Question Question Slides in Captivate

Unleash Adobe Captivate's Full Power with Advanced Actions


You know from this blog that it is possible to create your own question slides, using standard objects and advanced actions. That allows you to have functionalities like partial scoring, selective Retake, two quizzes in one file, etc. On the user forums I see a lot of questions concerning the default question slides, and in this post will try to list some tips about using those  'normal' questions. if you understand their functioning well, you'll be able to tweak them and perhaps avoid to invest a lot of time in creating custom questions. Beware: this will not allow you to realize quizzes with partial scoring etc! In a previous post: Customizing Review Messages I explained some of the work flows repeated here, but so many questions about this subject appear on the user forum, I thought it to be useful to have a general article that summarizes both default work flow for questions/quiz and possible ways to tweak them.
Watch this movie, where you can see some tweaking applied to.

What is typical for Question slides?

  • Only one Timeline with pausing point is available: no separate timelines for the different objects, no timing possible
  • Most Question Objects have their proper Object Style (missing are the ....
  • You can move the pausing point visible in the timeline manually, but its timing is not available in the Properties panel
  • Default objects on Question slides are always on top (see also Other Buttons)
  • Whereas you can add non-interactive objects, it is impossible to add interactive objects; one big exception is the hybrid Static button widget
  • You can use the slide event On Enter to trigger an (advanced) action, but the Exit event is not available (really replaced by Success/Failure events)

Analyzing Default Work flow

Start Settings

  1. Two attempts on Question level, two attempts on Quiz level
  2. All captions are visible: Correct, Incomplete (check Options in Quiz Properties), Retry Message (Action Accordion in Quiz Properties) and Incorrect (not available in Options)
  3. All buttons remain visible: Clear, (Back), Skip (Options in Quiz Properties), Submit
  4. Retake and Review allowed as well as Backwards navigation (if not, the Back button would have been contradictory)

Process on Question Level

First step
  • User answers a question, clicks Submit button; the pausing point of this button is the one you see on the timeline, slide level
  •   The conditional action executed as a result of clicking that button:
    • pops up Correct/Incomplete/Incorrect/Retry caption, depending on the answer (conditional action)
    • the message to press Y or click on the slide to proceed is included in the Correct/Incorrect; 
    • slide pauses, will not proceed beyond the pausing point; user can watch the captions as long as he wants  
Second step
  • User presses Y or clicks on the slide; see this as a click box all over the slide with a shortcut key=Y: its pausing point is the same as for the Submit button.
  • The conditional action executed as a result of this user event:
    • if answer was Incorrect and attempts not exhausted: Incorrect caption disappears, playhead remains paused, user can change his answer
    • if answer was Incorrect and attempts are exhausted: Incorrect caption disappears, action specified in Action accordion of Quiz Properties panel 'Last Attempt' is executed and the playhead moves on
    • if answer was Correct: Correct caption disappears, action specified Action accordion of Quiz Properties panel 'On Success' is executed and the playhead moves on
Other Buttons
  1. Back: If you allow Backwards navigation, you have to know that the answer given on a previous slide cannot be changed by the user if he comes back to that slide, his answer is blocked, the Clear button will not be active either. It is only sort of a Review option of that slide. Personally I will never allow backwards movement and this is one of the reasons. If you agree with me, do not try to delete the Back buttons on the slides because they can reappear miraculously, but uncheck the option "Allow Backward Movement" in Quiz, Settings.
  2.  Clear: will allow the user to clear his answer, as long as he remains on the slides and did not submit his answer
  3.  Skip: doubles up as real Skip during answering questions and as Next during Review which can be a bit confusing
All objects on the questions slides have top priority, and this is the sequence of the stack:
  • top most is Back button
  • Clear button just under the Back
  • Skip under Clear
  • Submit is the bottom object
Because of this priority you cannot cover a button with another object. Possible however is:
  • to make a button invisible to the user: delete its text and make the button transparent
  • moving buttons, for putting one on top of the other (depends on sequence just described) or put them where the user will probably not click

Process on Quiz Level

Both buttons are available on the Score slide (see Tweak Possibilities) which can confuse the user because:
  • he is supposed to click Retake if he wants another attempt: this button will disappear automatically when attempts are exhausted
  • if he clicks Review before exhausting attempts, all remaining attempts will be lost
Choosing the Retake button will clear all answers in the quiz, correct and incorrect as well. The total score is reset to 0. 

