Everything we know about Cornerstone on Demand and Storyline!

I thought I would start a thread about Cornerstone on Demand so there's a central place for people to read and add to. There seems to be a dearth of information about how CSOD and Storyline interact with each other as well as the unresolved issues surrounding it. I've spent many hours scouring the web and speaking with Cornerstone trying to find a solution. Hopefully this thread will serve as a resource for others going forward.

On a side note, I love Articulate Storyline. I started with Adobe Captivate with limited success. It was a very steep learning curve, but I was able to get some basic functionality out of it. I tested out Storyline with it's 30 day trial, and I will say that time-to-effectiveness was drastically reduced. It really IS like using powerpoint. Granted there is less complex functionality and interactions available than Captivate, but so far it's given me everything I've needed to use. The benefit is that the learning curve is much less steep too. Think of it as the difference between iMovie and Final Cut Pro. The latter can do some crazy effects, but the former gives you 90% of what you need and can get you comfortable in 1/4 of the time.

It's nice to have a properly-working content creation tool when you're in an LMS like Cornerstone. I have enough trouble in CSOD as it is.

So some of the nuggets of wisdom that I've found are :

  • Cornerstone does not track SCORM 1.2 content properly. You cannot pull a lot of the reports if they are not in SCORM 2004 format. You don't have the option to select that course in the reports.
  • If you export into SCORM 2004, there will be an extra section on the left with text links to the module. This takes up 30% of the screen, and on smaller laptop screens may crowd out the module window. Cornerstone says this is a Storyline exporting settings issue. I couldn't find any settings that shows/hides that section. The workaround is to resize the module to the screen, which doesn't get rid of the section, but at least fits the module.
  • When reporting, you can get the completion status for a course based on quiz result or last slide viewed. You can also get a final grade for course. Storyline passes the results information for each question (including short answer) but you cannot pull a list of the answers for an individual. Therefore, it may not be advisable to administer any testing where you'll need to review individual answers
  • You can get a list of aggregate answers for a module. e.g. I can see how 100 employees answered this multiple choice question. This is helpful to determine if learners are absorbing the course information correctly.
  • Web objects (such as websites, or links to sharepoint documents) work in modules if your IT has added csod.com to the trusted sites
  • Popup windows that open up the articulate module in CSOD will work if you add csod.com to the allowed list for popup blockers. Your IT dept can also add this to everyone's computer. Otherwise when learners click the "launch" button, the module does not show up.

I'll post more as I think or find them, but feel free to add to this list!

804 Replies
Dana Hinman

Has anyone else been having "reversioning" issues with CSOD and Articulate?

When we try to update a course on Cornerstone the update takes days and sometimes there are unexplained issues.

For example: 1) a NEXT button won't advance (even though it works perfectly in preview) 2) Fonts change from Futura to Times New Roman  3) zoom picture features will not work.

Amy Schammert

We have also experienced delays from the time we published an updated/reversioned course until we are actually able to view it running properly on the server.  In every other system I have used, once the updated shows published it is immediately available.  We have been told more than once by different CSOD folks that it's "normal for it to take 10 minutes up to a couple of hours before the updated content is accessible by users."  So, I don't know about "days" but we certainly have experienced much longer than expected wait times for the new course to "populate" and be available for users and it seems this is normal, expected system behavior.  We've had similar "lags" in the length of time it can take for a Learning Assignment to process.

Will Findlay

There are actually two methods for updating a course which are quite different so that is why I am asking about "reversioning" vs"replacing." For example, you can publish a new online course, and then tell Cornerstone that it should be the new version of an older course. This is "reversioning." Reversioning allows you to avoid any of these file replacement issues, but it does mean that not everyone gets the new version of the course unless you reenroll them in it, which then wipes out their progress.

Replacing is when you just write over the old course. When replacing, what I mean by zero out is that I delete all of the existing course files before uploading the new ones. This prevents Cornerstone from trying to figure out which ones have or have not changed and instead just replaces all the files. My suspicion (which I have no proof of, so maybe I should instead say my superstition) is that Cornerstone's file comparison process doesn't always do the best job at replacing files that need replacing and it leaves ones that should have been replaced. I could be wrong though. I just delete all the files first to rule out this possibility.

