Free Form Drag and Drop: No option to give feedback by choice?

Mar 05, 2013

Hi everyone,

I have a problem with a free form drag and drop interaction I've created. I want the user to drag the quotes into the appropriate areas on a continuum. When they drop a quote in the correct area, they get a paragraph of explanatory text. There's a different one for each quote. This all works perfectly. 

My problem is that when they drop a quote in the incorrect place, I'd like some "try again" feedback to show. I am able to get this to happen, but when I do, the quote doesn't snap back to it's starting point as it should. Instead it just sits where they dropped it. The snapping back works fine until I try and add the "try again" feedback.

I was hoping to set this up with the "feedback by choice" option in the edit drag and drop options, but it's not giving me that option (it only gives me "feedback by question". So instead, I built it with triggers and layers. I'm sure that's why I'm having problems. I'm attaching the file here if anyone has time to take a look at it.

I'm thinking I'm doing this the hard way. Anyone have any better options?

23 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

Hi Noelle,

Your try again layer does not work because it does not belong to the "freeform logic" (i.e. you created the layer yourself, after converting to freeform). You should either manually set "go to layer" triggers for each incorrect answer, or redo your freeform, change the limit of answers to unlimited and then work on the generated Try Again layer.

Additionally, I think you are looking at this the wrong way.

You could (should?) treat this as a "single object" drag and drop freeform and create states on the "Correct Layer" instead of different layers. That way, you will only make use of two layers ("Try Again" and "Correct" which would not interfere with the core freeform functionality).

Hope this makes sense,

Noelle T

HI Alex,

Thanks for your thoughts! I do know about the try again layer not working because it's my own layer. I just included it there so people could see what I was trying to do. However, it still gives me the same problem if I use the try again layer either my own with triggers, or the one that storyline generates (actually I'm not sure I could get that one to work at all). Regardless, it shows the layer, but then the drag object doesn't snap back to it's original position.

Is there no way to have a "feedback by choice" option in drag and drop interactions?

I see what you are saying in your second option, but I'm not sure that would solve my problem. 

Noelle T

Ok, tried the second option. I don't want to use a "submit" button--which seems to be my only choice if I use the storyline logic. 

So it's back to the original problem. I can get the "try again" layer to show, but then the drag item doesn't snap back to it's original position for the person to try again. It's going to confuse the learner.

Anyone have the fix?

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Noelle,

The only way I'm aware of -  but others may have better solutions - to get items to snap back when Learners are given a Try Again option in a drag and drop is by having a trigger on the Try Again layer that jumps back to the base layer of the slide AND the base layer must be set to resume to initial state. As things stand, this won't work for you, since if the Learner has correctly made other choices the entire slide is reset.

Would it be work for you to divide these up into separate slides - with each slide having the 4 choices?

Noelle T

Hi Rebecca.

Thanks for your ideas on this. Let me think about your suggestion and give it a try-- I need to see it to understand if it will work I appreciate the ideas. You'd think this would be a simple one, right? haha.

Right now I'm thinking I would live without the try again feedback. If only I could get the previous correct feedback to go away when the user drops an object in the wrong place. Leaving the previous correct feedback there is just confusing for them. But every time I try to do anything related to that in a trigger, the draggable object will no longer snap back.

Have I really found something you can't do in Storyline? I can't believe it!

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Noelle,

I'm about to sign off and am not sure when I can check the forums out again. I know you've tried a number of things already with triggers and they haven't been successful - welcome to the club .

What you just said about getting the previous incorrect feedback to go away and eliminating the try again layer just got me thinking, but I won't have time to try this. Would there be a way to set up a trigger that would do this:

  • When an answer is dragged to an incorrect "drop", it would be set to a hidden state.That would make it go away. But, it wouldn't give Learners an opportunity to try again.
  • And I'd think you'd also want to trigger some sort of prompt letting them know it was incorrect and perhaps why.

And anyway, maybe I misunderstood what you were saying?

The drag and drops do present conundrums, it seems to me. I wonder if in the next version Articulate will be thinking about making them more flexible, since there are SO many questions about manipulating them.

I"ll be watching to see what you decide - just not sure when.

Cindy Pandke`

Hi Noelle,

You can do this using Drop Target state changes (Drop Correct, Drop Incorrect), a number variable, and a layer for Correct Feedback, another one for Try Again Feedback.

Here is the storyline file and a pdf document showing my thought process (uploaded in second post). 

Anyone reviews this and finds an easier way could you please share it so we can continue to learn.

Many Thanks

Alexandros Anoyatis

Hi Cindy,

I've actually modified one of my interactions (which uses your logic exactly). Unfortunately, it turns out Noelle is 101% right on this. Once you create any trigger regarding any incorrectly dropped element, the "snap back to place" condition does not follow through, no matter what. I've tried using layers or even simple "change state of element to normal" trigger to feedback elements in the same slide. Once any element has a trigger attached to an incorrect result, snap back just royally...fails.

Same thing if using a variable T/F switch on that negative case/result (still fails).

This has to be a bug of some kind, IMHO, I can't explain it otherwise.

Maybe a work around would involve segmenting those 5 "cards" to 5 different slides. It's ugly, but it should work.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi All,

Cindy, I love your flow chart. It was so easy to follow. And that was quite a creative solution. Yikes! And it does work.

