Branches vs modules

smiller7502
smiller7502 Community Member Posts: 181
We have many courses divided into modules, with a "main menu" screen showing the modules. Typically, these are buttons, sometimes with images, and usually with a progress indicator of some kind to show which modules the learner has started and completed.

We also have many courses that branch, with a screen showing the various branches; for instance, a general merchandise clerk might go down one branch while a bakery clerk goes down another and a pharmacy tech goes down a third. Typically, these are buttons, sometimes with images.

Sometimes, a hurried learner will see a branching screen and think it's a module screen and click the first one without thinking about it. Sometimes, this gets the learner to questions they can't (and don't need to) answer and to links to documents they can't (and don't need to) open. That's got me thinking about ways to treat branches and modules in visually different ways.

Anybody faced this, or have creative ways to present branches and/or modules you're willing to share?

Comments

  • mnotermans5114
    mnotermans5114 Community Member Posts: 916
    Hi Stan,

    Colorcoding always helps in giving direct easy clues.

    Will think it over and add a sample.

    Happy Christmas,

    Math
  • mallow76
    mallow76 Community Member Posts: 123
    Could you ask their role up front (with a drop-down of some sort) and then activate / deactivate branches to suit? Either hiding from view completely or just showing them as inactive.
  • carlfink
    carlfink Community Member Posts: 842 ☆ Superstar ☆
    Coming in late, but why not have job categories in the LMS as a field and detect it, and don't make the users select a module at all? Interface principle: don't give users choices they won't ever want to select, and indeed will be irritated if they do select.
  • smiller7502
    smiller7502 Community Member Posts: 181
    @CarlFink, I absolutely agree! And we do have job categories in the LMS. Trouble is, I do not think there is any way to read that field from within a course. In fact, the only user-specific fields we can read (as far as we know) are the student's name, ID and language, all of which are served up to built-in AICC_... variables in Lectora.

    I would LOVE to be proved wrong on this, for this and many other purposes. Can you show me how to read student-specific fields from an LMS? Can anyone show me how to do that?

     
  • carlfink
    carlfink Community Member Posts: 842 ☆ Superstar ☆
    Stan, you could presumably do it in JavaScript. In answer a question of my own, years ago, Sergey Snegirev pointed to the function LMSGetValue('name').

    I found a decent summary here.
  • smiller7502
    smiller7502 Community Member Posts: 181
    Sure -- for SCORM fields, this works great. But it'll work only for fields in the SCORM data model, no?
  • carlfink
    carlfink Community Member Posts: 842 ☆ Superstar ☆
    Wow, there's a much simpler answer. A night's sleep revealed it to me--it's almost like my brain works better when not sleep-deprived.

    First page of the course, ask which job category. Store the result in a variable. Use that to select branches going forward through the course. If the student needs to try a different branch, they can go back to the beginning (using the TOC) and pick the other one. Don't even bother with the LMS.
  • smiller7502
    smiller7502 Community Member Posts: 181
    Yes, that's what we do today. The challenge we have, however, is that sometimes learners don't read the screen carefully enough and think that the choices for job category are modules in the course instead, and just click the first one expecting that sooner or later they'll have to click them all. Sometimes this leads them to take a lot of training they don't need and links them to resources they can't (and don't need to) access.

    I'm looking for suggestions about how to visually distinguish branches from modules.
  • carlfink
    carlfink Community Member Posts: 842 ☆ Superstar ☆
    Yes, that’s what we do today. The challenge we have, however, is that sometimes learners don’t read the screen carefully enough and think that the choices for job category are modules in the course instead, and just click the first one expecting that sooner or later they’ll have to click them all.
     

    Sorry, I completely misunderstood you. I'm not actually a big fan of "visually distinguishing" things to the exclusion of words. The button labels (or links or whatever) could be
    • Do you mostly work behind the counter?
    • Do you mostly unload trucks?
    • Do you mostly work in the back office?
    (Examples chosen from retail store work.) Direct questions can encourage more active engagement than a "pick one" option list.
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