom variable values to the LMS using this approach:

I had a couple of questions on that: 1) Does it work reliably? 2) How can I read that variable value back into my course when a user loads it a subsequent time, if that's even possible?

In short, the ability to add custom variables is nice but it's kind of a cute novelty if I can't persist the data between sessions for the user. Any direction the community can provide is appreciated.

13 Replies
Steve Flowers

Hey Jason - 

That's a bit different use case. In the linked article, this refers to sending the value to the LMS so that it can be reported as interaction data. In the case of variables that are restored, these are stored within a single field called suspend data. This is the "LMS Cookie" and will restore back into the Story file each time the file is relaunched unless one of two things happens:

1) The user's progress is reset in the LMS

2) The user's progress is reset in the Storyline player (clicking no when asked to resume)

I almost always set my story files to always resume so the user doesn't have the opportunity to destroy their progress. 

Steve Flowers

It's preference. With always resume it will always jump back to the previously visited slide and all retained properties including slide states and variables will be retained. I prefer this to giving the option because I've seen folks click no either purposely or on accident expecting that they'd just be dropped back to the beginning but wouldn't lose progress. The disaster is they lost everything. Notes that were kept in fields, simulation scores, pre-test scores that tailored the experience, etc.. All lost. There shouldn't be any reason that these should be purgeable without some intentional author or admin control.

One downside, if they get bound up or something locks (never seen this in Storyline, have in Captivate) the only way to reset is by resetting status in the LMS. Some LMS, like ours, won't allow reset if the user has already completed the module. Like I said, never seen this problem in Storyline. But have seen it a couple of times in Captivate.

Curtis Stallins

Found this thread today on variable values persisting between sessions. Apparently years ago, variable values did persist assuming certain conditions.  Can I assume today in February 2021 that, using the latest release of SL3,  variable values (T/F in this case) persist when someone exits a course or closes their browser and returns with the same browser after lunch or months later, assuming their course registration has not been purged from the LMS *and* they select to resume?

Thank you for your time,

Curtis Stallins

Leslie, thank you for replying.  I'm experiencing no difficulties, but wondering if persistent variable values could provide a solution to a problem I'm solving. It sounds like it's possible, and I'll explore this more deeply. Of course I'll come whimpering back to this thread if I stub my toe...


Lauren Connelly

Hi Charlotte!

I see that you've submitted a support case and are working with my teammate, Cleo! Great call. Cleo shared that the value of the variable is reset after every session. However, if you enabled the resume option in Player > Other > Resume: On Restart, by setting it to "Always resume," Storyline stores all the states, variables, and properties of the slide after the user visits it, allowing it to resume to the last slide viewed on succeeding visit. In this regard, if your last slide is a result slide, users are resumed to that slide upon revisiting the course.

In the result slide, if you added the Review Quiz button from the Result Tools, this will allow users to review the question slides with their response and compare them with the correct answers.

Cleo is still available in your support case if you have additional questions!