Knowledge Check Slides - tips

Intro

Knowledge Check Slides have been introduced as one of the new quizzing features with version 9. The Help documentation is 'spartan' as usual. You can read this as Features (quote from the Help):

  • Knowledge check slide imbibes similar features of question slide without any results, reporting structure and interaction ids. 
  • Knowledge check slides do not participate in reviews. 
  • Random questions are not applicable to this knowledge check slide. 
  • Master slide and controls usage is similar to question slide. 
  • Knowledge check slides can be used to impart the learning on specific topics. 

I explored those KC slides in preparation for a workshop about new Quizzing features, and want to give you some more tips. Since the KC slides are very similar to normal quiz slides, I'll start with 'Recognizing KC slides'. Then I'll show the differences in default setup, and in some other aspects not mentioned in the Help,  the relationship with the quizzing system variables and - what did you expect? - a tweaking tip.

Recognizing KC slides

This is possible in different locations:
  • in the Filmstrip, KC slides get a special indicator at the bottom right, which the Quiz slides do not have; in this screenshot slides 1&3 are KC slides and have that indicator:
  • in the Quiz Properties panel you see more differences with normal quiz slides, most are due to the fact that KC slides are not scored by default:
  • The mention (KC) next to the type of question
    The lack of the possibility to choose between Graded and Survey (because KC slides are not scored)
    No partial scoring for MCQ slides with multiple correct answers 
    No points
    No penalty

  • in the Advanced Interaction panel you don't see a specific indicator. The score of the KC slides is set to 0,  they are not set to be reported but... contrary to what the Help tells, the KC slides have an individual Interaction ID. This is probably not used. Look at this screenshot:

There is no way to convert a KC slide into a question slide, nor a question slide into a KC slide!

Default setup KC slide

The default settings for a KC slide are bit different from those for a question slide:

  1. For a KC slide only the Incomplete feedback message is activated, not the Correct message as for Quiz slides
  2. For both KC and Question slide only the Submit button is checked off. The Back, Skip and Clear buttons can be activated, but they are not by default.
  3. Attempts are set to Infinite, with the Retry Message enabled. For question slides by default Attempts is set to 1. Because the attempts are set to infinite, you don't have a Failure message enabled for KC slides. You can decrease the attempts and in that case you can provide up to 3 Failure message, same as for Question slides.

You read in the Help that KC slides will not be visited during Review, they are not in the Quiz scope, except of course if they are nested in between normal quiz slides. Contrary to Pretest slides, the KC slides will not prevent navigation by playbar or TOC.

It is not possible to use question pools (see Help), random questions but it is also not possible to use GIFT format to import KC slides. 

Some options in the Quiz Preferences do work for KC-slides: if you check the option to Hide Playbar in Quiz, this will be valid both for question slides and KC slides. Unchecking the option 'Allow Backwards Movement' will only prevent backwards movement on question slides, not on KC slides. However, KC slides do not get a Progress indicator! IIf you want a progress indicator (question X of Y) you can have a look at this older blog post..

When you leave a KC slide, it is reset immediately which is not the case for question slides which are frozen until a new attempt on Quiz level is started. In that way a KC slide behaves like a Drag&Drop slide that is not set to be reported, had no score. There is no possibility to freeze the answer on a KC slide, which may be a game stopper sometimes.

As the Help mentioned, design of the KC slides depends on the same master slides as the normal question slides, with the exception of the new Review buttons which will never appear on KC slides. For navigation on KC slides you can use the Back/Skip buttons or add custom shape buttons.


System variables 

Contrary to the Pretest slides, there are no specific system variables available for Knowledge Check slides. I have been looking for quizzing system variables that do get a value from a KC slide. Here is an overview of the variables that are not used by KC slides:

  • cpInQuizScope and cpInReviewMode, both Booleans will not be toggled from the default 'false' to 'true' when you enter a KC slide. If the KC slide is in between normal question slides, it can be 'true' but that is not due to the KC slides.
  • Variables linked with scoring are not used: cpInfoPercentage, cpQuizInfoLastSlidePointScored, cpQuizInfoNegativePointsOnCurrentQuestionSlide, cpQuizInfoPassFail, cpQuizInfoPointsPerQuestionSlide, cpQuizInfoPointsscored, cpQuizInfoPartialScoringOn, cpQuizInfoTotalProjectPoints, cpQuizInfoTotalQuizPoints 
  • cpQuizInfoAttempts: gives the attempts on Quiz level, as specified in 'Quiz Preferences, Pass or Fail'. Those attempts have no sense for KC slides, since the user can come back as many times as he wants to retake the KC question which is always reset when leaving the slide.
  • cpQuizInfoPassPercent and cpQuizInfoPassPoints: since KC slides have no score, those settings of the Quiz Preferences have no meaning for KC slides.
  • cpQuizInfoTotalQuestionsPerProject: contrary to the Pretest questions which are counted in this variable, as are the normal Question slides, the KC slides are not included in this variable. Same for the variables cpQuizInfoTotalCorrectAnswers, and cpQuizInfoTotalUnansweredQuestions

