Structure/Setup for Storyline Modules

Dec 30, 2019

What's the best way to structure the following scenario in Storyline 360?

A course has 14 modules. File #1 contains introduction information and a slide that is an interactive menu (buttons) listing the 14 modules. Fourteen scenes (one splash slide) appear in the file representing the names of each module, so each module name appears in Storyline's Player menu.

When the learner selects one of the modules from the slide or Player menu, it triggers an open  Storyline file. In the newly opened file, I want the same menu that is in File #1 to appear in the 14 files (link back), in the same sequence. However, I only want the content associated with a particular module in each Storyline file.

I want the learner to be able to use the Player menu to jump to the 14 modules at any time and also be directed back to the slide with the menu, where it changes the state to provide the learner with feedback when he/she completes each module.

I am not sure if this is clear, so I will attempt to demonstrate it:

COURSE A - Main course with content, menu slide and Player menu, that jumps to the 14 module.

Module 1 - Storyline file with module 1 content. Want learner to be able to access the same menu slide and player menu in course A

Module 2 - Storyline file with module 2 content. Want learner to be able to access the same menu slide and player menu in course A

Module 3 - Storyline file with module 3 content. Want learner to be able to access the same menu slide and player menu in course A

Module 4 - Storyline file with module 4 content. Want learner to be able to access the same menu slide and player menu in course A

Modules 5 to 14 - Storyline file with module X content. Want learner to be able to access the same menu slide and player menu in course A


7 Replies
Ned Whiteley

Hi Monica,

I am a little confused when you talk about opening a new Storyline file for each module. The way I would set this up is to have each module in its own scene, all within the same Storyline file.

You could either set up one scene purely for the main menu slide and then have another fourteen scenes for the fourteen modules or, alternatively, include the main menu as slide 1 in Scene 1 together with Module 1. The reason why you might prefer this is because Module 1 would then be in Scene 1, Module 2 in Scene 2 etc, instead of Module 1 in Scene 2.

When the user reaches the end of a module (scene), they are then directed back to Slide 1.1 (the main menu).

I have attached a simple example of how you can set up a course in individual scenes and then use a sequential menu to direct the user to view the course, in order, from one section to the next.

Hope this helps and gives you some ideas.

Monica Jackson


Thank you for responding. I did not receive a notification that you responded. I will have to check my settings/notification and correct that.

I understand what you are saying, know how to use scenes and I do not want use scenes for what I am attempting to accomplish, because the same content is used in various courses. I want to allow other courses to use the same content, without having to duplicate the same content in each course that wants to use the same content. I will try to clarify:

Storyline File #1: (course 1) MAIN MENU - Module A, Module B, Module C ... Module n (learner will be able to select any module). Each module has various scenes. Each module would be published separately and triggered from the MAIN MENU.

Storyline File #2 (course 2) - uses modules A and C + other modules

Storyline File #3 (course 3) - uses modules A and B + other modules

Storyline File #4 (course 4) - uses modules B and C + other modules

So, course 2 would trigger the identical A and C modules that are in course 1. Course 3 would trigger identical A and B modules that are in course 1. Developing numerous courses and want to reuse content.

So, I'm trying to determine the best way to design. Furthermore, I use the menu player so learners can navigate to modules, scenes, etc., so I'm wondering how I can replicate the same menu in the player across all without having to place a "dummy" slide so that every module appears in the player menu.

Wondering how to do this efficiently in Storyline. Each course is huge and I don't want all of the source in one file. Storyline files can become corrupt and a nightmare to figure out/redesign slides when this happens. 

Suggestions anyone?

Ned Whiteley

Hi Monica,

Now that I have a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve, I would still be inclined to use different scenes within a single Storyline file for each course and would use a variable (e.g. CouseSelection) to determine which of the "common modules" to visit first before completing the course-specific modules.

