Producing 4 modules with custom pathways from 1 .story file?

Hi all,

I'm developing a module which will be rolled out to 4 departments.

There is an introduction section which is common to all departments.

There will then be a section which describes the technologies used in each specific department - each department has a different selection of technologies, some of which are common across several of them.

For a given technology, the content will be the same.

So let's say there are 5 technologies, A, B, C, D and E.

The different paths through the scenes might look a little bit like the picture attached - scribbled at my desk here!

What I'm wondering is, does anyone have ideas on how to manage the creation of what will end up being 4 seperate SCORM publications while, if possible, limiting it to 1 .story file?

It will have to be 4 different SCORM publications because it's compliance training - we unfortunately can't give users the freedom to choose their department and path within the module itself. We have to guarantee that someone from Dept 3 sees the required technology content for their department.

But if possible I would like to avoid ending up with either 4 different .story files or 4 different scenes in my story file showing the same content - if any changes have to be made to this content later on I will have to make the same change 4 times.

Any ideas for how this could be best achieved?

I'm still figuring out if the conclusion to the module will be common to all departments or not...I plan to incorporate the assessments for each technology within the relevant scene so I think a common ending may be possible.

10 Replies
Dave Cox

Hi Michelle,

Actually, yes you can do what you are suggesting, and I've had to do this very thing.

What you need to make this work is variables. Create a variable called Department. Then you can decide which slide to show based on the Department variable. Or, you could show different versions of a slide, using the Department variable to show the correct layer. 

Set the variable default value for the department you want to publish, and publish out a module for the selected department. Change the variable default value, and publish out a module for the next department. 

Dave

Judy Nollet

Hi, Michelle,

Interesting problem. Here's how I'd do this:

  • Create a number variable. For example, call it Path. Assume that the values will be 1, 2, 3, or 4, based on the department. (Or you could make this a text variable, and use dept names as the values.) 
  • Use triggers with conditions to control the Next button where applicable. For example, as per your JPG, slide A would have these 2 triggers:
    • Jump to slide B with the condition that the value of Path is 1 or 2
    • Jump to slide E with the condition that the value of Path is 4.
  • Before you publish each SCORM package, adjust the initial value of the Path variable to match the department. 

If you aren't familiar with variables and conditions, I suggest you check out the Tutorials and User Guides (https://community.articulate.com/articles/tutorials-and-documentation). They provide the real power in Storyline.

Walt Hamilton

Here is a sample of a project with various paths through it. The problem is that it depends on the learner choosing the correct department.

Phil Mayer suggests a way to set the department variable (as suggested by Dave and Judy) that won't require you to publish 4 different versions, in this post: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/setting-a-variable-in-the-story-html-file

Michelle M

Thank guys, using variables is a GREAT idea! And Walt, thank you for that link, I'm very intrigued by the idea of just altering the variable in a .js file after publication.

I've finished my intro and am working on my technology modules now, so I will build in my custom path behavior as I go through. I'll be sure to report back and let the community know how this worked out for me.

Thanks as always articulate community!

Walt Hamilton

Actually, read farther down. Phil has an idea that doesn't require you to go in and change the .js, which would require either 4 separate modules, or changing it for every user. Phil's most useful suggestion is to pass the variable in the URL, which would be done by each individual user as they access the module, not by you.

Walt Hamilton

Phil's option only works if you have the module on the internet, and send a link to users. Using his js, you would send each different group a link, changing the part after the ? to match the appropriate group. Then when they go to that link, the js uses the part after the ? to change the variable.

Reading your request again, I don't think it would work for you if you are delivering it as a SCORM package,which means you are using some sort of LMS.

So I think you are on the right track; create one .story file, publish it, make three copies of the published folders, go into the .js file on each one, and change the variable. Then upload all four to the LMS. For what you describe, you have to have four finished files, but can still make changes to only one .story file.

Michelle M

That is exactly correct Walt - I ultimately need 4 finished files that I can upload to a LMS, but I would like to have just 1 .story file.

I've been flat out developing content so far but hoping to do some publishing this week and test this suggestion out. I'll let the community know how it goes.

Michelle M

Thanks again for everyone's assistance here.

I ended up going with Dave Cox's suggestion - that is, have all my triggers dictating what slides to go to, what department name to show etc dependent on a variable, DEPARTMENT, and adjusting the value of this variable prior to publication. So I have 1 story file which I publish 4 times. This has worked very nicely.

In this instances I went with this solution rather than the javascript editing route as this is the method which my colleagues would understand easier, if they had to take over management of this project in future. 

I haven't tested the 1 publication, javascript editing solution proposed by Walt and Phil but I'm very intrigued by it, hopefully I'll have time to try this option soon.

Thanks to everyone!