I went lightbox mad in this course: ELH Challenge #200 - Lightboxes

May 09, 2018

We got Storyline a couple of years ago and this was the first real course I created and, in addition to creating a real course, I was using it to learn what Storyline could do so I may have gone a bit mad with some features, lightboxes being one of them. They do a variety of things as I've explained below but they are all primarily there to help personalise the content and support the learner without disrupting the flow of what they are doing.


See published version here

  • A timer is built into the master slide and if the course is open for a certain amount of time a lightbox slide pops up reminding the learner to take a break. There are 3 different slides used for this and they get more & more naggy in tone depending on how long the course has been open.
  • This course is primarily activity driven and once you get past the introductory slides and into the activities there is a common nav bar that utilises lightboxes in a few ways
  • Ask Ali is a central support character in the course and the learner can click on her at any point to bring up specific and general support depending on the slide in question. Some of the lightbox slides that come up actually have a link to another 'Resources' lightbox slide used elsewhere but also relevant specifically at that point.
  • Learner notepad: To encourage the learner to make notes and reflect throughout a learner notepad can be accessed at any point and notes made. The lightbox made this function come alive as it would automatically allow the learner to see their cumulative notes to that point.
  • Key Contacts: Access to key  contacts that the learner may find useful whilst undertaking the course (eg. helpdesk if something crashes etc)
  • Resources: Similar to the key contacts but with links to internal resources that can be used throughout 
  • Reminder of key business info (Primrose Farm): Th is course is written around one fictional business and in the real world the learner would have easy access to some basic business info. The slide is used in the Introductory section before the activities but a lightbox was a great element to save the learner having to return to that point if they wanted reminding of something. 
14 Replies
Chris Undery
Stormy Causey

Chris - same question as Nataliya,  the notepad with email functions is great. I am a newbie here and would love to offer that feature to my learners and team. 

The notepad is a single slide that can be called up anywhere in the course using a button on the custom nav bar (It opens as a lightbox so as not to disturb the learners flow). There are 3 parts to learner view:

Learner Name: Not really necessary for the notepad to work, I just wanted it to be personal to the learner.  This is based on a 'Text' variable I set up that allows the learner to enter their name (first slide) which can then be sued anywhere we want by referencing it. I called the variable Learner_Name so including %Learner_Name% inside any text box will auto show what they entered.

Space to enter text: This is text input field with an associated variable called Learner_Notes. Storyline will auto create the variable when you create the text input so you just need to change its name to something meaningful. Each time the learner adds text to it, it changes the value of the variable to full text, allowing the variable to hold all the learners notes throughout, irrespective how many times they access it. The expansion of the text is done by combining the text input box with a scrolling panel 

Email it: This is done with a separate layer that utilises the same Learner_Name variable but creates two more using text input boxes called Email_Who & Email_Subject. The email icon then executes a bit of javascript (see below) that pulls the info from the variables into an email. Someone on the community provided the javascript as that is way above my knowledge level.

var player = GetPlayer();
var email=player.GetVar("Email_Who");
var subject=player.GetVar("Email_Subject");
var bodytxt=player.GetVar("Learner_Notes");

var mailto_link='mailto:'+email+'?subject='+subject+'&body='+bodytxt+"%0d%0A";


Feel free to download the story file, have a go at adapting and ask further questions.

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