Timed essay questions

Feb 27, 2013

Hi All,

Just about finished my very first Storyline course and I have to say, it's going very well.

I've used an essay quiz/question. I've successfully managed to time the quiz using a result slide. I've noticed that as I preview it and the time elapses, a box appears that informs the user that the time limit has exceeded and urges the user to "press OK to continue". However, when the 'OK' button is pressed in that box, it simply reverts to the slide allowing the user to continue writing or revise beyond the time limit. 

Two things:

1. It appears that this timing feature is built in as I can't find a trigger to manipulate the outcome. Am I not seeing it?

2. Is there a way to have the essay interaction automatically submitted at the end of the time limit (with whatever the user has written to that point) and continue on to the result slide?

Thanks in advance.


5 Replies
Adebare Showemmo

Hello Hugh, 

                 This is very simple to achieve in storyline. I created a demo for you. This was done with one slide with four layers. In the based layer, I created the text entry variable and the timing. In the based layer, I used trigger to show the instruction layer when the based layer start. In the instruction layer, a start button to hide the layer and shows the based layer so that the user can respond to the questions. When user does not click on submit button when the counter reach zero, another layer shows up call time-up layer. User can click on submit button here. I attached the storyline file and a demo here. Check it out.

Hope this help.


Hugh Cartwright

Hi Showemimo,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. This is great stuff! I love the way you put everything into one slide and integrated the result there too. It's also interesting to me that you didn't use the "essay" survey quiz function at all. The instant feedback for such an open ended question is really effective - great for pure e-learning. As a side note on design, the countdown timer you created is really cool - simple and effective - I'm going to steal that.

I would be adapting this to more of blended learning format for smaller groups and thus having an instructor assessing the final output. Given those parameters, just a few questions:

1. Could you integrate a trigger that would send the %text entry% file off to an LMS to be reviewed by an instructor in the way 'submit interaction' would for the essay survey quiz? How would this integrate into a scorm package? A possible workaround is e-mail. I saw somewhere here in ELH a few simple lines of JavaScript code attached to a button trigger that would send an email.

2. In practical terms, would it be possible to push the timeline of one slide up to 30-40 minutes, which is what I need. I thought about doing something similar to what you have done (though not nearly as elegant) and pushing the timeline up to even 5 minutes seemed a real chore (though that could be my mouse! )



Hugh Cartwright

So, I already answered my own second question. Pushing the timeline ahead to whatever you need is feasible, it just takes patience and a steady hand on the mouse. To that end, there's probably a way to enter the parameters of the timeline as opposed to moving the timeline forward like a scroll bar, but I'm just not seeing it. Have a feeling I'm going to feel pretty silly when someone weighs in on this.

Hugh Cartwright

Hi Showemimo,

Just wanted to say that with a combination of your recommendations on how to use the "time's up" layer and a little tweaking to integrate the essay survey question, I successfully achieved exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the input. I also stole your countdown idea but changed it so it gave time warnings as opposed to a countdown timer. Excellent.

If I could just get my interaction report in Moodle to display the essay content in a way that is actually readable for the instructors, I'd be in great shape. Might need to use that javascript email solution after all.

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