No LMS, No Problem: How to Save Learning Data Outside of LMS

Tracking metrics without LMS: how to save data outside the LMS

Many individual learning experience designers and elearning companies alike put a lot of thinking into developing elearning products, but receive very little feedback on how the learners are using the products and whether the training meets the learning objectives. Yet, most would love to have an option to learn about the learners’ behavior in the courses, the way learners interact with the slides, how the lessons are being completed, etc.

Until recently, the ability to keep track of various metrics without having an LMS such as Moodle or Blackboard, for example, was not something that most elearning developers had. Of course, the two major authoring tools, Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate, work with industry-standard reporting options, such as AICC, SCORM, Experience API. But they can rarely offer something more than showing the final score and attempts it took to complete the quiz. Not to mention that an instructional designer with no access to the LMS would not be able to take advantage of even that low level of reporting.

Fortunately, once the Data Cloud widget was released by Cluelabs, every elearning developer working in Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate has gained the ability to capture and save a wide range of metrics generated during the learning process.

What’s even more exciting, the is no longer a need to rely on the LMS to capture and store the data. Any elearning developer can create a data table using the Stencil by Cluelabs interface, use it to capture the learning metrics, view records online, remove unwanted entries, etc.

So what is a Data Cloud widget? In a nutshell, it’s a JavaScript-based widget that allows to store the data generated in the learning course, access the learning records from the Internet as well as access the saved data from the course itself. The widget supports 3 types of fields: Text, Numeric, and Boolean.

Now, let’s take a look at how it works with. We’ll use Articulate Storyline, just note that the process would be almost the same in Adobe Captivate.

  1. First, use the Stencil interface to create a data table to store the course data.
    step 1 data cloud new table
  2. In the data table, define the fields for the data. Let’s say you want to save two pieces of information: the student’s name and their score in the final quiz. You’ll create two fields— “name” (a text field) and “score” (a numeric field).
    step 2 data cloud text and numeric field
  3. After you click Save, you will see the instructions on setting up this widget in Storyline. Simply follow the instructions given.
    step 3 data cloud how to use articulate storyline
  4. You’ll click on the Variables icon, and create a blank text variable “stencilusertoken.” The widget will use this variable to identify the learner.
    step 4 variables icon articulate storyline
  5. You’ll click on View, Master Slide, and locate the main Master Slide for your slides.
    step 5 view master slide articulate storyline
  6. Next, you’ll need to create a JavaScript trigger that executes when the timeline starts.
    step 6 trigger timeline start articulate storyline
  7. Copy the code you’re given in the Stencil editor and paste it into the Script window in Storyline.
    step 7 data cloud javascript code articulate storyline
  8. Whenever you want to send the learner’s name to the database, simply run the JavaScript function

    (where value is the name of the student).

  9. Whenever you want to send the learner’s score to the database, simply run the JavaScript command

    (where value is the student’s score).

  10. You can also read the data from the database by using the JavaScript function

    (where field is the name of the field you’re reading—either name or score—and variable is the name of your Storyline variable that should receive this data.

As you can see, the Data Cloud widget for  Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate makes it extremely easy for any elearning developer to save the learners’ data to the cloud. What’s even better, this approach does not require having access to the LMS. It can also be used in conjunction with a learning management system when more advanced reporting is needed, but cannot be offered by the LMS alone.

eLearning Company Blog | June 26, 2019