I think if you've decided to go with a separate slide for each behavior, it might be a bit easier, at least in terms of level of complexity and leaving out variables, if you use the "reset to initial state" solution I'd mentioned above. I didn't have time to create an example the other day, but I did start one this morning. I began from scratch, so I haven't included all the items y'all have on your slides, but the functionality is all there. I'm attaching it here. Wish I had time for a flow chart, but I need to get back to work. I did type up steps however:

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  • After creating one slide with the content, let's say BULLYING, convert tofreeform drag drop. In the quiz editor, choose the drag item and match tocorrect drop target for that slide (e.g., Beth's boyfriend/bullying). Add other drop targets. I left # of attempts at unlimited.
  • Back on the slide, Add drag over state to all drop targets - I formatted similar to what y'all had done
  • Add incorrect drop state for the DRAG item, e.g., "Beth's boyfriend...". You'll see that I formatted it with an X placed atthe top of the text box.


  • Click View Feedback master. Delete the rectangle and line shapes from the top master. Close the Feedback Master


  • Go to Try Again layer and delete text boxes andplaceholders but LEAVE button. Place YOUR customized try again text and shapes on try again layer. Change the Try Again button trigger to jump to this slide (insteadof hide this layer) – essentially it’s jumping back to the base layer
  • Go to Correct layer and delete text boxes andplaceholders but LEAVE button. Place YOUR customized correct content for this slide, e.g., bullying,on the correct layer


  • On the base layer, use the gear on the slide properties tochange “when revisiting” to “reset to initial state”

Answering the question

When you preview, drag the answer onto a target. Then click Submit. If you’ve dragged to an incorrect target, the x will appear and yourtry again prompt will appear, as well as the “default” try again Button. ClickTry again.


The drag item jumps back to its initial state. Drag it toanother target. If you drag to the correct one and click submit your correctprompt appears. Clicking continue brings you to the next slide.


Another thing I like about this is that the answer remains on the incorrect target while Learners are seeing the X. When you apply Mayer's theory of spatial contiguity, this is easier on Learners.


Creating Additional Slides

Once that first slide is created, it’s really easy to do theothers.  E.g., if you decide physical violence is the next slide,

  • Duplicate the first slide
  • Edit the drag text box, i.e., delete “Beth’s Boyfriend” text and type in “Mrs.McMillan” text
  • Edit the Correct answer layer with this correct answer
  • Edit the Quiz Editor to match the drag and drop items, and you’re done (match Mrs. M to Physical Violence and be sure to have all 3 foil drops still there)
Noelle T

Thank you so much, Rebecca! Wow, I'm just so thrilled with the great learning and help I've been given in this problem. it's so helpful to see how others would tackle a problem so I can store that away for possible future use as well.

I do like how you did this and the outcome works well. The only thing I'm not crazy about is having to use a submit button each time. But it does do the job. I'm always trying to omit the submit buttons on quizzes-- especially the drag and drop questions-- it just interrupts the flow in my mind. But anyway, I'm SO glad to see that there are more ways than one to do this. But what a lot of thinking and work to do something kind of normal! LOL Thankfully, this is the exception in Storyline and I'm sure they will make improvements to the drag and drop in the next major update.

Again, thank you so much for your help. It's so much appreciated.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Noelle,

Just taking a little break and thought I'd check to see if y'all had a chance to review this and what your thoughts were. Actually, you don't have to use the Submit button at all, so, I'm glad you asked! And you make a very good point regarding it interrupting the flow.

I'm attaching a revised version here that took me 2 minutes to modify in the way that I think you'd prefer. I removed the submit button from both of these behavior slides and created a new Subtmit Interaction trigger. I've done it on both slides but for example on Slide 1:

Action: Submit interactoin

Interaction: Drag and Drop 1

When: Object dropped on

Object: Rectangle 3 "I'm worried about Beth. Her ex-b..."

Dropped on: Rectangle 1, 2, 3, 4 (these are the drop targets)

That's it! Good to go.

Noelle T

Rebecca, thank you so much! Both Cindy and I really like this one and I think I'm going to use it after all. Despite taking so much time on this one little interaction that isn't really even flashy, I think it's been such a great learning experience! Thank you so much for giving so generously of your time. And you too, Cindy. So much appreciated!

engi mohammed


I am doing a drag and drop quiz where student can see choices one after one by using next and previous button how can i perform drag and drop on the choices on the layers  where he should choose answers in determined order so  it is possible to leave choice and return to it again,note that choices is too large so i can't put it in one slide. 

Tom Lunzer

It is unfortunate and irritating that as soon as you add any kind of trigger to your drop object it will no longer snap back into place, even when it is not dropped on the correct target object as you would think. This should be an available (if not default) option. And yes, I have put in a future feature request. Tick…tick…tick…(the sound of time passing).

So I had to fake the snap back (with feedback). I have included the sample file here.

The Wine Pairing Challenge

The basic idea, drag the proper wine (the white bottle) to the chicken dinner on the right. If you are wrong, get feedback to try again. If you are correct, continue to the next sample (not included).

To set up the fake snapping back you will find that the two incorrect bottles images (red and dark red) have a duplicate image that is underneath them. These duplicates are in the hidden state. When the user drags the incorrect bottle over the target there is a trigger that will first, show the “Incorrect Layer” (show layer trigger) that has the try again feedback.  Second make the bottle you have just dragged invisible (change state trigger “hidden”) and third reveal the hidden duplicate bottle (change state trigger “normal”). This all give the illusion that the bottle has snapped back.

I needed to add the Try Again button to add a trigger that will re-start the timeline again on this slide. Make sure the slide properties are set to when revisiting reset to initial state. Also make sure on this incorrect layer properties are set to “Prevent user from clicking on base layer”, so the user can’t drag around the other bottles which could cause confusion.

So this all works, but in my humble opinion is a big pain in the “@#&e”.


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