Everything we know about Cornerstone on Demand and Storyline!

Sep 04, 2013

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!

855 Replies
Mallory  Kudrna

 I have also been having troubles with the content uploader. Here is some testing I habe done:

Deleted word and tried to modify content (replace) got status (uploaded with errors). Appears that the replace did go through even though it stated there were errors.

I moved slide and modified some text. Tried to modify content (replace) got status (uploaded with errors). Through refreshing something happened and I modified using the same ZIP file and it uploaded with no error? Not an immediate update. I believe the cache delay still applies. Maybe took 2 hours? I would give it four if the change doesn’t show up immediately since that was what old documentation stated.

I tried another reversion and processed much quicker. The retraining did show up on my transcript after for a period of time (time unknown as it hadn’t posted after 1.5 hours when I left and it was on my transcript this morning)

 I did additional testing the week prior to the above and had a lot more trouble getting critical errors for minor changes that would not allow update and a reversioning that never finished processing. I'm hoping that was just due to all the updates over the weekend interfering with Stage.

Chris Perez

This is an old thread, but wanted to throw in a new wrinkle. We switched to CSOD this year, and with some recent Microsoft updates, we are having issues with IE. When someone launches a course and then exits, when they go to relaunch the course, it sits on the 'hourglass' screen waiting to load, but never does. It appears to be a browser cache issue, but no idea how to fix it (for all users without explaining to clear cache). This is using HTML5 publishing mode and IE11.

Rachel Craig

I've had a similar issue. One of the things I did was go into the Course Catalog, edit the course and changing the Compatibility mode to none. Then I pushed out the course to users with the Learning Assignment tool. I didn't have to contact employees to clear their cache. Hope that helps!

Bob Wiker

When our LMS admin uploads a course into CSOD we get a tiny version of the course displayed in the CSOD window. How tiny? Well, like 10 pixels across. No kidding! I've tried a number of settings for SCORM and for the Player > Other settings with no luck.

Using Storyline 3, Update 2

Publish settings:
SCORM 2004 2nd Edition
Tracking on number of slides completed
Reporting as Passed/Incomplete

Player setting combinations in 'Other' that I've tried:
Browser size--tried Fill screen, tried current size
Player size--tried Scale to fill, tried lock at optimal
Launch in new window: tried On, tried Off

The only thing that made any difference was "Launch in new window". The only problem is that when I do that there are multiple windows onscreen; not what learners are used to.

Help! I'm not even worried about tracking at this point; I just want the course to open and display properly!!

Steve Flowers

Hi, Bob - 

Have never seen this behavior. However, I can see how it might happen if the screen resolution isn't set right in the catalog or the defaults are set to tiny. Try asking your admin to go into the general tab of the catalog item and type a width and height that you'd like it to appear as. 

I think part of the problem is the "Online Course Player" displays that silly menu. That side-menu can be deactivated by global support. We don't have a need for it as most of our LO's are singles. It's a waste of space. All it takes is a GPS ticket to turn off the Online Course side menu.

There is also a global setting under Preferences > Content Launching Preferences. I'm curious what this is set to in your system.

Bob Wiker

Thx for the information Steve. I forwarded it to the LMS admin. I've tried nearly every combination of Browser setting (resize, current, optimal) and Player setting (scale up, optimal) with no luck; the course always displays super-tiny.

I tested the course in SCORM Cloud and it works great. So, I'm leaning more heavily to it being a CSOD issue with player setup. Our LMS admin has said now that she'll reach out to CSOD Support; hopefully they can tell her what checkboxes to set and buttons to click in CSOD.

It shouldn't be this hard, am I right??!! <grin>  And the non-technical people around me wonder, "It's all SCORM-compliant so it should just work...what's the big deal?" <groan>

Bob Wiker

CSOD Support seemed to be stumped. They said the course worked fine for them in Google Chrome but not in Internet Explorer 11.  (IE 11 is our current corporate standard so that's that.)

Surprisingly, they asked if there are any browser config/compatibility settings in Storyline that maybe I could change or check, such as forcing the browser into IE Compatibility Mode or forcing the browser to spoof an earlier IE version. (The answer is no, of course.) How could they be unfamiliar with Storyline??? CSOD is, after all, an LMS and Storyline is one of the most popular elearning authoring tools around these days. Sigh.

In the end, we decided to enable "Launch Player in new window" within Storyline.  The learner is presented with a "Launch Course" orange button in an otherwise empty browser window. When clicked, the orange button launches another window on top that contains the course. An ugly user experience but we could never get the underlying CSOD window to display the course.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Bob,

I'm sorry that CSOD support weren't much help - but I'd agree with Chris that you'll want to look into disabling the compatibility mode of IE (which some LMSs have been forcing content to run in automatically). 