I would arrange the Storyline file as follows:

Scene 1: Main Menu

Main Menu slide  --  this would ask the user to select which course they wished to undertake and, depending on their selection, would set the CourseSelection variable to 1, 2, 3 or 4 and then jump them to the appropriate first slide.

Scene 2: Common Modules

Module A
Module B
Module C

The Next Slide buttons at the end of each common module would use the CourseSelection variable as a condition to determine which slide the user visited next:

e.g. triggers for Module B:
Jump to next slide (Module C) if CourseSelection = 1
Jump to slide 5.1 (Course 3) if CourseSelection = 3
Jump to next slide (Module C) if CourseSelection = 4

Scene 3: Course 1

Additional modules for Course 1

Scene 4: Course 2

Additional modules for Course 2

Scene 5: Course 3

Additional modules for Course 3

Scene 6: Course 4

Additional modules for Course 4

The Next Slide button on the final slide in each course would return the user to the Main Menu slide in Scene 1.

I hope this makes sense, but if you are having difficulty with it or have any further queries, please don't hesitate to ask.

Ned Whiteley

Hi Monica,

Further to my last, I meant to add a couple of extra bits.

Firstly, if you still wish to keep each course in a separate file, I would simply create a file with the common modules in it, save a copy of it under each course name and then edit those files accordingly to make up the complete module structure for each course individually.

Secondly, if you do place all of the content in one file and want your users to be able to move around between modules within a course via a menu, I would add a course-specific module menu at the start of each scene.

As a matter of interest, how huge is huge when you are talking about the size of your courseware? The reason I ask is because yours may well prove to be very large, but on the other hand you may also be surprised as to just how large some courses out there are that are running quite successfully within a single Storyline file.

Monica Jackson

Greetings Ned,

Thanks again.  Sometimes Storyline is unstable, when slides become corrupt, and locating the source. So, for maintenance purposes for internal staff and this potential issue surfacing, I've decided to stick with my original plan of publishing each Storyline file then triggering those from the menu, which also aligns with Articulate's suggestion, as well. I was just looking for other options too.

Regarding your question on how to design a separate menu linking different modules or files, it is possible in Storyline 360. Here's how:

1) Publish each module and get the link to the launch file.
2) Add a trigger to launch the URL when the user clicks on the corresponding button on the menu. The launch URL should indicate the link to the launch file. Then publish the menu module.

The drawback to the design of the course flow you want to accomplish is that you need to copy the menu to each of the modules. If you see any downsides to this, please chime in.

Thanks again Ned!

Ned Whiteley

Hi Monica,

I understand why you would wish to have separate files for each course and had assumed that you would therefore be using URL links from your menu, which is a perfectly good way to do it.

I know you might think it seems a bit clunky having several copies of the menu (i.e. one in the start-up file and then one in each of the other files), but that is only because, as the developer, you get to see everything that runs in the background. I think it is a trap that we all fall into at times, as developers, when we aren't particularly happy about how we have provided a solution to a problem. What we actually have to think about is what the user gets to see and how effective the user interface is for them. In reality, it doesn't matter how many copies of a menu you use, for example, provided the user simply sees a menu whenever they need to and it does what they want it to.

For me at least, it's more important to achieve a user-friendly and polished front end than it is to worry about how neat and tidy the solution is that I used to get there. In the ideal world, both the front end and all the goings on in the background (triggers, motion paths etc) look great, but we are kidding ourselves if we think that will always happen.

In your case, for example, the user will have no idea (or even worry for that matter) whether you have one menu or ten menus or even if the whole set of courses is spread over multiple files; at the end of the day, it will all happen seamlessly and that's what counts. :-)

Monica Jackson

Greetings Ned,

You are absolutely right. The learner will not know anything about the menus being copied into multiple files. Thanks for that pep talk/reminder. My thinking on the back end (and front end), comes from my IT/software development/maintenance days.

I'm playing with my client's LMS and will probably scrap both suggestions, if it resolves both of my concerns. Have an awesome day and thanks again!

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