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
Steve Flowers

Hi Deborah. You shouldn't need to adjust anything in the browser or downgrade the compatibility from Cornerstone. This seems like a bad idea since the browser support for IE8-10 are terrible for HTML5 outputs.

Setting the course launch settings Compatibility mode to none should be all that's needed to tell the browser to run the HTML5 output at default IE11 settings. Couple of questions:

What browsers and browser versions are displaying the issue?

If you're seeing this in IE11, check these two settings:

  • Gear Icon > Compatibility View Settings. Is your learning portal listed under compatibility view?
  • With a course launched, hit F12. This will open the Developer Tools. Click the Emulation tab and look at the Document mode setting. Does it display 11 (Default) or something else? The User agent string should also display Internet Explorer 11 (Default). This is the normal behavior and the way it works for us from Cornerstone. 

I don't believe this is a Storyline problem. It likely has something to do with the course settings or browser settings for your organization. If the same course works in SCORM Cloud, this confirms the issue isn't the content. 

Jamie Wenzel

Hi All,  

I have been noticing a trend in the amount of eLearning's showing as incomplete in Cornerstone and users claiming they have completed them.  I have actually done a screen share and watched it happen to many users.  The problem is that I can't seem to narrow down the cause.  

On approximately 15% of the users, they complete the slide with the course completion trigger and it just doesn't mark them complete (I usually put the trigger on the second to last slide just in case).  It seems to be happening quite often, but random enough that we can't track down the cause.  It seems to be happening to all eLearnings whether they were created in Storyline or not.  I know it has nothing to do with browser compatibility because they have to use chrome and the other 85% people are able to complete it with no issue.  I know 15% doesn't sound that much, but when you multiply that by a large number of employees, it ends up being way too much.  I currently have about 800 people complaining of the issue with just one training launched recently.  Anyone else experiencing this issue with Cornerstone not marking elearning's as complete when it should?

Will Findlay

Are the courses that are not completing typically longer than others? And if so are they “launching in a new window?” I’m wondering if Cornerstone is timing out because it thinks the course has been inactive. I read at the Cornerstone support site that using a pop-up window to display your course can cause this* (i.e. the “Launch player in new window” setting in Storyline). Just a hunch though. We haven’t seen this issue in our portal.



Matt Steffeck

In the past we have seen this with long courses or courses with long segments of video (10+ minutes). If memory serves we cut up video into smaller segments and implemented brief interactions to keep the connection "live" . In addition, we put some scripting in place to "call" the LMS and verify the connection is still live and notify the learner via pop up if the connection drops.

A more common situation we had seen is with users multitasking. A learner who is passively going through a course while navigating through other windows, opens a second instance of a course. He/she completes the course in one of those windows and then later closes the other course instance which bookmarks where the "incomplete" instance was rather than the course completion.

Good luck.

Melanie Sobie

How long is your Cornerstone portal set to "stay active"? In an older LMS (not Cornerstone) our system was set to stay active for only 2 hours. If someone left a course open and didn't finish it till later in the day, our network would lose the active connection between their activity and the LMS. The course would work properly for the employee and they could complete and finish it, but the SCORM information was no longer being sent back to the LMS, so the course progress in the LMS would remain inprogress instead of completed.

Also, there was a recent new feature that Cornerstone rolled out in the last quarterly release where you could turn on a feature that would let the employee know if they lost the connection to the portal. Perhaps that is something you could enable?

Also, here's an article about debugging:


Jamie Wenzel

Hi Matthew,  

Thanks for your input on the situation.  I have watched people actually do the training and it not complete, so I know that it is not the user multitasking.  It is definitely something else that is happening.  I think it has to do with losing the connection since it seems so erratic.  Would you by any chance be willing to share the scripting you are talking about to make sure the connection is live?



Matt Steffeck

Sorry Jamie, with all the people out with spring breaks and holidays, it took me awhile to get an answer. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. It was not scripting on our end, but rather an update by Cornerstone the put this function in place (I think mentioned by Melanie above). So, I guess, check with them to see what they have in place to verify connectivity and if the connection is not verified how to give the user a pop-up indicating they should close and reopen to reestablish connection.

Jamie Wenzel

Thanks for getting back to me Matthew!  I have a ticket in with Cornerstone, but no resolution yet.  At this point, I am just going into the LMS and manually marking people complete.  All Cornerstone has sent me so far is a help article on timeout settings, which wasn't helpful at all.  In the article, it says that users shouldn't timeout ever while in an eLearning, but I have had it happen to me many times.    

Nicole Sarmiento

Hi all,

This past week, we have noticed a recurring issue with courses that we built in Storyline 360 and are hosted on Cornerstone. We've had two users complain about seeing only a blank slide in the respective courses they were taking. The Articulate player and menu is there but the screen is just white. Note that this occurred in two different courses. Has anyone ever encountered this issue before?

Our course menu is set to restricted to allow our users to click Next only when the whole slide has been displayed. Now that nothing is coming up in those slides where they got stuck, they can't move on to the next one and are unable to complete the course.

