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Improve Storyline Quality Assurance Testing with the Crew Pass Reference Model


Good Testing Takes A lot of Time — Let’s Make Storyline Testing Easier

Our team at Innovative Learning Group (ILG) has been working with Articulate Storyline since the first version was released in 2012. I spend a lot of time testing hundreds of courses a year to make sure they meet our quality assurance standards. Part of this is reviewing the source STORY file to make sure all the programming is correct, but I also go through the published course multiple times trying to think of all the things a learner might do that could cause an issue. During this phase, I don’t want to unlock the entire course because I might need to test interactions that involve required completion. Some examples that often require completion include:

  • Clicking buttons or tabs
  • Answering questions
  • Waiting for audio or video to finish playing

If I need to retest an interaction after making a change and have already successfully tested the interactions that precede it, I don’t want to redo those interactions. To be efficient, I need to be able to unlock the preceding interactions without unlocking the specific one that needs testing.

Meet Crew Pass — A JavaScript Reference Model That Enables Runtime Variable Inspection for Storyline

I’ve developed some JavaScript that can be copied into a Storyline published course folder to allow viewing and changing any of the Storyline variables. The interface to view the variables pops up in a new window. You can secure access to this interface through a couple of methods:

  • Enabling or disabling a launch button by setting a variable before publishing
  • Hiding the launch button until a passcode is entered (this approach allows testers to turn on the interface without republishing, which is useful if you need to test on a learning management system after a course has been released)

This is the user interface for the Crew Pass reference model.

When the interface first opens, it shows all Storyline True/False project variables. To check other variable types, choose between True/False, Text, and Number at the top.

To change one or more True/False variables, select the variables you want to change and then choose an Adjust All Selected button, either Set to true or Set to false. When you select one of these the values of the selected variables will be updated accordingly in Storyline. The selection allows Shift-click to select all rows between two clicks. It also allows Ctrl-click to select a variety of non-adjacent rows.

If the list of variables is too long, you can enter the first part of the variable name to filter down the list only to variable names that start with what you entered.

To change a Text variable, double-click the current value and type in a new value before pressing enter or clicking another row. This will update the value of the variable in Storyline.

Similarly, to change a Number variable, double-click the current value and type in a new value before pressing enter or clicking another row. This will update the value of the variable in Storyline.

Note: There’s a live connection between the Storyline course and the Crew Pass interface. This means that if a variable changes in Storyline, it will typically be updated automatically in the Crew Pass interface within one second. However, if you have rows selected for editing, updates from Storyline will be paused until you finish editing. Otherwise, incoming updates from Storyline would keep you from being able to edit.

Why is This Called a Reference Model?

This is a freely available download that provides an example of how to use JavaScript to inspect and modify Storyline variables based on the current version of Storyline. You’re welcome to use this example as-is, but there’s no guarantee that this approach will continue to work when Storyline releases new versions, and it’s possible that future updates will prevent this from working altogether. You’re free to update and change the reference model as needed to make it work for you and/or use the design as a reference for developing new code as Storyline changes.

Test Out Crew Pass and/or Download Crew Pass for Your Own Use

Please let me know if you find this useful. If you have other suggestions for useful features to add to the reference model, I’d love to hear them! I can be reached at

Additional Resources
Blog: Saving Time With Storyline
Blog: A Brief Introduction to Unity for Storyline Developers
Blog: Enabling Videos with Transparent Backgrounds in Articulate Storyline
Podcast Episode: Advanced Storyline Tips and Tricks