User-Defined VariablesInstructions for creating user-defined variables in LectoraTo create a variable:   1. Click the Vari...
Step-by-Step Summary of Variable ActivityAlliant Quality Partners, Inc.     Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase   08/...
Step-by-Step Summary of Variable ActivityAlliant Quality Partners, Inc.     Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase   08/...
Step-by-Step Summary of Variable ActivityWhat developer sees…                         Summary of Programming              ...
Programming Variables – Storyboard ExampleLet’s say we have an example where the learner is in a course and they are going...
Variable Examples ExplainedExample 1                                                                           We know fro...
Variable Examples Explained                                                                                 The individual...
Variable Examples Explained                                                       An Action Group is a series of actions t...
Variable Examples Explained                                                                                 Conditions can...
Variable Examples ExplainedExample 2Reserved Variables                                                          This examp...
Variable Examples Explained                                             -- end of document --Alliant Quality Partners, Inc...
Reserved Variables (Predefined)Predefined Variable     Description                                                Dynamica...
Reserved Variables (Predefined)                        title. If your title contains frames, this variable contains       ...
Reserved Variables (Predefined)                        changed within the drop-down lists properties.List_####            ...
Reserved Variables (Predefined)AICC_Student_ID              This variable contains the user id as reported by the    No   ...
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CETS 2012, Christine O'Malley, handouts for Using Variables in Lectora to Collect Information from Your Learners

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CETS 2012, Christine O'Malley, handouts for Using Variables in Lectora to Collect Information from Your Learners

  1. 1. User-Defined VariablesInstructions for creating user-defined variables in LectoraTo create a variable: 1. Click the Variable Manager icon from the Tools toolbar or select Variable Manager from the Tools menu. a. The Variable Manager window opens. b. Click on the User-Defined tab if the Variable Manager window is not already opened to this tab. 2. Click the Add button. The new variable is added to the list. 3. Use the controls within the Variable Information box to specify the following:  Variable Name: Specify the name for the variable. This name must be unique to all existing variable names. Variable names cannot contain spaces or special characters.  Initial Value: Specify the initial value for the variable. This is the default value of the variable when the published title is launched.  Retain variable value between sessions: Select this to retain the variables value through subsequent launches of the published title. With this selected, if the variable value has changed, the next time the user launches the published title, the variable will load with the previously modified value.  Random initial value: Select this to assign a random integer value to a variable. When you select this option, specify the Min Value and Max Value in the fields provided. When the published title is launched, the default value of the variable will be a random number greater than or equal to the Min Value specified and less than or equal to the Max Value specified. 4. Click OK to create the new variable.Additional comments from Alliant Quality Partners: Lectora also allows you to create user-defined variables ‘on-the-fly’. When you are in the process of adding an action that involvesmodifying a variable, the option to create a variable is available. Simply click the New Variablebutton and define its properties from within the Action Properties box.© Trivantis Corporation 2011 1|Page
  2. 2. Step-by-Step Summary of Variable ActivityAlliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  3. 3. Step-by-Step Summary of Variable ActivityAlliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  4. 4. Step-by-Step Summary of Variable ActivityWhat developer sees… Summary of Programming #1 (blue button) is the trigger that runs the action groups for showing the images and luggage stickers, based on questions answered. #2 (red button) is the trigger that resets the form to clear out answered questions. #3 when radio button Airplane is selected, group is hidden; plane is revealed. #4 when radio button Cruise Ship is selected, group is hidden; ship is revealed. #5 show respective group of images when the reason for travel is a match (varReason equal to 1,2,3,4) #6 show respective group of images when the travel destination is a match (varDestination equal to 1,2,3,4)Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  5. 5. Programming Variables – Storyboard ExampleLet’s say we have an example where the learner is in a course and they are going on a trip… they are talking to a travel agent who is asking themquestions related to their travel. Based on the answers to some questions, we can help them pack their suit case.Here is a storyboard example… Variable Initial Possible When this Happens… Set this Value… And Do this… But Only if… Otherwise… Name Value ValuesvarReason 0 1 = business meeting Sun Bathing is varReason=2 Show 2 Sunbathing group* Reason is 2 Ask for missing 2 = sun bathing selected information. 3 = sight seeing * group images so that only 4 = hiking one action is required to show the entire group.varDestination 0 1 = Hawaii Hawaii is selected varDestination=1 Show Hawaii luggage sticker Destination is 1 Just do it! 2 = New York 3 = Arizona 4 = SeattlevarTravelMode 0 1 = airplane Cruise Ship is selected varTravelMode =2 Show cruise ship image Mode of travel Ask for an 2 = cruise ship selected is answer to the Cruise Ship question.Using a simple table like this to storyboard (plan out) your activities can help you THINK through the variables before you program them.Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  6. 