Using Question Banks in Articulate Storyline for Random Branching Scenarios

A client recently presented me with a challenge to create a course with a number of scenarios, but wanted the learner to view only one of these scenarios randomly.

In Articulate Storyline, Question Banks can be used for storing slides other than question slides.  This is how you can go about setting this up.

1.  Build your Scenarios

In this example, I set up each scenario in a separate scene.

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The first slide in each scenario is the slide that ends up being the one you import into your Question Bank.  In this example, I’ve already imported the first slides from three of the scenarios.  Scenario 4 has the first slide waiting to be imported into the Question Bank.

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2.  Create your Question Bank

From the Home tab, click on Question Banks in the Scenes group, then select “Create Question Bank” from the list of options.

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Give your Question Bank a meaningful name, click OK and your Question Bank will be created.

3.  Import Slides into your Question Bank

You can access your Question Bank from the drop down list under Question Bank in the Scenes group.

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Open your Question Bank and click on ‘Import Questions’ from the Insert group of the Home tab.

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Locate the slide you want to import and click to select it.  Note the ‘Import’ options at the top of the Import Questions dialogue box – you have the option to ‘Copy’ or ‘Move’ your chosen slide.  The way I built my Scenes I intended to move the slide, so this is the option I chose.

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4.  Create your “Draw from New Question Bank” Slide

I then built an initial Scene that contained an opening and closing slide, plus a ‘Draw from New Question Bank Slide’ – this is the key slide to get your random branching scenario draw set up.  To add this slide, choose ‘New Draw from Question Bank’ from the drop down Question Banks list in the Scenes group of the Home tab.

(Tip:  You need to be in ‘Story View’ to access this Scenes group)

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 5.  Modify the Triggers

Once you have imported your slides into your Question Bank, you will need to modify the triggers.  The trigger for the Next button needs to be modified to jump to the next slide in the scenario, which will be the first slide in the scene you have set up after you imported the initial slide from the scene into your Question Bank (I labelled this slide ‘Scenario 1/2/3/4 – Continued’).  You should also delete the ‘Jump to previous slide’ trigger assigned to the Previous button.

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6.  View the Final Production

This is the final production in a video format.  You can see from the Menu that the course progresses from the ‘Opening Slide’, to a randomly selected Scenario drawn from the Question Bank, then ends with the ‘Closing Slide’.  I’ve played and recorded this twice so you can see the random selection of a different Scenario.

Click on the image to view the video

If you want the learner to view more than one of the scenarios, there is a slightly different process you need to follow – thank you to my good friend Matt Guyan for troubleshooting how to set this up for me.

You will need to set your scenario content slides up in layers, then add number variables and conditions on the Next button to show the layers.

source files

Here are the Storyline source files if you are interested in taking a look behind the scenes at how this all works.  Enjoy!

Random branching scenario – view one scenario
Random branching scenario – view more than one scenario

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