A Freeform Text Entry question allows you to design your own fill-in-the-blank question.  In this tutorial, we'll explore how to create a new Text Entry question from scratch.

Note:  Even though you can use the Insert tab to add multiple text entry fields to your slide, be aware that only one designated text entry field will be evaluated. If you need your course to evaluate multiple text entry fields, you can check out this approach instead.

Step 1:  Insert a Text-Entry Freeform Question

  1. Do any one of the following:
    • Select the Home tab, and click New Slide.
    • Or, select the Insert tab, and click New Slide.
    • Or, in Story View, right-click anywhere in the workspace and choose New Slide.
    • Or, in Normal (slide) View, right-click anywhere in the left navigation pane and choose New Slide.
  2. When the Insert Slides window appears, select the Quizzing tab from the left edge.
  3. Select the Freeform tab at the top of the window, and click the Text Entry thumbnail.
  4. Click the Insert button.

A new slide will be added to your story, and the Text Entry question editor will automatically open where you can define the acceptable answers.

Step 2:  Define Acceptable Answers

Type the acceptable answers for the text entry question into the answer grid.  And if the acceptable answers are case-sensitive, be sure to mark the Answers are case sensitive check box in the lower right corner of the window.

Tip:  If you convert an existing slide with data entry fields into a freeform Text Entry question, use the Field To Evaluate drop-down list to select the existing text entry field that you want to grade or on which you want to provide feedback.  Only one text entry field per slide can be evaluated.

Step 3:  Specify How the Text-Entry Question Will Be Submitted

Your users can click the built-in Submit button on your player, which is the default navigation feature for quizzing slides, to submit their text entry response for evaluation. However, if you are not using the built-in Submit button on your player, or if you want to provide alternative methods for submitting responses, you can configure one or both of the following:

  • Submit Keys:  Use the Submit Keys field below the answer grid to designate which key or combination of keys will actually submit users’ answers for evaluation.
    • Simply click in the Submit Keys field and press the key or combination of keys that you wish to use.
    • If you change your mind, you can either press the correct key(s), which will update the Submit Keys field accordingly, or you can click the Clear Submit Keys button, which looks like a red X, to clear the field altogether.
    • Note: The Enter key will always submit a text entry field for evaluation, so you won't need to specify it here.
  • Submit Button:  If you would like to provide your own button or hotspot on the slide that users can click to submit their answer, use the Submit Button drop-down list to select New Button or New Hotspot.  If you already have one or more buttons or hotspots on the slide, they will also appear in the drop-down list, which means you can even select an existing button or hotspot to submit users' answers.  And, if you change your mind, you can select No Button from the drop-down list.

Step 4:  Enter the Score

  1. Choose one of the following from the Score selector on the toolbar:
    • By Question: This is the default, and it allows you to assign points to the correct answer.
    • None: This omits any scoring info from the question. It also removes the need for acceptable answers and correct/incorrect feedback. Storyline creates a single feedback message (which you can of course edit) rather than having separate correct/incorrect feedback messages.
  2. If you chose By Question for the Scoring option, now enter values in the Points area of the question editor (lower right corner).

Step 5:  Make the Question Required or Optional (Unscored Questions Only)

If you are building an unscored question, use the Require selector on the toolbar to choose User may skip or User must answer. (For graded questions, the Require selector isn’t available, since graded questions require an answer.)

Step 6:  Choose Feedback and Branching Options

  1. In Storyline, you can show your learners feedback after they answer a question—and you can also branch learners to different parts of your course, based on their answers. Choose one of the following from the Feedback selector on the toolbar:
    • By Question: This allows you to set up question-based feedback and branching. For a graded question, you can show different feedback for a correct vs. incorrect answer. For an unscored question, there’s just one feedback message for the question overall.
    • None: Choose this if you don't want any feedback to display and if you don't need to branch the learner to a different place in the course based on how they answer.
  2. If you opt to display feedback, you can edit the feedback text in the Feedback area of the question editor, which appears at the bottom of the question editor. Or, when you return to the Normal View of your slide, you can make the changes to the feedback layers that Storyline creates for you. To learn more about layers, see this tutorial. To change the visual design of your feedback layers, check out this tutorial.
  3. For graded questions, you can also include Post-Quiz Review feedback. This feedback appears during the quiz review, if you provide your learners with a Result Slide that includes a "Review Quiz" option. In the Post-Quiz Review field at the bottom of the question editor, enter the review feedback you want learners to see.
  4. Now let's talk about branching. By default, Storyline will take the learner to the next slide in your course once they answer your question. But if you want to take them somewhere else in the course, you can do that. Click any More button in the Feedback area, and use the Branch to the following selector to choose the destination.

Step 7:  Assign the Number of Attempts (Graded Questions Only)

By default, Storyline gives learners one attempt at your question. But if they answer incorrectly, you can give them the opportunity to retry. Use the Attempts selector to choose the number of attempts, or set it to Unlimited if you want learners to keep trying the question till they get it right. (The Attempts selector doesn’t appear on unscored questions, since those don’t have a right or wrong answer.)

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you allow multiple tries, Storyline adds a "Try Again" section to the Feedback area on the question editor. This is the feedback that’ll appear if a learner answers incorrectly. You can make changes to the feedback here on the question editor. Or, when you return to the Normal View of your slide, you can make the changes to the to the “Try Again” slide layer that Storyline creates for you. To learn more about layers, see this tutorial.
  • If you want the "Try Again" messages throughout your course to look a certain way, you can make changes to the Try Again feedback layout. For more details, check out this tutorial.

Step 8:  Return to the Normal View of Your Slide

When you're done setting your options on the question editor, click Save & Close. This closes the question editor and returns you to the Normal View of the slide.

If you chose to provide feedback on this question, or if you chose to include a post-quiz review message, you'll see separate layers for each of these in the Slide Layers panel, and you can edit those layers if you like.

Step 9:  Assign a Result Slide

You can display quiz results at any point in your course by using a results slide. When you create a results slide, you can tell Storyline which questions in your course you want it to use for calculating the results. Find out more about how to create a result slide here.

If you've already added a result slide in your course, you can assign the current question to it like this:  in Normal View, find the Question panel at the right edge of the slide workspace. Use the Results slide selector to choose the results slide to which you want to connect this question.

How Do I Edit My Question Later?

If you need to make changes to your question later, you can go to your question slide and edit the content directly on the slide. If you need to change other things about the question that aren't visible on the slide (such as the scoring, number of attempts, or how feedback is handled), just click the Edit Text Entry Interaction button in the Question panel that appears to the right of the slide workspace. This opens the question editor where you can make whatever changes you need. Click Save & Close when you're done.

You Might Also Want to Explore:

Adding Result Slides
Adding Graded Questions and Survey Questions
Using Question Banks
Using Feedback Masters
Adding and Editing States