6. Variable Examples ExplainedExample 1 We know from the web that radioUser-Defined buttons signify a single selection andVariables checkboxes imply multiple selections.This example shows how you In this Lectora example, the radiocan guide the learner down a button group (modes) is used tospecific path by asking them to restrict the learner to one choice.make a choice, and then using Without it, more than one radiothat information to maneuver button could be selected. The Lectorathe course in that direction. form object (transportationForm) holds the objects the learner sees. What the developer sees… What you need to know… truckActions; planeActions; trainActions; boatActions are Lectora Action Groups. Each time a radio button is selected, a series of actions is executed (see #4). First the screen is cleared of any previous selections, and then the variable is asked (ModVar) to remember the current selection, followed by their current choice being presented. Clearing the form first ensures the learner will always see the results of the current selection. vehicleImages is a group that contains the individual images of each transportation mode. userChoices is a group that contains the Lectora Form object (transportationForm). That form holds the Lectora radio-button group (modes), which is used to communicate the learner’s selection by way of actions that are added to the individual radio. This group also holds the graphics and text the learner sees on the screen. varFeedback is a group that holds the graphics and text for feedback presented to the learner when they make a selection. For example, if they select trucks, the truck image is presented, along with the text related to that selection. The action groups and variables work together to remember the selection and present the appropriate text/image combination. Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  7. 7. Variable Examples Explained The individual radio buttons trigger the programming actions in Lectora. When a radio button is selected, the action linked to that button is executed. If your programming calls for more than one action, you must use an action group to execute the string of actions (if the trigger is a radio button). This example executes an (action group) triggered by a radio button. There are at least 4 other ways this activity could be programmed in Lectora: 1. Display each mode as a text hyperlink (links can trigger one action so an Action Group is required if multiple actions are needed). 2. Display each mode as a labeled button and attach as many actions as you wish to the button. 3. Display each mode as an image and attach as many actions as you wish to the image. 4. Display each mode as text, format the text to LOOK like a link, lay a transparent button over the text and attach as many actions as you wish to the button.Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  8. 8. Variable Examples Explained An Action Group is a series of actions that are grouped together. When the group is called the actions are run in the order they are listed in the group. The actions in the Action Group must be placed in their proper order; first come, first run! This example sets the value of our variable (_varMode) to TRUCKS! When the truck option (radio button) is selected. The same variable can be used for the other three options… remember that variables can be reused.Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  9. 9. Variable Examples Explained Conditions can be placed on actions if you don’t want the action to be carried out unless the condition(s) are true… In this case we want to show the value of TRUCKS! if _optionTrucks was selected. Two variables were used to create this interaction; varValue and _varMode. We set the value of _varMode to TRUCKS! and we modified the variableAlliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  10. 10. Variable Examples ExplainedExample 2Reserved Variables This example demonstrates how you can use Reserved (predefined) variables in your e-Learning. As shown here, reserved variables include the current date and time, which platform the learner is using, how many pages are in the course, etc.What the developer sees… What you need to know… In most cases, you can use the Change Contents action in Lectora to easily change the content of a text box to the value of the reserved variable. The Action Properties displayed below defines how our Reserved Variable sample page is programmed to show the current date, current time, user platform, page count and current page name.Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  11. 11. Variable Examples Explained -- end of document --Alliant Quality Partners, Inc. Chicago e-Learning & Technology Showcase 08/16/12
  12. 12. Reserved Variables (Predefined)Predefined Variable Description Dynamically Updated?BrowserType This variable contains the name of the browser No currently used to view the title. The variable is set to Lectora when run in preview mode, and LectoraViewer when run as a published CD title. For titles published to the Web, the variable value contains the browser used to view the title, such as Internet Explorer.CurrentChapterName This variable contains the name of the chapter that Yes includes the current page being displayed. If there is no current chapter, then this variable has the value of Unknown.CurrentDate For titles published to the Web, this variable contains No today’s date in the form <Day of the Week>, <Month> <Day>, <Year>. For example: Wednesday, March 11, 2008. For titles published to a single-file executable or CD-ROM, this variable contains today’s date in the form <Month> <Day>, <Year>. For example: March 11, 2008.CurrentPageName This variable contains the name of the current page. YesCurrentSectionName This variable contains the name of the section that Yes includes the current page being displayed. If there is no current section, then this variable has the value of Unknown.CurrentTime This variable contains the current time in the form No hh:mm AM/PM. For example, 4:20 PM.CurrentTitleName This variable contains the name of the title. YesElapsedTime This variable contains the amount of time the user has No spent within the current title.PageInChapter This variable contains the current page number relative Yes to the pages within the current chapter.PagesInChapter This variable contains the total number of pages in the Yes current chapter.PageInSection This variable contains the current page number relative Yes to the pages within the current section.PagesInSection This variable contains the total number of pages in the Yes current section.PageInTitle This variable contains the current page number relative Yes to the entire title. If your title contains frames, this variable contains the current page relative to the total number of pages within that frame.PagesInTitle This variable contains the total number of pages in the Yes© Trivantis Corporation 2011 1|Page
