Why are these drag item objects moving on their own?

Sep 16, 2021

I'm trying to build this drag-and-drop interaction so that only those drag-items that are not in the 'drop correct' state when the learner hits submit get returned to their original positions so that the learner can try again. That functionality seems to be working but I'm getting this separate, bizarre, behavior where the drag items that are returned to their original positions will jump around and move seemingly on their own when you go to try again. You'll be dragging one item to place it into one of the drop targets and suddenly one or more of the other drag items will just jump up into a drop-target without you ever having clicked on them ?! Preview is here and the storyline file is attached. Any ideas on what's causing this would be much appreciated.

2 Replies
Scott Wiley

Hi Grace,

My first suggestion would be to try and avoid drag and drop questions in general. Typically they are added in an effort to add "interactivity." They can have a negative effect on usability (Issues like you discuss above.), accessibility (Can someone complete the interaction with keyboard only? How?), and learner experience (Limited in meaningful feedback. They're all correct or incorrect with no reasoning why.).

Think on this quote from Ethan Edwards (Allen Interactions). “Whatever you build, it’s just a multiple-choice question.”

If each of your draggable items are created as individual questions, each with the same 3 choices, you have opportunity to provide why their selection was correct, or more importantly, incorrect.

If you must have all questions and choices on one screen simultaneously, you might consider a multi-choice, pick many interaction.

See attached.

FYI - I left a group of text boxes referencing the variables used, so you can better see what's going on.

Hope it helps.

Walt Hamilton

To provide a counterpoint to Scott's observations,he really is correct concerning accessibility. On the other hand, drag and drop can be very valuable if used formatively, rather than summatively. Positioning and sequencing come to mind as two powerful uses that can be difficult to  replicate by text based questions.

In your particular case, you have created motion paths to move the dropped objects to their original positions, but to the system, they are still in their dropped position. That can only be changed by the learner dragging them. So when the cursor picks up an object, the system moves it from where the system thinks it is (the last place it was dropped), rather than where the motion path moved it.

To create something that functions the way you want it to, you have to build the interaction completely from scratch. The built-in Drag and Drop just isn't that flexible.

There is a sample of a system that can do all you ask for (and some other stuff besides,) at this post: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/drag-and-drop-solution-sample-with-multiple-correct-targets-with-drag-off-and-return-plus-a-lot-more 

There is a simpler (but not as powerful and flexible,) sample attached here. Bear in mind these both are designed to show technical possibilities, but are not intended to illustrate sound pedagogical methods.