Articulate Storyline 360: Adding Page Numbers to Draw from Question Bank Slides

Shane Coady-Barrett | 12/08/2016

In my last blog, I answered the question of how to have our learners retry only the questions that they got wrong when using the “Retry Quiz” feature built into Storyline Result Slides.

During a workshop I ran at a client site in December, I was asked if there was a way to add a “Page/Question Number” to slides that draw from a Question Bank. As these questions are randomized, there’s no way to judge in which order they’re going to come out. I was made aware that this was a feature in Articulate's Quizmaker, but again, it’s not something that’s possible with Storyline 2 out of the box. It can be done, but we need to do some additional work.

So, if you’ve read any of my blogs, or you’re used to using Storyline, you should be familiar with using Triggers and Variables. We’re going to use just these two things to add the Slide Numbers to our randomly drawn “Draw From Bank” slides.

I’m going to assume you’ve already got a Storyline Project with a Question Bank, a Draw from Bank slide, and a Results Slide. If not, please look at this article from the eLearning Heroes Forum.

NB: If you’re not already a member, I highly suggest signing up!

If you have a Question Bank, a Draw from Bank slide, and a Results Slide – Please start at Step 1.

Step 1

The first step we’re going to look at is creating the Variable we need. We need a Numeric Variable that we’re going to use to count our Slides.

To create a new Variable, you need to select the “Manage project variables” icon in the top right hand corner of your Triggers pane. Once the Variables pop-up window appears you’ll need to select the “Create a new variable” icon. Once another pop-up appears you’ll need to name your new variable. The name I chose was “DrawFromQBCounter”

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However, you can name this variable anything you like. I’d recommend making it logical. The type of Variable is going to be Number and the default Value is going to be 0.

Select OK to complete adding this variable.

Step 2

Now we have the Variable in place, we need to create a Slide Master Layout for our “Draw From Bank” Slides. The reason we’re creating a Slide Master Layout, is so that we can easily attach this functionality to numerous pages, efficiently. This example only has 5 questions, so it could’ve been done at Slide Level, but if you have 100 questions in your Question Bank, there would be a huge duplication of effort during your build time…

To create a new Slide Master Layout, you need to select the “View” Tab and then select the “Slide Master” Icon.

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When inside your Slide Master, Right Click the last Layout Slide of the Slide Master. It should be called “Blank Layout.” From the Menu that appears, select Insert Layout.

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Once your new Layout has been added, right click it and Rename it to “Draw From Question Bank”

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Once you’ve renamed your Slide Master, please format it to fit your design needs for the Module.

NB: You can name the Layout whatever you like, I just chose “Draw From Question Bank” as it’s the logical name for me to use.

Step 3

Now we have the Variable and Slide Master Layout in place, we need to insert a reference to this variable on the Layout. The reason we’re inserting a reference to the variable, is that we need to display the value of the variable on the slides that use this Layout. To insert a Reference to a variable inside of your module, select the Insert Tab and then select Text Box.

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Once you’ve drawn your text box (in this example, I drew mine in the bottom right hand corner of the screen – I also typed the word Question into the text box.) you’ll then need to insert a reference to our variable. To insert a reference to our variable you need to go back to the Insert Tab and then select the Reference icon.

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This will then bring up the Reference Pop up. From this window, select your Variable from the list of Variables, in this instance mine is called “DrawFromQBCounter” Select the Variable with a single click, then select the OK Button. This will now insert a reference to your Variable. I finished the text box by typing “of 4” after the reference. This is because I’m drawing 4 Questions from my Question Bank. You will need to amend this number depending on the amount of Questions you’re drawing from the Bank.

Your text box should now look something like this:

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NB: You can also manually type your references to variables by typing %YourVariableName% - It just needs a % either side of the variable. However, if you don’t use the Insert Reference feature and you update the name of the variable from the Manage Project Variables window, it won’t automatically update. You may also make mistakes when typing, so just be careful!

Step 4

Now we have the Variable in place, we need to insert the first of our triggers. This Trigger will sit on the Slide Master Layout. The reason we’re inserting this trigger on the Slide Master Layout, again, is so that we can easily attach this functionality to numerous pages, efficiently. This example only has 5 questions, so it could’ve been done at Slide Level, but if you have 100 questions in your Question Bank, there would be a huge duplication of effort during your build time…

This trigger is going to sit on the Base Slide/Layer of this Slide Master Layout. It’s going to adjust the DrawFromQBCounter Variable by adding 1 to it when the Layer starts.

From your triggers pane, select the “Create a new trigger” icon. This will open the Trigger Wizard. Your trigger should look like this.

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Step 5

Now we’ve set up The Variable, Slide Master Layout, and our Trigger. We need to attach this Layout to all our question slides. To do this we’re going to find all the slides from our Question Bank. To find these slides, go into Slide View and use the Scenes drop down to select your Question Bank.

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Select your Question Bank, in this instance mine is 1 SCB Question Bank. This will bring you into the Slide View for all your questions. What we need to do next is assign The Slide Master Layout we created to all our Question Slides.

To do this select the first Slide in your Question Bank. Then press CTRL+A to select all your slides. Then Right Click any of your slides, I chose the first slide. This will bring up some further options. Select Layout from this options list and then select the Slide Master Layout we created. In this instance mine is called “Draw From Question Bank”

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What this will do now, is attach the Layout we created. If you think back, this layout contains a Reference to the Variable (Question %DrawFromQBCounter% of 4) and the Trigger to Add 1 to the Variable DrawFromQBCounter when the timeline starts. So, this will add 1 every time any of these slides are drawn from the Question Bank.

Step 6

Now what we need to do, is move to our Results Slide and add a trigger. This trigger is going to set the Variable DrawFromQBCounter to 0. The reason we do this, is because the last slide our learners will see after completing the Quiz will be the results slide, so we no longer need to add to the counter. We also need to reset the counter to 0, as if we allow our users to Retry the quiz, when they return to the first question the first trigger we set up, will continue to add 1 to the DrawFromQBCounter variable, so we’d end up with “Question 5 of 4” in the text.

From your triggers pane, select the “Create a new trigger” icon. This will open the Trigger Wizard. Your trigger should look like this.

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So, that’s it! Although it’s not an out of the box feature, as Storyline is so intuitive and easy to use, this functionality can be added to any of your modules in a matter of minutes!

You can see how this is done by downloading the example Storyline File that I’ve provided, here.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions on this blog. I can be reached at:
Shane.Coady-Barrett@Cursim.com
Shane@S-C-B.co.uk
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/shane-coady-barrett

Download Storyline file


If you’re interested in learning more about Storyline, as mentioned at the beginning of this blog we offer the only Certified Articulate Storyline training in the UK. This runs monthly around the middle of each month. However, we can also run 1 to 4-day bespoke training courses/consultancy days at your office. To find out more about this training, or everything else our trainers/consultants can offer, please contact us at sales@omniplex.co or 08444 120 550.

Shane Coady-Barrett

Shane is an instructional designer here at Omniplex.