We've seen this recently for users who are playing back Rise content in an LMS that has limited HTML5 support, so the steps below are what we've shared to disable compatibility mode for those users - and would be worth checking into for your Storyline course too. 

Option 1: Change Your Compatibility View Settings

  1. Click the gear icon in Internet Explorer (or click the Tools menu if it's visible), then choose Compatibility View settings.
  2. If the website where your course is hosted is listed in Compatibility View, select it and click Remove.
  3. Click Close, then launch your course again. If the page is still blank, try the following method.

Option 2: Use the Developer Tools to Switch Document Modes

  1. Click the gear icon in Internet Explorer (or click the Tools menu if it's visible), then choose Developer Tools. They'll open across the bottom of your browser.
  2. On the right side of the developer bar, you should see an icon that looks like a computer monitor and a smartphone with a number beside it. When you hover over the icon, a tooltip will say Document mode (with a number). Click the icon to display a list of Internet Explorer version numbers.
  3. Select version 11, then launch your course again.
Chris Undery
Chris Perez

As suggested earlier in the thread, did you try setting IE Compatibility Mode to None? We tried it and it did resolve some problems for us. We are using SCORM 1.2 and HTML5 Only output.

We always set IE compatability mode to None otherwise we run into various problems. No idea why it works but it does.

Steve Flowers

About CSOD's support response... That player frame is controlled by CSOD, not by Storyline. It appears clear that the LMS player frame is squeezing the content in your screenshot. Turning off the player frame in the backend should make the problem go away. We inactivate that feature since we don't need it and every course runs well for us. 



Steve Flowers

Oh. The other thing you might try is publishing to SCORM 1.2. If you don't have big suspend data needs, this could remove the player frame. Also, I'm not certain but I don't think CSOD supports SCORM 2004 r2. I think they are at 2004 r3. It really shouldn't make a difference but this is an odd issue. These are things I'd try.


Will Findlay

Every new client should learn this phrase: "Please set Scorm2004TocMenuset to false."  Disabling the SCORM 2004 frame is a recurring motif in this epic thread. You would think CSOD might make false the default for new portals???

I guess maybe they are trying to conform to a 13-year-old standard by starting with it on, but it real practice, who uses multi-scorm objects any more, or ever?

Mary Channon

I really suggest calling back and talking to another rep. I am a designer and our CSOD LMS admin and we literally JUST went through this last week. They should be able to turn off the separate launch window while on the phone with you so you don’t get the page with the orange launch button and separate menu to the left. We were in the asme situation as you - about a year ago we published everything as 1.2 because when we called GPS back then we were obviously speaking with someone who didn’t know and they told me they couldn’t do anything about it, we were stuck with the orange launch button and window that took up valuable screen real estate. Then we were meeting with some consultants last week and they told us all we had to do was call and ask for it to be turned off for scorm 2004. I was so frustrated, but tried again and when I called and obviously talked to a different person than a year ago, they fixed it while I was on the phone with them and it worked perfectly - after we unchecked the “launch in new window” within the Storyline settings as well. Now we can publish in scorm 2004 and the course launches seamlessly in one step just like all the scorm 1.2 courses we published.

Will Findlay

Usability question: We have our online courses set to open full screen in CSOD. However, if the user's browser window was full screen when they launched the course, we have this issue in Chrome:

  1. The user clicks a link on a slide to an external web page (a policy for example in the Resources menu)
  2. The linked page opens in a new tab in the window currently behind the course (same as CSOD's transcript), and this window comes to the front.
  3. The user, not able to see the course now, thinks the course window was closed and does not realize it went behind.
  4. The user switches to the transcript tab and relaunches the course, and then tells us they hate how Cornerstone logs them out of the course every time they open an external link.

So far, my solution has been to change the Resources menu text to "Here are some useful links and documents. Tip: When going to outside links, return by looking behind the window that opens."

Has anyone else come up with a solution to this usability issue?


Barry Hinks

Hi Will, I share your pain. This is a common issue I've come across and it's not a Storyline issue - plenty about it online if you Google it.

Any material we've created, whether it be a SCORM file, PDF or otherwise behaves in exactly this way since an update to Google Chrome which makes all links open up in the existing window in a new tab, thus appearing over the course so our employees think they have lost the original course window.

Is there a magic fix that can be put in place in Google Chrome that solves this for multiple software? I couldn't find an answer, but it would be nice to at least solve it for Storyline files. (Our old Storyline 1 files work fine and are not overridden by Google Chrome)

Also it's worth noting if users opt for Internet Explorer instead they all work as intended.

If someone has cracked this I'd love to know too!