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!

806 Replies
Chris Undery

Hi Chris (great name), I'm still testing this but it is proving far harder than I thought it would be. I've currently got a case open with Articulate as I want to check that they are happy it is sending what it needs to CSOD (to track all quiz and question attempts) so that I can then raise with CSOD if I can't get the reports to show accurate data.

We publish SCORM 2004 3rd edition Incomplete/complete but I think I'm also going to have a go at testing whether SCORM 2004 4th edition or Tin Can has any impact on what CSOD reports.

I've probably spent over 10 working days testing this so far and so far cannot trust the reports that I am pulling out of CSOD. I tracked (spreadsheet) and recorded exactly what questions were answered by whom, when and how often and then looked at various custom reports in CSOD and once you go past one attempt at a quiz it seems to start reporting odd things (& not even consistent.)

It seems unbelievable to me that a simple thing (record all question attempts and answers etc) would be so difficult to achieve and I keep thinking I'm missing something but I don't think I am. 

I want to be able to utilise Storyline for testing in my organisation but I can't if I can't trust the reports. If I want antyhing more than they have passed or failed I can't trust it.

I'll update this thread as and when I get final answers.

Julie  Reuter

With the new modern player what browser settings are you using?  I chose Launch player in new window, display window with no browser controls, allow user to resize browser.  As the first option indicates, it creates an odd launch page. I don't love that experience and also received error with reference to API a couples of time.  I am no longer getting that error so I am not able to share exactly what it says.  I do have a modify content in progress unchecking Launch player in new window to see what that experience is like.

Will Findlay

Hi Julie,

Your question prompted me to test a course that uses the modern player on an iPad pro (hosted in Cornerstone). We don't have many mobile users so I hadn't tested it until now. Unfortunately the results of my testing show that (for me) iPad+Safari+Cornerstone+Storyline Modern Player results in a module that doesn't fit on the screen correctly. You can see here that the module is cut off on the right side:

When I rotate the screen to portrait, I get this (which is even worse):

I suspect it has something to do with how Cornerstone opens the content in a pop-up window, but I'm not sure at this point. So maybe the Modern player isn't ready for mobile when it comes to Cornerstone.


Leslie McKerchie

Hi Julie,

Your image looks similar to an issue that we are looking into.

I see that Will is unable to replicate with his iPad/iPhone, which also points to the issue we are seeing.

Curious if you're running into the same thing, so two questions:

  1. Are you using Modern Player
  2. Are you viewing on an Android Device

Let me know and I'd be happy to get this conversation added to the report as well if needed.

David Ellenwood

I am developing an SL360 course that our largest client needs to launch on Cornerstone. We are experiencing the common "black box" that many have described. Naturally, it's very time sensitive. I have to say that I was both relieved and horrified to find a 24 PAGE thread on Storyline and Cornerstone. YIKES!

So, I have been reading through this thread and taking notes for the last 2 hours. I have compiled a list of all the things we need to do to make sure our SL360 course will work on CSOD. Please read through this and let me know if I have either missed something or gotten something wrong.

Hopefully, this summary will come in handy for folks who are just beginning the SL3/CSOD journey. Here you go . . .

Storyline/Cornerstone Compatibility Settings

Storyline settings:

·         Browser size: Display at user's current browser 

·         Player size: Scale player to fill browser

·         Do not check "Launch player in new window"

·         On restart: "When running in LMS, ignore Flash cookie"

·         Report status to LMS as: Completed/Incomplete

·         Publish as HTML5 w/ Flash Back-up (Remember, Flash is going away!)

·         Publish as SCORM 2004 (3rd. Ed)

CSOD Settings

·         In the General tab of the catalog properties page make sure compatibility is turned off. (i.e., change CSOD Compatibility Mode setting to “none”)

·         Have CSOD turn off the table of contents for SCORM 2004 (i.e., Ask Cornerstone support to set Scorm2004TocMenuset to false.)

