Optional Activities

Optional Activities



Optional Activities allow sequence Authors to create several activities which Learners can choose between.
Depending on how the activity is set up, Learners can choose complete as few or as many of the activities they choose.

NEW! In LAMS 2.1, the added functionality of Optional Sequences has been added.
Info on this is available in the authoring section, just below.
  Animated Tutorial
This animation explains how to create and use Optional Activities Activity
 


  Using Optional Groupings
Learn how to use this powerful feature of LAMS.
 



Optional Activities in Authoring

To find out about Optional Sequences, click here, but you should read these instructions first

How to Create Optional Activities
1. Find the button on the Sequence Management Toolbar:

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Optional Activities are created from the button on the Optional menu.
2. Once you have selected the Optional Activities box, click where you want to create the box on the Authoring Canvas.
3. You then either drag-and-drop existing activities from the Authoring space into the optional box, or create new activities directly inside it.
You can edit activities from inside an optional box by double-clicking - they behave as if they were independent activities.

For more advanced customisation...

...open the Properties Inspector with the Optional Activity selected:

Here you can create a title for the set of activities, provide some short instructions for Learners, and set the minimum and maximum number of activities that must be completed before the learners can progress in the sequence.

NOTE: If you leave the Minimum Activities set as zero, the learners can skip pass all of the activities in the Optional Box.

Optional Sequences in Authoring


A completed Optional Sequences box with three optional sequences.
Notice how the LAMS activities display as icons only, with no headings.

Optional Sequences are a combination of the Optional Activities described above and the Branching Tool..

To create an Optional Sequence container, follow the steps described above, but click , rather than Activity.

Next, either drag-and-drop existing activities from the Authoring space into the optional box, or create new activities directly inside it.
You can edit activities from inside an optional box by double-clicking - they behave as if they were independent activities.
The same applies for the split-screen activities (Chat and Scribe, Forum and Share Resources, etc.). When double clicked, these activities will open.

Purely as a space-saving device, activities inside an Optional Sequence container display only as the activity Icon. To view the title, select the activity in the container and open the Properties inspector.

By clicking on the colored rectangle behind the inserted activities (or by clicking on an empty sequence) you can assign a name to each sequence in the Optional Container. This name will display in the Learning Environment.

To create or remove additional sequences to choose from, load the Properties Inspector with the Optional Sequence selected, and choose the appropriate number from the Number of Sequences drop-down box. You can choose from between 1 and 10 Optional sequences.

Split Screen Activities inside Optional Activities/Sequences


Split-Screen Activity from an Optional Sequence
Click to expand thumbnail.



Now when you add a Split-screen activity to an optional activity or sequence, LAMS will open the split-screen activity from the optional container.

Really Really Complex Activities
Can I create Branching Activities inside of Optional Activities, or visa versa?

YES! It is entirely possible to place a branching activity inside an optional container, or include a branching as part of an optional sequence,
however the LAMS interface sometimes gets a bit iffy when you start getting this complex, so it's best to create the branching activity separately on the canvas, then drag-and-drop the completed branching into the optional container.
LAMS has no problems opening a Branching Activity from inside the container.


Monitoring Optional Activities and Sequences

The functionality of Optional Activities and Sequences in the monitoring environment is little different from other basic activities.

Lesson Tab

Most noticeably on the Lesson tab, the Required Tasks section will divide any required monitoring input according to each optional sequence.
For example, if there are two optional sequences, each with a monitor-release Stop point, each stop point will display under the appropriate sequence title (defaults are Sequence 1 and Sequence 2)

See the first image in the gallery below.

Sequence Tab

On the Sequence tab, the interface is still double-click based - you can open any activity in any optional container and view learner contributions for that activity.

Learner Tab

Optional Activities and Sequences on the Learner tab allow Monitors to quickly identify which parts of an optional activity a given learner has completed.


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