Sharing my student project: "Raise Your Hand" - A way for learners taking a Storyline-built course to ask SMEs a question and get a quick answer

I took an Educational Technology class this semester and I thought I would share my completed project as it involved Storyline.

Basically, it provides a way for learners in an asynchronous online course to ask questions of a subject matter expert (SME) and get an answer sent back to them while they're still in the course.

My reason for creating this project was that, as much as I like e-learning (it's paid the bills for 20 years), I've always disliked the idea that a learner doesn't have a way to ask a question in an online course like they would in a classroom.

So, I built an interface in Storyline that connects with Twilio (a service that provides an API to handle SMS messaging). When a student poses a question in a Storyline course, a previously-identified SME gets the question as a text message. Once they answer the question (by replying to the text message), the student is notified of the answer within the Storyline interface.

Here's a trailer I created for the project.

Here's a video presentation that shows more detail. I've also attached a project paper that gives more technical detail.

To see a working example (and pose your own question), click here. To ask a question, click the "Raise Your Hand" button.

I'll probably keep the live example active through the end of the year.

I'm happy to answer any questions related to the project. Heck, I'll answer questions unrelated to the project, too.

12 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Erich,

Love this! Not only is a really cool feature you built in, I learned something new about Blackjack (didn't know you could surrender!). Also the Swingers clip just about made my day. So money. ;-)

One thought on at least the blackjack example, if I went to learn the rules I had to click all the cards before playing - you may want to offer an option to let the learner out of that section if they're ready to play (and lose their money!). 

Thanks again for sharing! 

James Finder


   Really enjoyed the trailer and the paper. Thanks for sharing your workflow. How often are you writing complex JavaScript with SL2. I feel like this is an area that I need to develop myself, but am not sure where to even start. Maybe you might want to think about offering a basics of JavaScript and creating a training you can monetize. I think a lot of developers (myself included) want to learn how to use SL2 to it's full capacity but are unaware of the power of JavaScript and how you can leverage it within SL2.  

Erich Renken

Great suggestion, James. For this project, the JavaScript focused mainly on XMLHttpRequest requests. Being able to interact with existing APIs and then integrate that data into Storyline is a powerful way to build dynamic courses.

Personally, everything I've been investigating lately revolves around JavaScript in one capacity or another, so it's definitely worth your time to learn it. I found this to be a good introduction:

Erich Renken

It is great, Elizabeth. When the SME answers a question, an email is also sent to the learner. I built this in after I figured out that a learner might have already exited the course by the time that the SME answers the question.

I definitely could also email the SME once a learner poses a question in addition to the SMS message.