articulate storyline

Read. Turn the page. Read. Turn the page. Read—you get it. Often, eLearning is an exercise in digital page-turning where some users simply power through it line-by-line, and where others will continually smash that Next button through the final slide. Though I see free navigation as an essential component of self-paced learning, I know there are times when my clients intentionally want to disable the Next button for a few slides that contain essential information or activities. If you want to disable the Next button for your Articulate Storyline 2 modules, this tutorial can show you how to do this and also show you how to re-enable it when your conditions are met.

Variable to Create

ConditionSet01 True/False False

This variable will need to be set to True as a result of the learner’s interaction with the slide. In the practice file (which you may acquire here), a trigger is set to turn ConditionSet01 to True on the condition that shapes Object1, Object2, Object3, and Object4 are all set to their Visited states. After you acquire the practice file, you may want to publish and preview the module to follow along if you’re still getting your bearings with triggers and conditions. You may also view a live demo here.

As you will see, the example activity is on slide 2, but slide 3 cannot be accessed since the Next button on slide 2 is disabled. The player menu is excluded intentionally, which thwarts any attempt to side-step the activity.

Create a Trigger to Disable the Next Button

When the user arrives to your activity, your Next button needs to go into a disabled state immediately (thus preventing your learners from skipping past). To disable Next, create a new trigger as such:


Decide Where and How Your Conditions are Met

You have a multitude of ways to decide where and how your conditions are met inside your activity—whether it’s by having a number of audio clips play to completion, or by having a number of objects turn into a Visited state via a mouse click or finger tap. The practice file uses the latter method, so proceed to create Visited states for your clickable objects.

Create a Change State Trigger with a Condition


This trigger is telling Next to go back to its Normal state when ConditionSet01 is set to True.

How ConditionSet01 Gets Set to True

This is where your Visited states come into play. In the practice file, ConditionSet01 goes from False to True when Object1, Object2, Object3, and Object4 are all in their Visited states. To set ConditionSet01 to True, create a trigger as such:


The slide now knows ConditionSet01 will be set to True upon these four Visited states, which works with the Next button that now has a trigger to return it to its Normal state providing ConditionSet01 = True. If you want to take this a step further by allowing slide 2’s Next button to remain enabled for future visits, you could have the slide set to Resume Saved State in Slide Properties, but that’s not ideal if your slide contains movement. Rather, modify the trigger that disables your Next button upon the timeline’s start as such:


Here, a condition was added which looks for ConditionSet01 to be set to False. In future visits to the module, your learners will not have Next automatically disabled (providing your learners don’t elect No at the Resume prompt). Seeing ConditionSet01 was already set to True in their previous session, they can skip ahead to slide 3 without the need to perform all four interactions again.

Continue to make other variables like ConditionSet01 if you have multiple slides that also require forced navigation—you’ll ensure nothing important is missed. If you found success with this tutorial, let us know in the comments below!

stephen victorStephen Victor has been developing eLearning modules for 10 years for various companies and clients. He resides in Tampa, Florida.

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