51 Replies
Steve Flowers

To make this work on a countdown timer (60 seconds to answer questions, for example), you'd set the initial value of the counter to 60 and change the loop to decrement the value. When the counter reached zero, you could use a variable listener to force the presentation to the results slide and end the attempt.

James Brandwood

Well done Seve - It is a very simple process but I would never have thought of it.

As it is related to variables and runs over multiple slides you could do so much with it outside of assessment purposes. I can see it being of particular value in games, or story quest type activities for school age kids. Even something as simple as making the background change colour as they run out of time, or a character change expression would be great.

James Brandwood

Actually Steve, I've just realised that you're waving around an answer to a question I have been considering for awhile now. Which is how to ensure course/module content is viewed before the learner goes onto the assessment as some staff just jump ahead to the end assessment and keep guessing/attempting the questions until they get a pass mark without having viewed any content.

In simulations (which requiring a user to click on things) I use a variable linked to one of the things they click on to change a variable linked to the availability of the assessment. (Many thanks to Jeanette - http://community.articulate.com/forums/t/13257.aspx)

However this hasn't helped me with tutorial/video type learning where the user can use a seekbar to jump ahead to the end and not really view the content. Steve using your timer idea I can attach a variable that triggers to true when a predetermined amount of time has passed. Each tutorial/video just needs it's own master slide.

Thanks again Steve.

Gerry Wasiluk

Hey, Steve!  Any way for this count-up timer to display minutes and seconds as opposed to just seconds?

I have a simple 10-slide linear course (actually more of a presentation then a course but that's what the client wanted) that automatically moves from slide-to-slide.  The client is asking about a count-up timer to display, along with the total time of the course.

Eric Ketcham

If you're looking for a cross-slide counter that works without Flash, and can count minutes and seconds, here's one that builds on Steve Flowers's 10 second counter.

The attached document is a Storyline file with the timer.

The main difference is that the seconds reset to 59 after passing 0, and the minutes count down when the seconds pass 0.  There is a variable that stops the countdown when both minutes and seconds reach 0, and a pop up comes up saying when time is up.  To compensate for the lack of a 0 in front of single digit seconds, there is a 0 that is hidden and then put back into normal state as necessary.

Overall it's a bit cumbersome. Each element, the minutes, seconds, and the extra 0, all have to be lined up, and there are a lot of triggers. But if you can't use Flash, this might do the trick for you!

Sean Bernardino

Jamie Morgan said:

Just my 2 cents, but this new software might be a great time to "educate" clients and promote your development of a fully interactive course. Gone are the days of a straight PPT driven course that is linear and easy to calculate. Interactive training isn't a count down the time event.

What I promote is that I can give them an estimate of how long a learner should spend in a course to get maximum benefit (i.e. 20 minutes, 30 minutes, etc). I think this is more beneficial than an actual countdown in the course itself. Plus, you get the learner away from "watching the clock" and more engaged in what's going on.

Good point Jamie. Am definitely going to go with your recommendation here. Having said this, we unfortunately have customers that "insist" on having this -- to that, alas we'll have to wait and see.

Randy Rowley

Dear Articulate Storyline:

This post is 3 years old and Articulate Storyline developers still cannot condescend to get this done. Your position is, "In our infinite wisdom, we decided all users will differ in how long it takes them to complete an interactive slide/course, therefore we will not include a timer." But, believe it or not, even the superior intelligence of Articulate Storyline developers cannot take into account every possible instructional design scenario.

Many of our lessons, especially compliance lessons, are video based. The user should know how long the slide is and where they are at within it.

Unbelievably pompous of Articulate Storyline developers (and many in this forum) to decide it's universally smarter not to have a timer in a course. What you are saying is, "For your own protection, because we assume you are an instructional design imbecile, we have taken out the timer. No need for it. Move along now as we pontificate more important matters."

True, most courses do not require a timer, but many of ours still do. Please come down off your pedestal long enough to take that into account.

It should be an option. That's all I'm saying.

Others have requested this and have been shot down by some of the well-meaning zealots in this forum who prop themselves up as Lords of the Instructional Design Empire, viewing those who create lessons in any other other way as not worthy of the field. God, what arrogance. If there was no need, people wouldn't be asking for it. Please stop preaching and start listening.

Yours Truly,

A Storyline believer who also needs a timer...

PS: I am a curriculum designer and developer who has developed hundreds of courses for the corporate world, universities, and high school programs. I like Articulate's tools and use both Studio and Storyline in my team's workflow. What I don't understand in this forum is why so many want to preach rather than help. When someone wants help, they're reaching out due to a legitimate need for a specific purpose. Geez...

Steve Flowers

Hey Randy - 

Sorry you feel that way. Even though I agree with you that more options are usually better, I'm not a huge fan of the tone of the message. We don't see aggressive ugliness or arrogance often here on the forum. The rarity of that kind of behavior tends to make this a pretty welcoming place to hangout.  

That aside, if you're working with the HTML5 output adding a custom slide timer isn't too tough. The player exposes a lot of things directly through javascript. I believe this returns a count in milliseconds. Adding a web object or dynamically creating and updating an element with Javascript would probably provide exactly what you're looking for in the HTML5 output.

  • player.timelineManager.getActiveTimelineCurrentTime();
  • player.timelineManager.getActiveTimelineDuration();

There are other methods tucked in the player that could also be helpful. This is one of the prime advantages of the HTML5 based output. Access to player behaviors and variables is far superior to the Flash-based output. There is likely a bit of AS3 that someone could use to access the values in the flash-based seekbar. I'd do a bit of digging but it's just not that important for my purposes.

I hope that you've submitted a feature request for the timer. It's something I've submitted in the past as well and it's only good way we have to influence feature priority.

Jaime Lundgren

Steve, I was just reading your advice above because I am trying to get a running time and total time for the module on the top of each screen. This is what the company wants for their modules. I am VERY new to Storyline 2 and new to creating e-learning lessons. So I have been learning everything on my own by watching tutorials and reading. So much of the terminology is over my head. Any simplistic advice or tutorials are helpful. Thanks!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Randy,

Thanks for submitting the feature request, as those relaly do help our product development team keep an eye of what users need/want in the next or future versions. The more feature requests the better. :)


I can't assist with the Javascript elements, but since you're new I did want to point out the best practices for Javascript here. 

Hope that helps - and if you need help with anything else let us know. 

Christopher Masiello

I agree with your point in the very big picture. However, when you have a video on a page that is mandatory, it certainly would be nice for a learner to know if it is 3 minutes or 2 hours long. Knowing the duration, elapsed time, and remaining time of any piece of media being consumed is the de facto standard in every single user interface in the world. Why would we not want to create the type of consistent user experience that everyone in the world expects?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Randy and Christopher,

This discussion is a bit older, but this is still the set up within Storyline that we don't display overall slide time on the slide itself, as a part of the seekbar or in another area. The video timing as well isn't displayed when you enable the video controls, but if you were to insert the video as a web object then we'd use the player associated with the video on the site (such as YouTube) which often do display the timing. 

Yusuf Rangwala

Hey Steve,

This might be something I need. I've been trying to make timer in storyline.
I was sucessfull in making in storyline2 but when I upgraded to Storyline 360. The seekbar length changed to that of Master Slide. For each and every slide it shows a seekbar with huge length not matching that of the slide. 

Your code might be just what I want. Can you please help me how to add this and how to display the timer on the player. 

Thanks in advance.