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!

906 Replies
Will Findlay

Hi Michelle, it sounds like you may have the new Content Uploader turned on because you used the term "Modify Content". The Content Uploader replaced what was previously called the  "Course Publisher." The Content Uploader radically changes how SCORM courses are uploaded in CSOD and all of the discussion we had previously about publishing content is now obsolete. For example, what used to be called "Update Files" is now called "Modify Content." You can not currently delete old course files using the new Content Uploader as far as I can tell. It's a whole new ball game.

Gemma Wells

I really need someone's help - a colleague and I have been working on this issues for months and don't appear to be getting anywhere with it and our client manager doesn't have the answer either! 

We are trying to report on completion rates for regulatory learning and have built custom reports for this but have come across an issue.

When we assign the regulatory learning out it is as a curriculum containing an online learning module and a test, we also then add this to our "Induction pathways" which are curricula we assign to new starters with all their learning. However the employees who complete this learning via the induction pathway are not included in the reports we have built. The only way I've managed to include all employees who have completed this to change the custom report to show the test, however this then does not include any employees who have not started the learning at all. which we need to be able to report on.

Is there a way around this as we need to be able to report completion rates for our core business metrics? Has anyone come across this? 

Steve Flowers

Hi, Gemma - 

If I understand you correctly, you embed one curriculum within another curriculum. Is that correct? 

Embedding curriculum within another curriculum, as far as I know, is only structural. The logic of the embedded curriculum is broken. I've noticed this when creating cohort curricula.


Curriculum Fruit

  • LO- Oranges
  • LO- Bananas

Curriculum Food

  • Vegetables
  • Curriculum Fruit
    • LO- Oranges
    • LO- Bananas

Completing an assigned curriculum Fruit would give credit for completion of Fruit. However, completion of the curriculum Food would not provide credit for the curriculum Fruit.

Only way I can think of to get around this is to associate this particular set to a unique property upon which you could report. Something like a specific provider or by giving the course title a specific naming convention. 

[IP-T] Test Title

[IP-C] Course TItle

This would allow you to run a report where Training Title contains "[IP-". Once you have all of the records, no matter what the transcript status, you could use some excel magic and pivot tables to analyze the data.

Course Code might also help in this regard. Similar concept. Rounding up all of the stuff you want to count in one sweep. Based on record limits, you might be better off running two reports.

Will Findlay

Steve covered how inserting a curriculum into another curriculum is actually just like copying and pasting it into a section of the new curriculum rather than embedding it.

Regarding what you said here though: "The only way I've managed to include all employees who have completed this to change the custom report to show the test, however this then does not include any employees who have not started the learning at all."

When you added the items to the new curricula, did you leave "Auto-Register" unchecked? If so, until the learner manually registers for those items, they won't show up in your report. 

Mike Saunderson

I am having problems in Cornerstone when I am trying to modify a course. Cornerstone on  does not allow me to modify a course only reversion a course.  Whenever I try to modify a course, I get a failure notice, that the manifest has changed, This happened even we have fixed a typo, or replaced a image using the same image file name. Thanks for your help.

Mallory  Kudrna

Are you using the new Content Uploader?  Sounds like you are. You are navigating to the Course Console, under Content, and choosing Modify Content, correct?  I usually get a minor error that the manifest changes and I proceed on and my content has been replaced.  You cannot change the Content Type. 

Will Findlay

One workaround I've heard about is to go into the new manifest file (imsmanifest.xml) in a text editor and just delete the <resources> section. Then try reuploading. [Update: tested this - it does not work. Any difference in the imsmanifest.xml file causes a critical error]

Mallory  Kudrna

Yes.  I have received the error (uploaded with errors) and I am able to proceed on with my update of the content.  I wait about 4 hours and go into the content and each time my changes have been reflected.  It was scary to me to proceed with the errors, but I preferred the replace option, so I tested it out.

If there is a Critical Error, it will not let you proceed on. 

Will Findlay

One thing you can do to prevent the critical error that results because you changed the imsmanifest file is to copy the old imsmanifest file from the original published version of the course into the zip file of the new version. 

This prevents Cornerstone from noticing that the imsmanifest file changed. However, I'm betting Cornerstone would not support doing this. If your changes are truly minimal, it shouldn't cause issues.

Juanjo Haro

We have a serious issue with our main customer. Some of our courses do not store any data - completion, note- on exit. The LMS is Cornerstone and we have put a "exit" button to force store data but it seems not working with some lms users. We have not this issue never in our tests at scormcloud so we are totally blind about waht's happening.

One clue,  we have the chance to check one of the users with this issues and in his profile the failed courses are marked as "not subscribed" . We think that could be the problem but the costumer ignores us in that.

Someone can add some light, same experience, a clue?


Will Findlay

I have never seen "not subscribed" as a course status in Cornerstone. Is this some kind of 3rd party course integration like Lynda.com or something? 

One thing that might be happening, if there are really long videos in the course, is that the lms connection to the course is timing out. 

Michelle Susar

Hi Will! We are still having issues with these errors when using modify content, when  learner is in progress. I've been limiting changes to Friday nights, as suggested. I also tried to talk to Cornerstone about this, but they, of course, can't replicate the error on their end, and say modifications should be super fast. Do you have any recommendations for what I can tell them so it will make more sense? 

Will Findlay

Hi Michelle, one thing you could maybe try is to have your users try clearing their browser cache before launching the revised version of the course:


Unfortunately with the Content Uploader I haven’t found a way to delete the previous course files like you could with the old tool. 

One thing Articulate could do to help would be to have a feature where it would only replace files that change. Eg, if you publish a course to the same place it was published previously it would leave all the files that are the same alone. 

Chris Undery

This may be a query better suited to CSOD but thought I'd try here as well. Does anyone know if it is possible to get a deep link working inside an iframe to present SL3 content inside a CSOD custom page. I want to include a brief overview (built in SL3) visible on an CSOD custom page so tried adding as a deep link inside an iframe. It sort of works but it registers and opens the actual course in a separate tab rather than it being visible inside the frame.

Any other alternatives to getting SL3 content visible (via the LMS) inside a web page (CSOD or Intranet) would be appreciated.

Steve Flowers

Hi, Chris - 

Are you wanting to track progress or just display the content? If you are just wanting to display the content, here's how you can grab the launch point of the story.html file:

1) Launch the content after registering the LO in Chrome (this can also be done in other browsers but the steps are a little different)

2) When the content launches, select the address bar and hit CTRL-SHIFT-J. This will open developer tools.

3) Click the sources tab in the Developer Tools window. 

4) Expand the activityFrame item, then expand the xxxx.csod.com item. Expand the content folder that ends in publications/xxx. 

5) Scroll down until you see index_lms_html5.html or index_lms.html (depending on how you published)

6) Right-click the index_xxx.html item and Copy Link Address.

It will look something like this:

Change the index_lms_html5 or index_lms to story. 

Now you can use the direct link in your iframe and the content should display right on the page. It won't track but it will display.