Is there a way for students to upload a file in Storyline

My training course involves having students do some lab work off-line from the course, and then submit some files showing the lab results.  What I envision is a slide in Storyline that has four upload text boxes that contain the names of files the students need to upload with their results.  Each upload text box would have a button next to it that would open a file browser on their computer that allows selecting a file.  The file selected would be automatically filled into the text box.  After the boxes are filled in, clicking on a "submit" button would upload the files to a server at my company, and notify the instructor via an e-mail that the files are available.

Has anyone done something similar to this?  I would greatly appreciate any ideas on:

1) How to best have students submit files from within Storyline.

2) How to have a button action send an e-mail message to a specific person.


A couple factors that might come into play:  First, this training will be for customers, meaning the students submitting lab files will be outside of my company.  Second, the training will be made available via an LMS.  My company is still evaluating LMS options, so nothing is in place yet.  I would like to keep this Storyline course independent of any specific LMS, both so that I can test things before the LMS is in place, and to allow flexibility on what LMS will eventually be used.

12 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

Hi Stuart,

What you are referring to is what some LMSs refer to as "dropbox" functionality. This goes way beyond the capabilities and usage of Storyline.

Instead of trying to build this in SL (which would again be a tall if not insurmountable order) I would be looking at Learning Management Systems that offer this functionality out of the box (some of them do). Then I would simply find a way to integrate the dropbox learning object to the overall e-learning module inside the LMS.

Hope this helps,
Alex

Joshua Roberts

Alexandros Anoyatis said:

Hi Stuart,

What you are referring to is what some LMSs refer to as "dropbox" functionality. This goes way beyond the capabilities and usage of Storyline.

Instead of trying to build this in SL (which would again be a tall if not insurmountable order) I would be looking at Learning Management Systems that offer this functionality out of the box (some of them do). Then I would simply find a way to integrate the dropbox learning object to the overall e-learning module inside the LMS.

Hope this helps,
Alex


I agree with Alex on this, however there is some scope to add a button in to send an email, however this would run externally and if you need it to be linked to the document drop you wanted to perform it could be problematic. I suggest looking into options within the LMS in order to more easily satisfy the need.

Stuart S.

Thanks everyone for the great answers!  Based on everyone's input, I will wait until we have the LMS in place before I do the lab submission part of the course.  I might tinker with a web-based submission form before then, but it looks like an LMS dropbox will be the best approach for my needs.

It's disappointing to hear that Articulate Online doesn't have this dropbox capability.  That could end up being a deciding factor on what LMS to use.

Joshua, you mentioned "there is some scope to add a button in to send an email".  Can you elaborate on this?  That would still be useful to do from within my Storyline course.  It would be even more useful if I could make an "Email the Instructor"  function from within the "Resources" tab of the Player (or elsewhere in the Player space).

Alexandros Anoyatis

You can add a button to fire up your email client through Storyline, sure, but that also has limited application to your scenario (for example, this won't work in tablets). Even if you do implement this, in no way is the actual sending of the data you require guaranteed to be sent. It will just fire up the default client, something that the user can do with a couple of clicks on his own anyway.

The are a lot of potential problems here. Some of which are :

  • User may have incorrect email settings in his default client for a number of reasons.
  • User may actually use a different client than the default set in his workstation.
  • User may use web-based email (such as gmail or yahoo) and also not set as default.
  • Files may (or may not) be too big to be sent through their mailbox as attachments - having a dropbox solution within the LMS means the quota is subject to the restrictions set on your LMS, not the mail service.
  • Even assuming mail is successfully sent you will have to manually sort every email that comes through to your email. With a capable LMS in hand this is taken care of automatically.

In my book, this is a half-baked solution that only adds unnecessary complexity to your process.

Phil Mayor

Alexandros Anoyatis said:

You can add a button to fire up your email client through Storyline, sure, but that also has limited application to your scenario (for example, this won't work in tablets). Even if you do implement this, in no way is the actual sending of the data you require guaranteed to be sent. It will just fire up the default client, something that the user can do with a couple of clicks on his own anyway.

The are a lot of potential problems here. Some of which are :

  • User may have incorrect email settings in his default client for a number of reasons.
  • User may actually use a different client than the default set in his workstation.
  • User may use web-based email (such as gmail or yahoo) and also not set as default.
  • Files may (or may not) be too big to be sent through their mailbox as attachments - having a dropbox solution within the LMS means the quota is subject to the restrictions set on your LMS, not the mail service.
  • Even assuming mail is successfully sent you will have to manually sort every email that comes through to your email. With a capable LMS in hand this is taken care of automatically.

In my book, this is a half-baked solution that only adds unnecessary complexity to your process.


+1 I agree with this, email link is a half-baked solution that won't meet your needs.

Steve Flowers

You might have some luck using Google Sites and Google Drive scripts. Martin Hawksey describes one way to do this here:

https://docs.google.com/a/nara.gov/document/d/1WAzFAPmhWvQS8SDmmsYOaJSm77QVZZa-4Xq5By_rojA/edit?hl=en_US

Building the page / form and embedding that in a Web object, you could direct the uploads to drop into a Google Drive. 

Stuart S.

Thanks again for the added insights!

I must apologize that my brain switched direction, but I was not clear about the direction change in my last post.  I will look into using an LMS for the file submission.  My query about having an e-mail button was on a different tact.  I would like the users of the course to have a way to send a message to the course administrator.  I was not intending to have the user add attachments to that message.  The message would be a way for students to contact the course instructor.  This too, might be best handled in the LMS, but I was curious about Joshua's mention of an e-mail button.