[Update 8/2018]: things have changed with the new Content Uploader tool to where you can no longer "zero out" all the files. However, it seems to do better with comparing and replacing the right files now, although CSOD is much more finicky about letting you Replace rather than Reversion. The imsmanifest file has to be almost identical to the previous one.]

Matthew Steffeck

I have, in the past, seen update/replace take days and in the mean time the course looks like someone flipped it upside down and shook it. So, you are not alone in seeing this behavior.  As a result I know of some companies that choose to reversion only and not even mess around with update.

Personally, if I have an update I need to do, and by update I mean small tweaks to text or images, not wholesale changes to slide number or order, I tend to push those out the night before a holiday weekend if it can wait that long or at least overnight if it is urgent. A reversion, can be pushed out any time but then you have to decide who is getting the updated version (everyone vs. new registrations, etc).

I haven't "zeroed out" as Will suggests in recent memory  Although on one occasion I somehow broke the whole course when "zeroing out" and ended up versioning anyway.

Of note, when updating, I have seen some impatient souls attempt to push out multiple updates when the first one didn't show up. This never goes well. Do your self a favor and put a version.update number on your first slide so you know it at least took (e.g when version 1 is updated the first time I put a v1.1 on the first slide). Also note just because you see your update number change on the first slide, doesn't mean the whole update is complete. Patience is required for update/replace.

Will Findlay

Another thing to keep in mind if you decide to reversion rather than replace is that reversioning wipes out all the steps you have to take right after publishing a course. So you have to go back and set the description, availability, subjects, and so on again (all the tabs on the blue page). Also, reversioning causes the course to get a new LO ID, so if you have any deep links, they will no longer work. 

Justin Lovett

Hello my Cornerstone friends. I am having an odd issue.

The Issue:

  • We have a course, it's published in our LMS. The course has 3 quiz questions, a results slide (that submits results) and the questions give 10 points regardless of right or wrong answer.
  • Our users take the course. Pass it (100%) complete in LMS and take the evaluation
  • The course is published at Scorm 2004 (V3) and is set to Complete/Incomplete
  • We go to pull data, completion data reports fine but Q&A data doesn't report as well
  • Oddly enough my team members (6 of us) who took it all have a complete set of Q&A Data
  • Other users have little, incomplete, or NO data at all in the Q&A Breakdown report


Any thoughts?

Jan Farquhar
Jason Chan

If you export into SCORM 2004, there will be an extra section on the left with text links to the module. This takes up 30% of the screen, and on smaller laptop screens may crowd out the module window. Cornerstone says this is a Storyline exporting settings issue. I couldn't find any settings that shows/hides that section. The workaround is to resize the module to the screen, which doesn't get rid of the section, but at least fits the module.


Steve Blane

Hi everyone,

I've run into an issue with embedded webobjects in CornerStone on Demand, only on IE 11.

They work perfectly in other browsers, and even in IE when on ScormCloud.

I'm getting two issues:

1. The buttons on the webpages are not responding. The hover state works but not the action.

2. The webobject is not recognizing the responsiveness of the page. (see attached).

Any thoughts on how to make CornerStone behave?

All the pages are https and built with CSS and a database only.

Dana Hinman

Hi Steve,

Has this course been updated? If so, It can cause issues like this to happen.

We have been setting our compatibility to "none" in Cornerstone (instead of IE 9, 10, etc) and this has helped course issues.

Of course there is always a chance that the actual learning object in CSOD is corrupted. This has happened to our team a few times. For an inexplainable reason a course is corrupt and will not work. In that case we just republish an entire new learning object.

Those are just my thoughts. I'm interested to hear others!

Steve Blane

Thanks for the reply Dana. No, it was a new course. What's the impact of setting the compatibility to None?  I assume it doesn't force a compatibility on the course?

The compatibility was the issue. It was set to 7(!) so none of the responsiveness was working etc. since there we, you know, no smartphone back in '06 when IE7 was a thing. 

They've upped it to 9, where it works but doesn't format properly. But we're testing with a 10 setting using a 9 emulator and it seems to be working.