The action triggered by the Continue button on the Score slide depends on the Pass/Fail status of the Quiz. Default actions are Continue for both Pass and Fail. Those actions can be changed in the Quiz Preferences, Pass/Fail as you can see in this image. The whole list of actions are availabe, you can jump to different slides, open a URL/file/project, execute advanced actions etc.

Quiz Scope
The quiz scope is a range of slides where the Quiz is 'active'. This scope starts with the first slide that has a scored object, which can be a question slide but also a slide with a scored interactive object. The scope ends with the score slide, or if you do not have a score slide, with the last scored object. Whenever the user gets out of that scope, the attempt is considered as finished if multiple attempts are allowed. Getting back into the Quiz scope will then not allow to continue the attempt. This jumping out of the quiz scope can cause issues if you are choosing one of the strict Required options in the Quiz Preferences like Pass required. 

Some Tweak possibilities

On Question level

Replacing the 'Press Y or click on the slide' by a 'Next button'
OK, I do know that you cannot add a button, which is an interactive object, to any question slide. But since this step is in reality triggered by a click box that covers up the whole slide, any object that looks like a button (image, rectangle) will cheat the user to click on it, and he is just triggering the Success action of the click box. 

Skipping first step of the two step process without captions
If you think it annoying that the user has to enter his answer in two steps, and you do not want to show the Correct/Incorrect text captions, just delete them. For the correct caption this can be done using the Quiz Properties panel, Options accordion. The Incorrect caption has to be deleted on the slide. In that case the first step is skipped completely: when the user clicks on the Submit button and it has been the last attempt, the Success or Failure action specified in the Quiz Properties, Actions panel are executed immediately. If you change those actions from 'Continue' to 'Go to Next Slide', the user will get immediately to the next slide. When allowing multiple attempts on question level, it is perhaps better to keep the 'Retry message' to avoid that user is just waiting, because nothing will happen. I illustrated this work flow on the first Multiple Choice question in the example: when clicking Submit, only caption that will appear is 'Retry' as long as attempts are not exhausted. When attempts are exhausted, navigation is immediately to the next slide.

Skipping first step of the two step process and showing captions and/or offer audio feedback
Little bit trickier, because you'll have to create simple advanced actions. Start by deleting all the default captions as in the previous solution. Prepare your own feedback objects:
  • either text captions for correct/incorrect eventually with audio clip attached, and set them to invisible
  • either 'invisible objects' like a rectangle without a stroke and with a fill that is Alpha=0% and attach the audio feedback (correct/incorrect) to those objects; set the objects to invisible
Create two advanced actions, one to be triggered as Success action (Quiz Properties, Actions), second to be triggered After Last attempt (same place). 
  1. Show the appropriate object (either Text Caption or object with audio attached)
  2. Hide the opposite object
In this case the playhead will continue on the timeline. Be sure to move the pausing point of the slide so that time left after the pausing point is sufficient to read the captions or to listen to the audio feedback. If you want to offer the user a Next button, to continue before the playhead has reached the end of the timeline, you can use this workaround (illustrated in the second question of the example - advanced actions are in the Image Gallery, MCQCorrect and MCQWrong):
  • add the Skip button, but make it invisible to the user (no text, transparent); this Skip button by default jumps to the next slide, it will remain active but invisible
  • on top of the Skip button add a rectangle with the text Next; this is possible because it is a static object; make it invisible in its Properties panel
  • to the advanced actions described before, add a third statement that shows the rectangle
In that case you can add the static button widget that has navigational actions like 'Go to Next Slide' in its functionality list. You can even hide that button widget and show it with the Success/Last Attempt actions as well. The third question uses that approach. No need to extend the slide duration in this case. You'll have to use the static button widget with pause, CP5.5 users can download this widget from my blog: What I (dis)like in CP5.5

If you allow multiple Quiz attempts (Retake) and/or Review, you have to hide the custom text captions, fake button/button widget whenever the user reenters the slide. In the Image Gallery you'll see one of those actions 'EnterMCQ', triggered on entering the second Question slide (MCQ)

On Quiz level

Hiding the Review button until attempts are exhausted
Drag the Retake button on top of the Review button on the stage. This is possible because the Retake button is higher in the timeline stack of the Question slides. User will not see the Review button until he has exhausted the attempts. At that moment the Retake button is hidden automatically and the Review button gets visible. This functionality is used in the example movie.

