DevLearn 2016 Session – BYOL: Using Variables in Articulate Storyline #demo #freedownload


So, today I’m talking about the session I gave at DevLearn 2016. It was my first Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) session, and there were a few hiccups, but I would definitely revise the delivery and give it again! In this session, I showed participants how to use variables in Articulate Storyline to create a closed captioning effect, and to create a very basic progress meter.

Closed Captioning Effect

The technique for this effect was first shown to me by Nancy Woinoski at an Articulate Community Roadshow in Toronto a few years ago. I liked the clean effect, and thought it would be a great one to share with the greater commonwealth of e-learning developers! There are many other ways that you can create this sort of effect, and perhaps one day, you will no longer need a workaround for closed captioning in Storyline (pleeeeease, Articulate?!). Until then, we have workarounds. David Lindeberg actually drafted a great post on how he approaches closed captioning in Storyline – you can read it here.

Download this Participant File, and this Completed File. You can use the participant file to walkthrough the steps with me, and you can use the completed file to reverse engineer the programming and figure it out on your own!

Here’s the video walkthrough:

Progress Meters

Next, I showed participants how to create a very simple progress meter to track learner progress through a course. I can’t remember exactly where I saw this method, but I know it was via Articulate, and it was a long time ago (I think it was in Storyline 1). If you know which post I’m referencing, please link it in the comments below, because I scoured the community but I’m coming up short and would love to provide attribution.

After running into David Anderson on my coffee run the morning of my session, I was told doing both closed captioning and progress meters was ambitious for a 1-hour session, so I was a bit nervous, but I think this example is easy enough that most folks were able to follow along.

Download the Participant File and the Completed File, and then watch the demo below. If you want the Course Starter Template that I based this demo off, you can also download that.


  1. says

    Nice write up and recordings Ashley! Thanks for the shout out. One of the things I love about the Heroes community is all of the creative ways people come up with to do things. Wish I could have seen you present in person at Devlearn. Maybe next year!

  2. Brian Ambrose says

    Hi Ashley,

    I attended this session. It was a packed house.

    I thought your examples of using variables were good, especially the progress bar.

    I was thinking about the progress bar after the session and I think I found a bug. If you click on any of the buttons a 2nd time (to revisit content) the numeric variable will still add 1. So if you click Lesson 1 twice, the progress bar will show 66% done when you’ve only viewed 33% of the content. Adding a True/False variable to track if the button was already pressed would fix it.

    Unfortunately I guess I’m adding content to your session, instead of taking some away 😉

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