Enabling students to better use keyboard inputs to complete Quizzes

Jan 14, 2018

I've created a number of multiple fill-in-the blank question slides using the Pick One freeform option (using this method: https://articulate.com/support/article/how-to-evaluate-multiple-fill-in-the-blanks-on-the-same-slide).

It's a lot of typing for students to answer these questions, so I'd like them to be able to use the keyboard for two things:

First, I'd like them to be able to jump between text fields using the "tab" key. I see that we can customize the Tab Order for screen readers, but that means users without screen readers end up needlessly selecting other shapes and text boxes along the way. Is there a way to limit the tabbing to only active text fields, WITHOUT compromising the accessibility for screen readers?

Second, I'd like users to be able to submit their answer with either the Submit button or the "enter" key. Right now I have it set to the Submit button, but I can't figure out how to include the "enter" key as well.

From the googling I've done, it wasn't clear to me if either of these changes were possible, but I wanted to check.

Thanks for your help!

21 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi Chris! I'm happy to point you in the right direction here.

  1.  Jumping between text fields using the "Tab" key: In Storyline 360, the cursor should appear in the first text entry field as soon as the slide begins. Then the tab key should bring the focus to the next text entry field. Is that not what you're seeing on your slide? What version of Storyline are you using?
  2. Submit answer with the "Enter" key: You can set the Enter key as a submit key in Form View, as shown below.
Chris Morse

Hi Alyssa,

I'm using Articulate Storyline 360.

When I preview my project, the cursor doesn't appear in the first text field, and I have to click into the field to start typing. When I tab through, it will eventually get to the next text field. But before doing so, it will also select other shapes on the page, which are highlighted with a yellow rectangle. 

And unfortunately I don't see that Submit Keys option in the form view. My form view looks like this: https://www.screencast.com/t/J7gIbyys3HI

In order to do a multiple fill-in-the-blank quiz, I'm using the Pick One freeform option (method described here: https://articulate.com/support/article/how-to-evaluate-multiple-fill-in-the-blanks-on-the-same-slide). Could that explain this discrepancy?

Thanks, Chris

Chris Morse

Hi Alyssa,

I added that trigger, but in preview mode when I hit Enter it says "Must Complete the Question Before Sending". 

I noticed that I cannot add this as a "Player Trigger". Instead, it automatically becomes a "Slide Trigger". Even when I edit the "Submit-Interaction-When User Clicks-Submit", it changes form a Player Trigger to a Slide Trigger. I assume this is part of the problem?

Thanks again, Chris

Chris Morse

Hi Alyssa,

Sorry for the delay, I missed the alert that you had responded.

I'm a bit confused by the question. The Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter are triggered as "Selected" when the user clicks on it. The triggering of the buttons is not connected to users typing in the text entry fields.

There are three separate conditions for the interaction to be correct. Text field 1 must be correct, Text field 2 must be correct, and the correct button must be toggled. All three conditions be correct for the assignment to be marked as correct, but the triggering of those assignments is independent. (for example, both text fields could be correct while the button could be incorrect).

Does that make sense?


Alyssa Gomez

Ah yes, that does make sense! Thanks so much for clarifying that for me. I think I've now got it working as you intended. Here are the two changes I made to your file:

  1. I moved the text entry fields to the top of the tab order. Now, these fields will be the first objects in focus when pressing the Tab key.
  2. I added three triggers to allow the learner to use the Enter key to submit the interaction.

Have a look at the updated file I attached, and let me know if it's working better for you!

Chris Morse

Hi Alyssa,

Ahh, I see. Thanks, this is very helpful!

Just one more quick question -- Can I also add a trigger that will advance the slide from the Incorrect or Correct screen? Instead of having the student click "Continue" each time? I tried adding this trigger similarly to how you described above, but I'm not having any success.

Thanks again,


Chris Morse

Hi Alyssa,

Great, that worked! However, I tried this same method for another project, and for some reason it's not working there. I double-checked, and I believe everything appears to be the same.

Can you please check the attached to see why pressing the Enter key won't advance the slide from the Correct or Incorrect layers?

Alyssa Gomez

Hey Chris,

This is really weird, seeing as the exact same triggers worked correctly on the other question. I published your file to compare Flash and HTML5, and I'm seeing a bug happening in the HTML5 output. This video explains the bug in more detail. 

I'm going to bring this to my team so we can begin looking into a fix. For now, you can work around this bug by viewing the Flash output.

I'll let you know as soon as I get an update on it!

Crystal Horn

Hi Chris!  From what we can tell so far, the issue with using Enter to exit the feedback layer is occurring specifically when the learner uses the Enter key immediately after typing their answer.  If they tabbed to the submit key and used the spacebar, the Enter key worked to jump to the next slide from the feedback layer.

Are you seeing the same thing if you tab out of the text entry field first?  We're still investigating why this is happening in the HTML5 output as opposed to the Flash, but I wanted to mention another "keyboard-accessible" way to navigate those questions in case it was helpful.

Chris Morse

Hi Crystal,

Yes, I see the same thing. If I tab away from the text field before hitting enter, then I am able to hit enter to exit the feedback screen.

However, that is not intuitive for my users, so I cannot use that as a substitute. UX is critical for me, so I need them to be able to simply hit enter as expected. 

Is there any approximate timeline for finding a fix for this? I understand it's probably hard to project, but it's very important for my project.

Thanks for your help!

Vincent Scoma

Hi Chris,

I am reaching out to share that the issue where you can't tab to feedback layer items when using Enter to submit text entry interaction has been resolved! 

The next step is to update Storyline 360 by heading to your Articulate 360 desktop app and clicking "Update" next to Storyline.

If the problem reappears, please let us know! We are happy to help!

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