·         When updating a course, if changes are substantive at all, “Inactivate” any old courses and “Create/Publish” new course in CSOD

Client's server environment:

·         Make sure csod.com is on client’s list of trusted sites

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Will Findlay

We publish as HTML5 with Flash backup primarily because of the industry-wide assumption that Flash is being phased out and in part because Google Chrome is making running Flash a gradually worse and worse user experience (e.g. showing a puzzle piece and making the user indicate they want to run Flash), and also in part because of the conventional wisdom that Flash is a major security risk. Also, our IT dept has enabled font downloads so we no longer have  issues with fonts not downloading in HTML5 content, at least for our users on our company computers.

Having said that, it seems like Google likes to change their rules for rendering HTML5 in Chrome so often that I've began to wonder if it is really is a step up from Flash. For example, Google has decided to stop HTML5 from being able to autoplay audio in some, but not all cases (making it essentially untestable), which Articulate helpfully reacted to by adding a play button to the landing page of newly published content, but which means our old already published HTML5 content now has to be updated to avoid muted audio on initial slides. And it seems like over the last couple years things that once worked in HTML5 gradually stop working as HTML5 seems to constantly evolve (did it ever really come out of beta?). And yet we soldier on publishing in HTML5 because it still seems to be the lesser of two evils.

Regarding updating a course... we don't inactivate courses we are updating but instead use the new Course Uploader to either create a new version of a course or modify a course. If we can get away with using Modify we always pick it as it is much less work.

Steve Flowers

:) I'm going to miss having (mostly) reliable browser runtimes. I suspect the way content is assembled will lean in the direction of less proprietary and sensitive javascript driven assemblies toward more graceful fallback in a clean web output with standard media embeds.

We're all at the mercy of browser idiosyncrasies. More so now that there isn't an embedded runtime like Flash built to run things the same no matter what the container.

On one hand, I'm glad to see Flash finally breath its final breath. We can move on. On the other, I don't think most people understand what they were asking for and how it will affect some niche industries. We'll adapt. :)

David Ellenwood

We first published this course in HTML5 only, but lots of settings were wrong, and it didn't work on CSOD. I used Flash w/ HTML5 fallback in my list above because it seemed to be what folks were recommending. After reading your post, we went ahead and published as HTML5 w/ Flash fallback. I'm pleased to learn that this works on CSOD. I will update the list accordingly.

Julie  Reuter

With Flash going away, we have started to publish as HTML5 only.  We haven't seen issues.  What type of issues are you guys seeing?  We didn't go back and republish HTML5 Only with Flash Fallback as I am nervous this would require us to create a new version.  I know changing SCORM type does, but unsure about this setting. 

Will - Am I understanding you correctly that some courses you have published in the past run into issues with browsers changing and Articulate updates?  This seems tough to manage.  Do you republish every course on a certain frequency to try to avoid this?  Since nothing would be changed in the .story just any background setting through updates do you use the modify content to replace the training?  Articulate - do you have best practice or advice on this?

David - Also with the new modern player, the Storyline settings are different.  My main reminder is to not check Launch player in new window as I didn't like the user experiences with the launch page.

Will Findlay

The only reason I publish with Flash fallback is because of the (probably unfounded) worry that some user somewhere has still has Internet Explorer 9 (or, the horror, IE 8) on their computer. At this point this fear may be irrational, so it might be useful to try and find out if there really is anyone using one of these outdated browsers still instead of using the fallback.

Regarding courses published in the past starting to have issues - the most immediate example of this is outlined in this post about how Chrome and Safari (and I've also heard Firefox) have stopped allowing audio to autoplay in HTML5: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/what-we-re-doing-to-help-you-update-your-courses-for-browser-auto-play-settings 

Another example I've come across seems to involve drag and drop interactions, which I've posted about here: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/drag-and-drop-activity-broke-after-upgrade-to-google-chrome-64-on-mac

Unfortunately we do not have time to republish courses on a regular basis to keep them refreshed. If someone reports a course has a problem, we would republish then.  We do use Modify in situations like this if an all possible. Sometimes we swap in the old imsmanifest.xml file into the new version's zip file if CSOD insists that we've made a critical error (though I'm sure there is some peril in doing this. It's kind of a sketchy Han Solo move you might say).