Question bank - Questions marked to always be included, are always positioned at start of question draw

For a project we created a question bank (150+ questions). We would like to have a random question draw of around 100 questions. We want to make sure that some of our questions are always included (in a random order), so we marked those questions to always be included in our question bank.

When we preview the question bank, the questions that are set to "always be included", are always the first couple of questions in the question draw. Even though the question bank is set to do a random draw. Is there any way to solve this issue? We are using Storyline 360.

Locking the question to another question doesn't seem to be an option, because the lock functionality doesn't work if one question is set to be included randomly and the other to always be included. If I change both to always be included, I get the same issue as before: the start of the question draw is always the same.

Because I can't share our project, I created a basic sample to show the issue. It's attached to this post.  In this example, I have 5 questions in a question bank. I made a draw of 3 random questions, where question 3 is always included. As you can see: the draw will always start with question 3. If I set questions 3 and 5 to always be included, the question bank will always start with 3, followed by 5. It seems like the question draw will first combine all questions that are set to always be included, and then make a random draw based on the number of questions that are left for that draw.

33 Replies
Ren Gomez

Hi Mischka,

Sorry to hear you’re experiencing this issue! I appreciate you taking the time to describe in detail what’s going on.

We do have an issue reported where questions in a question bank set to be 'always included' are displayed first and in the order listed. I'll include this conversation so that we can track user impact and share updates with you as well.

In the meantime, the best recommendation I have is to break the questions into a few banks with no duplicate questions. The 'always included' questions will still come in first in each bank, but will be mixed in with other random questions a little more. Keep in mind, it won’t look any different to your learner. Hopefully that'll work!

Mischka Zeldenrust

Hi Ren,

Thank you for your response! If you need more information, you can let me know.

I like your recommendation. Unfortunately, I can't get into too much detail about what we are trying to do and why this recommendation is not going to work for our project. Because the question draw is not working as we would like to, and we don't have enough time to build a custom (javascript) approach; we came up with a temporary solution for this project. However, we do think that this functionality is very important to build good exams. So hopefully we will be able to use it in the future.

Ashley Terwilliger

Thanks, Mischka for confirming. The only thing we'd want to add to the report is a copy of your .story file if you're able to share it with us - but it sounds like you may not be able to. Not to worry, Ren included this conversation so once we have more details we'll let you know here. 

I'm glad you found a solution that'll work for you in the meantime! 

Lisa Spirko

I'm experiencing the same problem. I seem to be able to work around this by having two question banks -- one for "sometimes" questions that randomly draws fewer questions than the total in the bank, and the other for "always" questions that randomly draws all of the questions in the bank. Not perfect, as it limits my ability to use multiple banks in other creative ways (e.g. to ensure objectives or certain categories of information are covered fully), but I guess this works for now. I look forward to an update that fixes the issue. Thanks! :)

Jacqueline Cardenas

I have a test with 25 questions--all of which need to be included.  The goal is that the user will be presented with a different order of questions when they click retry on their 2nd attempt.  All of my questions are set to Always display, and they display in the same order every time.  What should I set them to if I am splitting them into multiple banks so that they will be randomized?

Ren Gomez

Hi Jacqueline,

If all your questions need to be included, there's no need to split them into multiple banks! Just double click on your draw to open up the Draw Questions from Bank window, and be sure to use the Randomly selection for all your questions underneath the Include in Shuffle column.

Since you've already checked the box to Draw questions randomly and you've include all questions, the Include in Shuffle column is for scenarios where you would use less than the 25 questions you have in the bank and wanted to select specific questions.

Jacqueline Cardenas

Thank you for your response Ren.  Unfortunately, when I set it up as you have in your screen shot, I don't get 25 questions when I take the test.  I've tried it using Include All questions, and by selecting Include 25 questions.  Neither option gives me all questions when I attempt the test. 

We are working around this with a less than ideal solution of shuffling the answer choices on each question instead.

Wendy Farmer

Hi Indrani

You mean the numbering - that's because each time the timeline starts on that layout it is adding 1 to the question number variable you are using.

I've added another trigger to the master layout to subtract 2 when the user clicks the previous button, this is because of the trigger to add 1 one when the timeline starts.

You will see it change quickly so not sure if its an issue.

See if the attached works for you.

Indrani Sen

Hi Wendy,

Did you create in 360 degree?  I have only storyline 2.  Another issue I noticed is that, for retry quiz button/option, after question 4 or 5, it sometimes skips the questions.  I do not know why this happens.  Any work-around ideas? thanks so much.  Really appreciate your help.