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{alias:Floating Activities}
h2. Effective Use of Support Activities
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{info}Support Activities used to be referred to as *Floating Activities*{info}

While the [Instant messaging feature|lams:Instant Messaging] in LAMS allows Learners and Monitors to chat in text form during a LAMS lesson, there may be cases where more sophisticated activities need to be available throughout the lesson.

Sequence Authors may wish to run a synchronous chat over the course of a lesson, or create a list of resources that can be accessed at any time, without needing to _'go backwards'_ in the sequence in the progress bar.

It also means that Learners can begin an activity (such as an essay or scribe discussion), work through a sequence, then return to the activity to revise their answers. The use of Support activities means that this can be done in a much simpler way than the [workaround|http://lamscommunity.org/dotlrn/clubs/technicalcommunity/forums/message-view?message_id=436542#436542] discussed on the LAMS Community.
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{lozenge:icon=!Home^dolly_head.png!|link=http://lamscommunity.org/lamscentral/sequence?seq_id=781965|arrow=green|title=LAMS Community Sequence|color=blue}This sequence demonstrates the use of Support Activities in LAMS.{lozenge}
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h2. {anchor:author}Creating Support Activities

Support Activities are added to the Authoring canvas in the same way as [optional activities or sequences|Optional Activities]. \\ Note that this means Support Activities *do not* have to be completed in order to Finish a lesson. Due to this, any activities that need to be completed for a lesson as part of the assessment criteria should be included as part of the sequence. (However, there isn't anything stopping you from adding a [MCQ|lamc11] or [File Submission|lasbmt11] as an additional support task for extra credit! )
{quote}
# On the !optionalAuthor^auButton.png! menu, select !support.png!. \\ This will create a Support Activities Box on the canvas.
# Next, simply drag and drop the desired activities into the box, and add instructions and content as per usual.
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{bezel}support_authoring.png{bezel}

{tip:title=What about transition lines?}Because Support Activities _'float' outside_ the sequence, you *do not need to add transitions* to the support activities.{tip}

h2. {anchor:learner}Learning With Support Activities
When a sequence uses Support Activities, they display in the bottom left of the screen. \\ The activities can be opened in a new window, and can remain visible while the learner progresses through the rest of the sequence.

In the [flashless interface|flashless] the Support activities are accessed via the *My Progress* popup, and are displayed in a seperate list from the sequence activities. Clicking on a Support Activity here will open the activity in a new window.

{center} | {bezel}support_learner.png{bezel} | {bezel}support_noflash.png{bezel} | {center}

h3. {anchor:monitor}Monitoring Support Activities
Support Activities appear inside the Support Activities Box, exactly the same as in the [authoring environment|#author].

Monitors can double-click on the support activities to mark, edit or contribute them, the same as any other activity in the monitoring space.
{bezel}support_monitoring.png{bezel}
{info}For information on monitoring features available for each activity, view the relevant [activity page.|Home]{info}