  13. 13. Reserved Variables (Predefined) title. If your title contains frames, this variable contains the total number of pages within that frame.Platform This variable contains the name of the platform on No which the published title is running. For CD-published titles, this could contain Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows XP, and so on. For titles published to the Web, the variable contains Win32 for 32-bit Windows platforms, and MacPPC for Macintosh PowerPC platforms.PublishDate This variable contains the date and time that the title No was published in the form <Month> <Day>, <Year> hh:mm AM/PM. For example, July 21, 2008 4:20 PM.<test name>_Score For each test in the title, a variable will be created that No will contain the score of the test. If the test has not yet been taken or the test cannot be scored, the value is 0.<test name>_<test For each test section in the title, a variable will be Nosection>_Score created that will contain the score of the test section. If the test has not yet been taken or the test cannot be scored, the value is 0.Question_#### This variable contains the users answer to the Yes question. This variable name can be changed within the questions properties.RadioGroup_#### This variable contains the users selection from the Yes radio buttons contained in the group. This variable name can be changed within the radio button groups properties.Radio_#### For each radio button (not contained in a radio button Yes group) in the title, a variable will be created that will contain whether the radio button is selected. If selected, the variable will have a value of "on" and otherwise will have no value. This variable name can be changed within the radio buttons properties.Checkbox_#### For each check box in the title, a variable will be Yes created that will contain whether the check box is selected. If selected, the variable will have a value of "on" and otherwise will have no value. This variable name can be changed within the check boxs properties.Entry_#### For each entry field in the title, a variable will be Yes created that will contain what the user has typed within the entry field. This variable name can be changed within the entry fields properties.DropList_#### For each drop-down in the title, a variable will be Yes created that will contain what the user has selected from the drop-down list. This variable name can be© Trivantis Corporation 2011 2|Page
  14. 14. Reserved Variables (Predefined) changed within the drop-down lists properties.List_#### For each list box in the title, a variable will be created Yes that will contain what the user has selected from the list box. This variable name can be changed within the list boxs properties.If you have designated your title as an AICC/SCORM/CourseMill (3.x and above) Published Title, thefollowing additional variables are available within your title:Predefined Variable Description Modifiable?AICC_Core_Lesson This variable contains information used by the Yes published title to properly calculate the score of the user in the current title. If you modify the value of this variable within the content of a title that contains more than one automatically graded test, then the AICC_Score of the student cannot be properly updated and reflected to the AICC/SCORM Learning Management System (LMS).AICC_Core_Vendor This variable contains the information required by No Lectora when running an AICC-compliant title within an AICC learning management system. This variable is not used by Lectora-published content.AICC_Course_ID This variable contains the id of the course in the No AICC/SCORM learning management system.AICC_Credit This variable reflects whether the AICC/SCORM title No is being taken for "credit" or just in a "browse" mode.AICC_Lesson_ID This variable contains the name of the titles No assignable unit.AICC_Lesson_Location This variable contains the current location within the Yes title content. The Lectora published content sets this variable on every page of the title to reflect the current location of the student within the AICC/SCORM LMS.AICC_Lesson_Status This variable contains the current status of the Yes course within the AICC/SCORM LMS. Lectora sets the value of this variable to incomplete. The AICC/SCORM LMS will further modify the variable based on the current AICC_Score for the user and the value specified as the Mastery Score.AICC_Score This variable contains the average of all test scores Yes in the published title. If you modify the value of this variable within the content of a course that contains more than one automatically graded test, the modification will be lost when the user completes an automatically graded test.© Trivantis Corporation 2011 3|Page
  15. 15. Reserved Variables (Predefined)AICC_Student_ID This variable contains the user id as reported by the No AICC/SCORM LMS.AICC_Student_Name This variable contains the user name as reported by No the AICC/SCORM LMS.AICC_Time This variable contains the total time the user has Yes been in the published title. This value is automatically updated while the student is viewing the title. If you modify the value of this variable, the modification will be lost when the student exits the title. Also, this variable must be in the format of HH:MM:SS:mm to be valid when reported to the AICC LMS.CMI_Core_Entry This variable is only accessible in SCORM 2004 No published titles and contains information related to whether the student has previously accessed the published title.CMI_Core_Exit This variable is only accessible in SCORM-published Yes titles and is used to indicate how or why the student exited the published title.CMI_Completion_Status This variable is only accessible in SCORM 2004 Yes published titles and determines the point at which the student has actually completed viewing the published title. In a SCORM 2004 published course, the author MUST set this variable at the point in the course that the student has been determined to have completed viewing the necessary content for the course.If the title is being created for placement on the CourseMill 2.0 learning management system, thefollowing additional variables are available:Predefined Variables Description Modifiable?CM_Course_ID This variable contains the ID of the course as defined in No CourseMill.CM_Course_Name This variable contains the name of the title as defined in No CourseMillCM_Student_ID This variable contains the student ID as reported by No CourseMill.CM_Student_Name This variable contains the student name as reported by No CourseMill.© Trivantis Corporation 2011 4|Page

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