Let’s first understand where ‘page types’ fall in the range of options available to instructors/authors.
First, LodeStar offers a number of templates. The most popular template, ActivityMaker Mobile, contains a range of page types. The ‘Text’ page type also supports a range of widgets.
So we have the concepts of templates, page types, and widgets.
This article is primarily focused on page types that are available in ActivityMaker Mobile, the Swiss Army Knife template.
The default first page in the ActivityMaker template is the ‘Text’ page. Text pages can hold styled text, images, embed codes, audio and widgets.
Text Pages feature the HTML editor, which supports basic formatting and a variety of tools. The sprocket tool enables instructors to insert Widgets, which are interactive activities.
The link tool links to not only external web addresses but to internal LodeStar pages. Authors are encouraged to fill in the ‘Page ID’ field to make linking to those pages easier.
The Crossword page supports simple crosswords. Authors add their own words and hints and then click on ‘Compile’. The page compiles the crossword and display the hints when students click on the numbered squares. Authors should keep crosswords limited to approximately ten words.
The Flashcard page supports an image and short answer. It also supports Reg Ex (Regular expressions) for more complicated answer judging. When students successfully answer a flashcard, the page gets removed from the ‘flow’. Authors typically create a series of flashcards and use a starting ‘Gate’ page and an ending ‘Gate’ page to loop through the pages until a threshold is met (i.e 100% or 80%). See Introduction to Gates.
The Form page enables authors to create interactive forms. This is a more complicated page type. Check the ‘FAQ’ for a detailed article on how to create interactive forms and how to link form fields to long answer pages.
The Gate page controls program flow. The Gate page can require students to score above a threshold in order to continue. A passing score branches the student to the next section; a failing score branches the student to either a remedial section or resets the activities so that students must try again. A series of gates can function as ‘if-then’ statements that are common in programming languages. Gates can also reset activities. Once students complete a multiple choice, for example, the activity is locked. Gates can unlock activities.
The Interactive Image supports click touch areas, drag and drop and hover-overs. The Interactive Image page presents authors with a scale-able interactive image. A grid overlay helps authors to identify either hot spots or drag and drop targets by entering their coordinates in a form. The invisible hot spots scale with the image so that they are responsive to the screen size of the device.
The Interview Page presents the student with the image of the interviewer, a question and three choices. The author can design the interview question to include the best answer, an acceptable answer and a wrong answer. The relative merit of each answer is dependent on the meter value that matches each answer. The answer choices can also provide students with specific feedback and, optionally, branch students to the next step in the interview or interaction.
The Journal Page collects all of the student’s long answer responses in the lesson and organizes them by heading on one page. Instructors can request that students copy the entire Journal Page and submit it to an assignment folder, drop box or discussion thread.
The Long Answer Page prompts students for an open-ended response. Instructors can scaffold a step-by-step analysis, for example, by providing students with questions that they can respond to with long answers. The Journal Page will collect all of the student’s long answer responses and display them on one page. In some learning management systems, the responses will also appear in the SCORM report. Please check with your LMS administrator for how to access your learning management system SCORM report.
Multiple Choice Question
The Multiple Choice Question Page displays a multiple choice or a multiple select question with up to seven distractors (options). For a True/False question, instructors should use the first two answer fields and leave the remaining blank. Students will see only the number of options that the instructor filled in.
The multiple choice answers can also be matched to feedback and to branch options. For example, a student answer can cause the program flow to jump to a remedial section.
By default, this page displays a multiple select question in which more than one answer can be chosen. Authors can force a multiple choice question by selecting the appropriate check box. Multiple select questions display check boxes; multiple choice questions display radio buttons.
In contrast, a Multiple Choice Widget on a text page can display one or more questions on a page. See Multiple Choice Widget for more information. Both Multiple Choice Widgets and Multiple Choice Questions are advantageous based on the objectives and the user experience that is being designed. For example, multiple choice question pages focus the student on one question at a time with options for feedback and branching.
The Organizer Page displays tiles that the student must order or organize. The simplest use of Organizer is to order tiles by position. For example, a question may ask students to order the following presidents: Washington, Reagan, Carter, and Roosevelt. Washington would be assigned position 1. Roosevelt, position 2. Carter, position 3. Reagan, position 4. Students would be presented with a random order. They would then drag the tiles left to right or top to bottom or a combination thereof to show their answer.
The Report Page reports to the learning management system at the precise moment the page is displayed. If the lesson contained many questions with assigned points, the Report Page would gather up the student scores and divide them by the total number of possible points.
The Report Page is functional once the lesson is exported and imported into the learning management system. See Export.
Authors can use the page to add a message to the student. The student score is automatically appended to the message.
The Short Answer page supports short answer questions. Authors can require a precise match or allow for variations. Short Answer supports regular expressions. For example, the following expression wash.* will accept any answer that begins with ‘wash’.
The Video Page supports embedding YouTube Videos and uploading short videos to the lesson. Authors can copy a YouTube URL (found on the address bar) and paste it in the first field. Lessons that include YouTube videos must be previewed in Firefox. The full functionality of pause and play (as well as start and end times) will not work until the lesson is uploaded to the learning management system or placed on a server.
The Wall page walls off content and is usually placed toward the end of the lesson. Some text pages, for example, might function as resources. If they are not to be presented in the regular flow of the lesson but summoned as a resource, then the pages can be placed after a wall. Authors can convert text pages to resource pages by checking off the ‘Resources’ checkbox.
Page Types combined with Widgets that display on Text Pages and branch options provide authors with innumerable options to engage students. Each page in ActivityMaker Mobile also includes a help icon that will jog your memory on how the page is used.