Work With Elapsed Time Variables In Storyline 360

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In the November 2021 update, Articulate added three new built-in variables to Storyline 360. The Elapsed time variables. These variables give you lots of new possibilities for timed in Storyline 360. Elapsed Time Variables are built-in Storyline Variables. You can use them to track the elapsed time on a slide in a scene or throughout your whole course.

With Elapsed Time Variables you have all sorts of new possibilities to create timed interactions.

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Articulate has recently added three new built-in variables to Storyline 360, elapsed time variables. Now these variables gives you lots of new possibilities for time interactions in Storyline 360. And in this video, I’ll show you where you can find the variables, how they work, and I’ll also show you three practical examples as inspiration to use elapsed time variables in your next course. So let’s get started. Now, let’s see where you can find the elapsed time variables in Storyline 360 and how you can add them to your project.

Where Can You Find Elapsed Time Variables

As mentioned in my intro, elapsed time variables are built in Storyline variables. So let’s open the my next project variables option, and you’ll see a new screen opens, and you’ll see now two tabs. Now on the project variable tabs, you will find all the variables that you created yourself in this project, in this case, none for now. And here on the second tab, we have all the building variables. Now it’s quite a list. So let’s use the search bar in top of the variable screen for what I’ll do. I’ll see El and you’ll see I have now the three elapsed time variables. There is a elapsed time variable for your whole project, for a particular scene, or for a particular slide. And now we know where we can find the elapsed time variables, let’s add them to our project.

How To Add Elapsed Time Variables In Storyline

Let’s close the variable window, and I have already created the slides with three text fields. And I want to add the elapsed time variables on the each text field. Now there are two options to do this in Articulate storyline. The first option is to create a text field and type the name of the variable with in percentage signs, but there is a second, and I think much easier method by adding a variable reference to your slide. So to add reference, the first thing is to add a new text box. So therefore I go to insert, create text box, and I draw a text box on my slide. The next step is to go to insert again, and go to reference. You see here, we have the managed project variables window, I type in EL and I’ll select my slide dot elapsed time variable and click on okay. Now Storyline has automatically added the reference to the slide elapsed time variable in the text box.

So I’ll make the font size a little bit smaller, so it fits on one line. And what I’ll do now is I’ll edit for the other two variables. For the first variable, I created the text field through the insert tab. What you also can do is press control T on your keyboard and Storyline adds a text field, and now you can go to insert reference. I type EL and select the scene elapsed time variable. And now I will also create an elapsed time variable for my whole course. So I added the last reference to the project, elapsed time variable and what I did. I copied this slide here in this scene and also created a new scene. So now let’s preview this course and see how the elapsed time variables work.

Preview Elapsed Time Variables

So now we’re preview mode and maybe you’ll see something you didn’t expect because instead of seconds adding up, you’ll see many numbers increasing really quickly, what Storyline does is it counts the time in milliseconds. So where a thousand milliseconds are one second. So this is something that you have to keep in mind when creating triggers. And if you want that something happens after for instance, five seconds, you have to fill in 5,000 milliseconds in your trigger. Now I added the link to a millisecond converter in the video description below to make it easier for you. Let’s jump to the next slide and see what happens.

So I’ll jump to my next slide and you’ll see the elapsed time variable for slides is set to zero and counts again. Now this is my last slide of the scene. So let’s click to the next scene. You’ll see now the elapsed time variable for the slides is set to zero and is adding up again. But also the elapsed time variable for the scene is set to zero and is adding up again. And the elapsed time variable for the course will run again. Now that you know how to add elapsed time variables and that Storyline tracks the elapsed time variables in milliseconds, I’ll show three examples of how elapsed time variables work in practice.

Example 1

So the first interaction that I want to show you where I used elapsed time variables is this interaction where you must guess which animal is hidden behind rectangles. Now I’ve created 19 rectangles. And let me show you which animal is hidden. Here, it’s an elephant. And the 19 rectangles appear mixed one by one. And so you can guess which animal you see. Rectangle six is the first rectangle that will be hidden and let’s check this trigger. So here trigger says change state of rectangle six to hidden. And when the variable changes, slide elapsed time, if slide elapsed time is larger than 2,500. So this means after two and a half seconds, the first rectangle, rectangle six will be hidden by Articulate Storyline. And after five seconds, this rectangle will be hidden, then this rectangle. And so and so on.

Now let’s check in the preview mode, how this works in practice. So we’re now in preview mode and you’ll see after two and a half seconds, our first rectangle disappears, then the second, the third one, the fourth one, and so on and so on. Now this is the first interaction that I want to show you. Now let’s go to my second interaction.

Example 2

So this is my second interaction that I want to show you. I have here a multiple choice question with a hint. So if a user doesn’t know the answer, he gets a hint after 10 seconds. Let me show you how I set up this interaction. So what I’ve done, I created a hint layer and I created two triggers and a custom variable. So I created the custom variable, a true, false variable reached 10 seconds, and I’ve used them in my triggers.

So let’s show the first trigger that says set the custom variable reached 10 seconds to true. And when should this happen? When the variable changes slide elapsed time and if slide elapsed time is greater than 10,000. So that means after 10 seconds, the reached 10 seconds variable is set to true. And now let me show you the second trigger. This will show the hint layer. Now the hint layer will be shown when a variable reached 10 seconds changes. And when does it change? It must change to true. So then the layer is shown. And this was my second example. Now let’s look at my third example.

Example 3

Now this is my third and last example. What I want to show you here is that you can also use the elapsed time variables for instance, for the project to complete a project after for instance, 10 seconds. So what I’ve already done here is I created a new variable that says reached 10 seconds. And I created a trigger that set says set reached 10 seconds to true. When the project elapsed time variable changes and if project elapsed time variable is greater than 60,000. So this means after 10 minutes, reached 10 minutes will be set to two.

Now, if we create a new trigger, we set complete course and not when start, but when variable changes and we use the 10 minutes. And here we say, when 10 minutes is set to true. So what we’ve done here with this trigger is that the Articulate Storyline will pass the course completed to your LMS when the variable reached 10 minutes, changes to the content of true.

Now, I hope the new video about elapsed time variables in Articulate Storyline was useful to you. If so, then feel free to hit the like button on this video. And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and the bell notification icon so you won’t miss any of my upcoming videos. See you next time in my next video. Bye.

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