We’ve heard that adult learners prefer having freedom in their e-learning courses, but there are times when we need to make sure they complete an interaction before moving on to the next slide. So, what if they revisit a restricted slide? We don’t want them to needlessly have to go through the interaction again, right? This is where some quick work with a True/False variable and some trigger conditions can come in handy. So, read on as we unlock this “as heard in training” question: “How can I restrict navigation on an interactive slide only the first time it’s viewed?”
At Yukon Learning, we use True/False variables often to keep track of whether or not something has happened in a course. If you’ve never used True/False variables before, you can think of them like a light switch. They only have two options: “On” or “Off” (which in this case, equate to “True” and “False”). So, we can create a True/False variable in an e-learning course that starts in the “False” (or “Off”) position, and change it to “True” (or “On”) after an event, like when an interaction is completed. Let’s find out how!
But First, Download the Exercise File!
If you’d like to follow along with a completed version of what we’ll be building, take a moment to download the exercise file now.
Ready? Let’s Begin!
Let’s say we have an interactive slide with two buttons on it, and we want learners to select both of them before they can move to the next slide. But, as we said before, we don’t want them to have to go through the interaction again if they return to (or what Storyline calls “revisit”) the slide. Let’s go through the steps to only restrict the navigation the first time through.
After building our interactive slide with the necessary buttons, layers, and triggers, the first thing we need to do is set up a True/False variable to track when the interaction is completed. To do this, begin by selecting the Manage project variables icon in the Triggers panel.
When the Variables window appears, select the Create a new variable icon (which is the button with the plus sign).
Next, give the variable any name you’d like, but keep in mind that variable names can’t include spaces or other special characters. (We named ours “InteractionComplete.”) Then, change the variable Type to True/False, and leave the default value as False. Select OK twice to return to your slide.
With the variable created, there are only two things left to do:
- Disable the Next button so the learner has to complete the interaction before moving to the next slide.
- And then re-enable the Next button by changing it back to Normal after the interaction has been completed.
So, let’s do those two steps now.
To disable the Next button, we’ll add a trigger to our base layer.
- In the Triggers panel, select the Create a new trigger icon.
- Edit Action to Change state of | Object to Next Button | State to Disabled.
- Select Conditions | [your variable] (in our example, the variable name is “InteractionComplete”).
- Leave the default value of the condition as False.
- Select OK.
Adding a condition to the trigger using our True/False variable is where the magic happens! This is how we force the learner to complete the interaction the first time they view slide, but not on revisits to the slide.
Finally, to re-enable the Next button, we need to add two triggers to each layer.
- The first trigger will adjust the value of our True/False variable to True if both buttons have been selected. (This means changing the state of each button to Visited.)
- The second trigger changes the state of the Next button back to Normal.
Tip: Make sure you add these two triggers to both of the button layers, not the base layer or the slide itself.
As always, preview your slide to make sure it’s working properly. You should see that the Next button is initially disabled, but then it should enable after the interaction is complete. You should also notice that you don’t have to go through the interaction again when you revisit the slide! Presto!
We hope this provides you with yet another useful tool to use in your own Storyline courses, as well as making your courses more enjoyable for those who take them. And, as we say in training, there’s always more than one way to do something in Storyline, so we’d love to hear from you if you take a different approach to this type of build.
For more on this topic, check out the following posts from Articulate and The Articulate Trainer blog:
Until next time, happy developing!