Changing Skip button to Next button during Review
The same approach as for the Next button during answering could be used, but in this case you'll need to track if the user in in the Review situation: either he has exhausted the attempts and Failed, or he passed in one of the attempts. So we'll need an advanced conditional action to check that. In the example movie I did not use this approach but hide the playbar during the quiz by a simple action 'Assign cpCmndShowPlaybar with 0' on entering the first slide (instruction slide). The playbar will be set to visible when entering Review mode with this work flow:
  1. on entering the score slide I increment a user variable v_counter with the advanced action EnterScore (see image in Gallery)
  2. on entering the first Question slide I trigger an advanced action EnterFirst: since Review situation can happen either after two different situations I had to use a combined OR condition to turn on the playbar when Review status is reached (see image in Gallery)
In previous articles I explained how to customize the Progress indicator and how to customize Review messages.

26 responses
Thank you for the really great presentation and it was nice to meet both of you.
You're welcome. 'Both', are you referring to Vish and the presentation at DevLearn 2011? If yes, it was great to meet Captivate users for the first time IRL.
how can i do that?there are tow quizzes in captivate.quiz A and quiz B. both A and B have many question. only the student pass A ,can he continue to do B
If you have to report the scores of the two quizzes, you have to be aware that each Captivate file can have only one quiz! In that case: create the second quiz in a separate file. For the Success action of the first quiz A, in Quiz settings, have it open the CP-file that contains the second quiz B.
thank you for your help!
Brilliant, that part about deleting the feedback boxes so that the submit button can also just continue straight away to the next question has just saved me a lot of time and hassle. Thank you!
Thank you Lieve! I've been looking for options on the Quiz Results slide and your blog is helpful.
You're welcome, don't forget to check out second part:
looks good but more screenshot required to understand . anyway thanks
How many free tutorials can you find that are as long and as detailed as this one?
Hi Lily, thanks for the excellent pointers. They have helped me so much. A bit of a newbie question here. I have successfully set up a quiz slide which triggers the wrong/right/next button captions depending on whether a user gets a question right or wrong. However, when I duplicate the slide, the button and caption names change and the actions therefore don't work on subsequent slides. Am I right in thinking I will have to set up a conditional action which branches according to slide number and calls the buttons and captions which are unique to that slide. This seems very laborious -- is there a way of shortcutting this, perhaps through assigning unique names to variables? Thanks for your help.
Ed, when I wrote this post, shape buttons were not yet popular, shared actions didn't exist yet. Shape buttons are the only interactive object that can be used on master slides, or timed for the rest of the project. Shared actions allow you to use the same action over and over again, just change the parameters. Can you look to later blog posts, I wrote about both subjects quite a lot. Indeed, each object in Captivate needs a unique ID. That is the reason why timing an object for the rest of the project allows you to have always the same ID for that object.
Hi Lieve, thanks for the fast reply. Yes, I had a real got at it this weekend and independently discovered shared actions, smart shapes and so on. This has cut down the workload a lot. All the best, Ed
Hi Lily, I am not sure if you have answered for someone already. Infinite attempt option is a bit confusing in captivate 8. Feedback we can provide are 3 incorrect. Incase of a multiple response(CHECK BOX) we are allowing user to infinite times before providing answer. But as a default feedback appears only 4 times later they get a blank / no feedback for incorrect response. Have you worked on solving this?
Hi Lieve, As always, your blog posts are a treasure trove of very useful, clear information on Captivate - even this one, 5 1/2 years (!) after you wrote it, gave me a perfect answer to the question I had on the current version, Captivate 2017...
... a big thank you!
Thanks, Carl, this is indeed my most popular blog post, still visited daily. I promised a while ago to upgrade it with the new features for Quizzes in the near future.
Can I create different/unique failure messages for every answer that's wrong? To educate the participant.
That is possible but only for MCQ type of questions with one correct answer. It is called 'Advanced Answer' feature.
Hi, Kind of a Captivate 2009 newbie here. I created a course with a quiz where they have 3 attempts to pass with an 80% or better. They do not get to review. For some users, the Retake button is not showing up when they fail. Most things I read refer to the review button but I don't have that activated. I am testing in Chrome and it works fine. Do you think it's the users browser or a setting in Captivate I may have missed?
@Anna Can you post your questions on the Adobe forums, please? Much easier to explain and you can insert screenshots or images.
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