Variables and scenes are great!

Dec 31, 2013

I have just completed my most complex Storyline project ever, and am soooo pleased with how easy it was to achieve a professional result.

I can't show you the project because it is proprietary, but it had 9 scenes and a quiz, 3 different 'menu' slides with branching, and LOTS of variables. 

I remember struggling with variables in Adobe Captivate4, but Storyline makes them so easy. My greatest achievement was to add a true/false variable to the last slide of each scene, linking to a 'continue' button on one of the menu slides. If not all the variables were "true" a layer asking "Are you sure you want to continue" would be displayed. If they were true the layer wasn't displayed and off you went to the next scene. Brilliant!

I am so looking forwards to 2014 with Storyline, all I need to do now is fix my horrible narration monotone voice...Happy New Year all.

6 Replies
John Denner

I'm working an a fairly complex project also (it's also my first ever eek!) and was wondering if some people may give me some input on how I'm setting up my triggers and variables like Steve did.

Most slides will have narration and we don't want the user to move to the next "slide" until the narration completes. That's easy but becomes a user experience issue when the user clicks the back button and would be forced to hear the whole narration again for any slide they previously visited. So I set up this system which works great but is somewhat hard to manage and is time consuming to implement. So I want to just bounce this off of ya'll to see if there might be a better way.

Slide begins

Slide Complete variable checked

    False - Disable forward button and then start the media

    True - Media does not play (but there are custom play, pause, and restart media controls) & forward button is normal

If/when media completes set slide complete variable to true and enable the forward button.

That set of triggers (4 triggers) needs to be done 50+ times so if I could even get that down 3 triggers that would be a nice reduction.

Steve McAneney

John. An easy solution to your problem would be to enable the seekbar in the player for the slides with video on them. You can set this up globally in the "Player" menu of storyline, and override this setting (i.e. switch off the seekbar) for individual slides using the gear ("settings") icon on the base layer of each slide (under the "Player features" menu dropdown). Or you can do the opposite, set the player not to show the seekbar and switch it on for only specific slides. There might be a way to restrict when the seekbar is displayed using a variable, but I don't recommend this because...

I started building my projects with restrictions to navigation, but have since changed my attitude regarding this. After reading a lot about e-learning, and encountering many different types of learners, I now let my students navigate relatively freely through courses.The only restriction I have is to the main menu (forwards navigation only, to stop them getting lost and losing the flow of the subject), but the next and back buttons, and seekbar are on every slide (except menu slides).

If the subject matter 'must be learned' then there should be a test to check this. I don't see the point in forcing learners to view content in the order 'I' think is best, when the objective is not for them to view the content, it is for them to LEARN the content. Frankly, I set my main goal as to make the content sooooooo interesting they don't want to fast forward through it! If they fail the test, or get particularly important quiz questions wrong THAT is when you should use variables and branching to review the subjects they are obviously weak in.

I hope this helps.

John Denner

Thank you Steve. Those are some very helpful comments.

I had to go with custom media controls and navigation controls since the main delivery method for this training is a win 8 tablet. The standard controls are just way to small to be used on a 8" tablet with a 189 ppi screen resolution.

The navigation is actually pretty open. You can freely go to any topic, sub topic, sub sub topic, etc... but we restrict the navigation when it comes to the slides that you must see in order. Also since the narration is not reading word for word what is on the screen it's important for us to slow the user down so they don't skip ahead. The majority of the user base is going to be low-wage production laborers who could care less how interesting it is, which is a real shame, but I've still tried my best to make it interesting and entertaining without detracting from the message.

There's also no quiz since this is pretty much a straight Inform module. So a user could actually just keep hitting next to finish the module.

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