Timing how long an interaction takes.

So my courses have to be timed for credit. I have an interaction which include several slides and pathways. I want to be able to make sure that the participants spend a certain amount of time going through the interaction or repeating the interaction to see different results.  Is there a way to make sure an interaction takes a desired amount of time? 

28 Replies
Berno van Soest

Hi Lance,

I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for but this is how I implemented it.

when the timeline starts I fire this JS:

var d = new Date();

var player = GetPlayer();

var start = player.SetVar("gsStart", d.getTime());

when the interaction has finished:

var d = new Date();

var player = GetPlayer();

var start = player.SetVar("gsEnd", d.getTime());

Using start and time you can perform the calculation you need.

Berno van Soest


Yes, you can copy and paste the JS code in triggers.

Regarding the calculations:

var player = GetPlayer();

var start = player.GetVar("gsStart");

var end = player.GetVar("gsEnd");

var duration = end - start;

You may want to divide by 1000 because the start and end time is in millisecond.

var duration = (end - start) / 1000;

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi All,

I'm venturing - no really I'm tip-toeing - into Execution of JavaScript. And since I no NOTHING about it, I'm simply using what y'all offer here and C/P into the JavaScript box.So, I really appreciate the Q/A.

I know enough to understand that the trigger names must match the characters inside the Javascript window, e.g., in the case of the gsStart trigger, it matches the characters inside the first set of quotation marks in the player.SetVar line:

player.SetVar("gsStart", d.getTime());

So, I successfully implemented a trigger that shows how much time was spent on a previous slide when the Learner clicks the next button - and to display the time on the next slide. Essentially, I copied what you did, Berno, but using the next button instead of Submit.

What I really want to do is to have a counter that displays a number of seconds count on the current slide. So, nothing would be clicked, it would just count up in seconds. And I'd reference the count inside a text box.

I'd searched the forums a while back for this but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. Perhaps I missed it. Does anyone know how to do this?

And thanks again.

Steve Flowers

Hi, Rebecca - 

You'd need to do this with an interval to repeatedly update the second value. I'll test one out to make sure there's no funny business or side effects and post in a bit.

In the mean time, here are some DYNAMITE references for learning more about JavaScript. The codacademy site is instructional candy. So good. All practice and feedback. Appendto isn't bad either, more demonstration if that's your preference.



Sam Carter

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro said:

I know enough to understand that the trigger names must match the characters inside the Javascript window, e.g., in the case of the gsStart trigger, it matches the characters inside the first set of quotation marks in the player.SetVar line:

Probably a typeo, but gsStart is a Storyline variable, not a trigger.  If there is a way to fire a trigger in Storyline, it would be by setting a value in a variable to which a trigger is set to fire on that value.

Steve's suggestion of an interval timer is the right idea.  I look forward to seeing it implemented.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Sam, yep was a typo. And I DO understand the difference between triggers and variables ... really Tx for proofing/editing. Don't want to lead people down the wrong path, nor do I want them to think I don't know my whatchamacallit from my elbow.

Steve, tx so much. As I mentioned in another thread to Nancy, I'll need to add this to my ToDo list. In the meantime, looking forward to your post. Oh, there's no rush. Just something I had in mind. And I know you're busy.

Steve Flowers

Here's a quick and dirty example. I'm using a text variable to catch the value but you could just as easily use a number for logic inside of Storyline. Some cool concepts at work here. Noteable are the establishment of global functions that make it easier to start and stop the timer. It also continues to run between slides if you don't stop it.

Berno van Soest


The global functions idea is great.

I've placed my Javascript in a seperate .js file.

It allows you to experiment / test the JS code after publishing. Just alter the code and refresh your browser.

Saves a lot of time compared to publishing after every code change.

And you could edit the code in a JS savvy editor.

You have to alter your story.html file and perform some post-publish copy actions

in the story.html find the place where other JS code is included:

and add your own:

After each publish copy the altered story.html over the newly published one and copy your .js file to the story_content folder.

Have a nice weekend!

Sam Carter

I've extended Steve's code to add another variable that records elapsed seconds using the JavaScript Date() in addition to counting timer intervals.  There shouldn't be much difference in the two unless other Storyline JavaScipts block the timer interval here and there.  Maybe this would add up to something, maybe not, maybe accuracy doesn't matter in most situations.  But using Date() doesn't cost anything additional, and you will get more accurate results.

This demo shows both counting along.  You can simulate another JavaScript blocking the interval timer by clicking the "Busy" button once to view the cumulative difference.  

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Steve, this is great! Thanks so much. Definitely s/b a verified answer IMHO.

I did change the Set function to when the timeline starts, and put it on the slide master. And the buttons are working. I'm contemplating making a Screenr on this at some point, with your permission, and of course referencing this thread and you, since all I did was copy and paste. But I'm thinking others might like to have this. It's beautiful! So clean. And cool that it will run between slides. Haven't looked at that part yet.

Sam, I haven't had a chance to look at yours yet. Tx for contributing.