Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


The Notebook Activity is a tool for learners to record their thoughts during a sequence. In much the same way that the advanced Reflection feature is used, the Notebook tool allows the teacher to include a specific activity during a sequence that requires Learners to write down their thoughts or opinions. As a result, the learner cannot progress to the next activity until they have written in their Notebook. The input to the Notebook is automatically recorded as a fixed entry that is viewable by the teacher.

This animation describes how to create and use the Notebook activity.

The Notebook is different from the Learner's Private Notebook or Scratchpad found in the lower left-hand corner of the Learner view, which they can choose to use (or not) at any time during the sequence. These entries are usually private to the learner (ie, not viewable bu the teacher), but can be converted from Private Scratchpad entries into Monitor-Viewable Journal entries.

Notebook Activity Authoring

All properties sheets contain three tabs:

  • The Basic tab controls the content of the activity.
  • The Advanced tab controls how the activity behaves.
  • The Instructions tab allows authors to comment on the activity itself.

(info) While the Notebook has similar properties to the Noticeboard, it is important not to confuse the two.
A Notebook allows you to pose a question to Learners and have them respond in Private, while a Noticeboard only allows you to provide content to Learners.

Basic tab for the Notebook Activity

View of the Notebook Activity Basic tab.

There are two features on the basic tab common to all activities:

  • Title: All Activities have a web page title which is presented at the top of the activity page when displayed in the Learning Environment. This is NOT the same title as the Title that can be set using the Properties Inspector.
  • Instructions: All Activities have a text area that is presented beneath the title. This is where the main activity text to be displayed to learners is entered. The text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image, Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions area.

Advanced tab for the Notebook Activity

View of the Notebook Activity Advanced tab.

  • Lock When Finished: Enabling this option on the Notebook means that the Learner will be unable to change their response to the Notebook question once they have clicked Finish.
    If this option is disabled, Learners will be able to revisit the Notebook activity using the Progress Bar and modify their response as long as the sequence is running.
  • Allow Rich Text Editor: This option enables or disables the FCKEditor for Learner's responses to the Notebook questions.
    The default is disabled.

Instructions Tab

View of the Instructions tab. This is the same for all activities.

The Instructions tab contains the same features for all Activities.

It allows the Author to create specific instructions for the activity, as well as upload files that may be useful for running the activity (ie: support documents, etc.). It is a resource that can be used by teachers who are running the sequence for their learners. (In the Monitoring Environment, the Instructions for an Activity can be viewed by double clicking the activity on the Sequence tab and then selecting the Instructions tab.

The instructions can be retrieved by other authors who open the activity, or by monitors running the sequence.

There are two types of Instruction possible, Offline and Online, depending on the mode that the teacher wishes to run the activity. The feature is useful for teachers who are sharing sequences with their colleagues as it provides an area where the Author can describe any learning objectives and/or the specific purpose of the activity.

Branching Conditions for Notebook

Adding Text-Based Conditions to an Activity

Most activities now support text-based conditions.  This means that learners can be assigned to groups or streamed to different branches according to their responses to an Activity.

  • To add a new condition to an activity, first click the  Conditions Tab at  the top of the screen, then click Add Condition.
    • A unique name must be given to each condition created for the activity. It's best practice to relate the name to what the condition is testing for, such as: "Answered Blue" or "Mentioned Oxygen".
  • For each condition, there are several options for how to search the Learners responses:
    • Have all of these words: will seperate the learners who have entered each of the given words as part of their response.
    • Have this exact wording: will seperate the learners who have entered the exact phrase as part their response.
    • Have none of these words: will seperate the learners who have mentioned at least one of the given words as part of their response.
    • Have none of these unwanted words: seperates the learners who have not mentioned any of the given words.
  • These rules can be used simultaneously, and also can be applied to one or more seperate questions.

Text-based conditions are not case sensitive. That is, searching for 'Sheep' will return both 'sheep' and 'Sheep'


Conditions can be very specific:
To separate the learners who have replied with Foo and Bar in their response:

have all these words:

foo bar

have this exact wording or phrasing:


have one or more of these words:


have none of these unwanted words:


... less specific...
To separate the learners who have replied with either Foo or Bar:

have all these words:


have this exact wording or phrasing:


have one or more of these words:

foo bar

have none of these unwanted words:


... and very complex!
To separate the learners who have:

  • replied Foo
  • replied Bat or Bar
  • but not replied with Foobar

have all these words:


have this exact wording or phrasing:


have one or more of these words:

bat bar

have none of these unwanted words:


Notebook Monitoring

Summary Screen

View of the Notebook Monitoring Summary tab.

The Summary Tab for the Notebook Activity lists the names of all Learners who have completed the activity, and provides access for the Monitor to view the Notebook entries for each learner.

These are open by clicking the "View" hyperlink.


View of the Notebook Monitoring Instructions tab.

In the Authoring Environment, Authors can use the Instructions Space to attach support files for a specific activity, or leave comments for othe Monitors about how a given activity should be run.

These comments and files can be viewed from here - the Instructions Tab.

Edit Activity

Clicking the Edit Activity button opens a new screen identical to the 'Basic' tab in the authoring environment.

  • LAMS 2.0.4 will only allow notebook editing if no learners have reached the activity.
  • LAMS 2.1 allows editing the Notebook activity at any time during a sequence.

Unlike Live Edit, this form of Editing can only modify the content of an activity, as opposed to the structure of a sequence.


The Notebook Summary screen repeats the numbers of Learners who have attempted the Activity.