Accordion Interactions

Click on the image to view the demo

The Challenge and the Concept

The Articulate e-Learning Heroes challenge of the week #147 was to demonstrate how accordion interactions can be used in e-Learning.

The challenge overview indicated that “accordion interactions are a great way to group a large amount of related content into a single slide”. It also mentioned “accordions can be used to progressively reveal…quiz questions”.

So, I decided to challenge myself to develop an entire quiz on one slide using an accordion interaction design.

A huge thank you to Ridvan Saglam for responding to a discussion I posted in the e-Learning Heroes community on the development challenges I faced with this demo. Sometimes it’s interesting to find out how other developers would tackle an issue or design challenge – and once Ridvan had given me some technical help and inspiration, I was able to get over my development “block” and finish this demo.

The Design

I didn’t want to use standard, plain shapes for the accordion buttons, so I used a single image and cropped the image to create each button.

I didn’t use the built in question slides in Storyline for this design as you can’t use this if you’re using layers for your questions, which I was. Instead, I inserted radio buttons alongside the answer text for each question, then added each radio button to a “button set”.

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The Submit button for each question takes the user to the next question, so the interaction is technically not with the accordion buttons. This means that the knowledge check forces the learner to answer the questions in a linear manner – which is not a bad thing, as this is what we normally set up anyway in a knowledge check that progresses through multiple slides.

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What did I learn?

  1. You can create your own customised knowledge check on just one slide, including results and scoring, using just a few variables, states, triggers and layers.
  2. The order of triggers is very important if you want the logic to work, particularly if you have variables that rely on other variables changing. If you look at the image below, you will see that on this layer, which displays Question 3, the first trigger changes the Q3 True/False variable to True when the user clicks on the Submit button if they have selected the correct answer to this question, then 10 points gets added to their score (which is a Number variable), then the demo moves to the Q4 layer. If you don’t have these triggers in this order, the logic won’t be processed correctly and go all the way through to adjust the variables on the Results Slide (also True/False variables that change a red cross to a green tick for each question if the user has selected the correct answer).
  3. It’s worth putting yourself out there and asking for help/feedback on design – thanks to the amazing Articulate e-Learning Heroes community members for all of your comments – a brief moment of vulnerability is so worth it to read suggestions from so many talented and generous professionals.

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The Result

As a stand-alone demo, I’m happy with the way this turned out. I think this could easily be incorporated into a wide range of courses – maybe even embedded into the relevant content slide, or light-boxed as a quiz from any slide in a course.

Click on the image at the top of the post to view the demo.

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