• Traci Pate

Cheat Codes for eLearning

One of our current projects happens to be (dare I say it?) a math course (complete with pre-assessments, randomized question banks, and text entry questions). The randomized question banks make it more difficult for learners who haven’t yet mastered the content to pass the pre-assessments and skip parts of the course. All great, except randomized question banks make courses excruciating to review, for non-SMEs. Not to mention, testing also takes forever when you have to do it while searching through an answer key.

This is a pretty big issue in our case given the number of assessments and size of our question banks. To save ourselves and our non-SME reviewers loads of frustration, and to help facilitate future updates, we built the answer key into the course. (It's a cheat code for reviewers, that can be removed during the final publish.)

We aren’t the first to do this. And we won’t be the last. But if you’ve never seen how it works, the process for how to set up an interactive answer key in Articulate Storyline is below. You’ll need a basic understanding of variables and triggers to complete the steps.

The steps to create a built-in (hidden) answer key in Articulate Storyline are:

1. Create a T/F variable to toggle the answer key on or off. For example, we named ours “ShowHints.”

2. Add the answer to the slide (or template) with Initial states set to Hidden.

3. Add a trigger to the slide or template to “Change the state of (the answer) to Normal when the timeline starts if the new variable is set to true.

4. Set up a way for reviewers or testers to see the answer key by adding a trigger to change the new variable. You can add a trigger to specific slides, the slide master, or even a tab in the player. There are a ton of ways to do this, and you’ll want to think this part through a bit to see what will work best for your specific course. Basically, once you find your location(s), you’ll add in a trigger to toggle the variable (on/off), or just set it to true.

We hope this helps anyone in a similar predicament!

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