I'm not sure whether this is an SL360 problem or a CSOD problem but I'm hoping to hear anyone's insights on this.



Nicole Sarmiento

Hi Dave,

Thank you for responding. The browser was able to open another window for the course but while the user was taking it, one of the slides just appeared as a blank stage. I have attached a screenshot for reference.

None of the elements appeared and now the user can't move past this slide.


Laura Douglas

We have experienced a blue screen fill the work space, sadly we have not
solved the problem, except to give the learner a new registration.
It has not been replicated in scorm cloud, and the new registration allows
the same user, same computer, same browser to user the same course...

Steve Flowers

Hi Nicole - 

Is this appearing for both users in IE? If so, is this IE11? We've seen some hanging issues in courses in the past but most of the loads we have that freeze up don't result in this symptom. To provide a little more info on the specific freeze, you might ask the user to hit the F12 key, then open the console tab. The console tab could contain an error that would help to point to the cause for Articulate Support. 

The other thing you might try is to proxy in as the user to see if you can replicate the issue on launch or, if possible, launch from another browser to see if the symptoms stay the same. 

Sorry you're dealing with this:) I know how it is trying to track down these user browser issues. Not the user's fault and it's frustrating.

Nicole Sarmiento

Hi Steve,

Both users took the course in IE11 and when they got stuck on those respective slides, we asked them to resume the courses in Google Chrome which did not fix the issue. I'll have to try the method you suggested with the F12 key to see any specific errors as we aren't allowed to proxy in for our users.

Thanks, Steve!

Matt Steffeck

Hi Nicole,

We have seen something similar on our end. The issue only occurred for one user and we were able to replicate when we proxied in. Our Band-Aid was to modify the offending slide using the "modify content" option by adding a keyboard shortcut to advance that particular slide (or show layer, or whatever was necessary) and/or send the learner the text of that slide to ensure they had seen the content. It wasn't perfect but it got the job done. As of today, it only happened to one user but at least she didn't have to redo the entire course. (wonky slide was in the review)

Matt Steffeck

Yes. In the catalog, click on the title of your course LO which takes you to the course console. Halfway down the page it the dropdown for "modify content." See attached.

Note: Modify content can be temperamental. Small changes only, and the folder structure has to remain the same, which seems to include titles of zips, etc. If you do this wrong or make massive changes, the system will give you "Critical Error" and you won't be able to change anything. If you do it right, the system will give you "minor errors" that you can accept in the publishing process.

There is risk in doing this, so I recommend doing it in off hours and running a test on the course just to make sure it functions as expected. Mine typically have not had issues, but you need to be patient as changes to the content can take awhile to permeate Cornerstone's servers. I recommend adding some indicator on the first slide of the course (e.g. v5.1) so you know when the modification has "made it" into the system.

Jill S

Hi Jamie,

Regarding your statement:

"If I use reporting 2.0 and the field "SCORM 2004 Quiz Data - Quiz Score", I can get the most recent attempt score..."

Is this a setting in Cornerstone? I can't get my retries to post the latest score in Cornerstone (they're fine in SCORM Cloud), but I'm at the mercy of my admins. If this is something they need to set in CSOD, I'd like to know. At this point I don't care about their scores or #tries...I just want people who pass on the second or third attempt to get a pass. Thanks!

Jamie Wenzel

Unfortunately, there are no settings in Cornerstone having to do with # of retries for elearning.  Other LMS's have that setting, but Cornerstone does not.  The number of retries would have to be set in the eLearning itself, and as long as they pass it, then it should post to Cornerstone.  However, the reporting problem still exists and you will only see the pass/fail on the last attempt.  Therefore, if they pass it, and go in and take it again to practice, but fail; the overall status will show as failed.  For most people that is okay, but for me I want to see all attempts, scores, and status; not just their last.   

Will Findlay

For tests where we must know attempts/retake status, we use CSOD's test engine instead of using SCORM. We'll create a curriculum with two items: the Articulate module and the CSOD test. The Articulate module has a one question test at the end where they confirm they viewed the content (or we will use the course completion trigger). The reality of the current state of CSOD is that their built-in test engine has better reporting. Plus if a test question needs to be revised, it is a lot less hassle than reversioning the SCORM module.

Chris Undery

One of the ways we are trying to get our learners to access Storyline / Rise output is through the secured (MS In Tune?)  corporate mobile browser (Edge) - I can log into Cornerstone via SSO fine and use all of the 'Performance' parts but when I try to launch any piece of elearning  (or material oddly) it doesn't load. We get a screen come up with 'If the training does load, click here to open it'. If you click on this then it opens a new tab that is empty but nothing loads. 

The same elearning launches fine if I open it using the actual CSOD Learn app (have to log in as can't get it to work with our SSO at the moment)  

Any ideas or anyone had similar issues?

I'm clutching at straws a bit here but know there a re lot of very knowledgeable people in this community and its always worth an ask.