Lectora Tips: Manual Assessments

Lectora Action Group

When it’s all said and done, Lectora is pretty easy to use, although even when programming using a graphica user interface, it is important to work out the logic behind what you want to do.

I received a request for help recently in regards to creating quiz questions without using the provided ‘Assessment’ and ‘Test’ options in Lectora. When an incorrect option is selected, feedback is displayed in the form of textual advice as well as a cross symbol. The opposite happens for correct answers, in which I mean that feedback is displayed and a tick symbol is displayed to show a correct answer.

However although you can simply place ‘show’ actions on each question answer to achieve this display of feedback, it does not hide the incorrect feedback if multiple attempts are allowed. This is not always desirable. On the other hand, you don’t want to add repetitive actions on each button either in order to hide all feedback before showing the correct feedback.

Programming principles are what come in handy in this case, as several tips make it easy to program a simple question in Lectora. Firstly if feedback is placed in groups (‘incorrect feedback group’, ‘correct feedback group’), all items of that group can be shown with a simple ‘show on clicked’ action on a button which will show the contents of the entire group. That means you can add or edit feedback later as you wish as well.

Tick Tick Cross

In addition, in order to not have to program the same actions several times into each button, you can create an ‘Action Group’, where the same actions are run through when it is activated. Think of it like a method if you know any programming languages, since you want to improve on code reuse. Unfortunately most users of Lectora are untechnical though — not that I’m all that technical myself.

To create a Action Group can be annoying, but often I create one simply by putting actions at the page level, then highlighting them all (Ctrl + click all relevant actions) and put them into a group by right clicking and selecting the action from the menu. Then one action is required to be added to each button to ‘Run Action Group’ on click, making sure the action group is chosen to be run after that.

What needs to be run though? Simple, hide all items of feedback. You can get more complex, for example you could simply but one single action on each question answer button and use Lectora’s equivalent of IF and ELSE statements to decide on show or hide, but an easier way is to simple use the action group to hide everything then place a second action on each button to show what is relevant for that button.

As an added bonus, this makes it easier to read for other developers. Ergo, less time spent trying to figure out what you did, more time spent on actual developing. Which is what I like doing best anyway.

Of course, order is important however. If ‘Run Action Group’ is before the second action to show relevant items, you will simply be left with no feedback, as Lectora works quite procedurally. It will show all that’s relevant and hide it straight away — not what we want. Swap it around for the love of…

… And that’s it.

But wait, want to hide the next button so people can’t proceed unless they answer the question correctly? Hide the next button on page load and then show it again when the button for the correct answer is clicked. Couldn’t be easier.