As you see not many variables are used by KC slides, but some are used! Moreover they can be very useful if you want to do more with KC slides:

  • cpQuizInfoAnswerChoice: one of my favorites as you could read in this old blog postIt can be used to tweak the work flow with KC slides as you'll read more later on. One exception: it is not populated when you use Advanced Answer option.
  • cpQuizInfoMaxAttemptsOnCurrentQuestion: can be useful as well, although having a similar system variable to cpQuizInfoAttempts for current attempt on question level would be even better. You need a user variable as a counter for attempts on question level. If you keep the default setting of Infinite attempts, this variable will have the value 32767 (no idea why?).
  • cpQuizInfoQuestionSlideTiming and cpQuizInfoQuestionSlideType are available for KC slides as well.

Tweaking tips

Here are some tips, which I tried out with success but will not explain in detail.

  1. If you do not want to keep the Attempts set at Infinite, but to a limited number it would be possible to count the number of correctly answered KC slides. Create a user variable v_counter with a default value of 0. Use the Success action of the KC slides to increment that counter. Later on you can show the obtained value for v_counter, and even use that value in a conditional action to offer feedback or navigate the user back to content slides.

  2. There is no Review possibility for KC slides as mentioned. If you offer limited attempts on question level, you could show a custom feedback message on the KC slide for the questions answered correctly, something like 'You have answered this question correctly'. When simulating a 'Review' situation, the user will be invited to answer only the KC questions that do not show that message. Be careful: all embedded question slide objects are always on top of the stack, you don't want the feedback to be hidden by those objects. That can be done by having a shape before the KC slide, timed for the rest of the project and always on top. This tweaking work flow was described in this article: Buttons on Question/Score slides?

  3. The use case described in this thread of the Captivate forums could be solved using the same system variable cpQuizInfoAnswerChoice in conditional actions, combined with a counter to track the number of attemptsl. You cannot leave a normal question slide to a content slide for remediation unless you follow the strict rules for remediation. If you want to limit the attempts to get a correct answer, remediation rules are broken. With a KC slide, the answers are reset every time, which allows a lot more freedom. However: if you need a real score for the slide, you'll have to use the workaround I described in this blog post: Report Custom Questions - part 2









    Custom Hotspot questions in Captivate 8

    Intro

    A couple of weeks ago I presented a session 'Enhance Effectiveness of Quizzes in Captivate 8' at DevLearn 2014. One of the subjects that I barely was able to tackle due to lack of time, is the creation of custom questions. You'll find several blog posts where I created custom questions using standard objects, widgets and learning interactions. On the forums I often suggest to replace the default hotspot questions by custom questions. And finally find the time to explain why I recommend this. The success of the Quiz blog posts and of this BYOL session at DevLearn make me wondering if an e-book with focus on Quizzing would be welcomed by the community? Looking for comments on that plan.

    Why?

    The default hotspot question slide has some limitations. Here are the ones I find most frustrating:
    • hotspots are always rectangular
    • it is not possible to have partial scoring
    • you cannot add shape buttons to that type of slide, because any space outside of the correct hotspots causes failure
    Thanks to my favourite Captivate object, the shape button, it is pretty easy to create a scored custom hotspot question with
    • freeform hotspots
    • partial scoring, that can be reported to a LMS by SCORM
    • allowing to add shape buttons for more functionality

    Why not?

    What are the disadvantages of a custom hotspot question slide compared with the default hotspot question slide;
    • custom question slides always take more time (although shared actions can help), especially if you want to add all question functionality (Clear, Retake etc...)
    • if you like the animations that appear on clicked hotspots, they are not added automatically in custom hotspots, there is of course a way of showing the clicked hotspots
    • although the total score will be correct when using partial scoring, some quizzing system vars will consider each correct hotspot as being a separate question; you have to be careful when using a default score slide, in which you show number of questions/correct questions
    • it is not possible to use custom questions in a question pool

    Example

    Watch this movie. After the intro slide you'll see two Hotspot questions. Both questions have partial scoring. The fourth slide is the default score slide, to show how each correct hotspot is considered to be a question as is the case with all scored objects. To remediate, I added a custom score slide as last slide (use Continue button on the 4th slide). I didn't create a Reset or Retake situation. If you want to replay, refresh the browser window. Good luck!

    Concept Hotspot Question - version 1

    This question slide has one big shape button behind four shape buttons that indicate the form of the four countries to be clicked. The big shape button when clicked, will track a wrong click. I used 3 variables for this question:
    • v_attempt: number allowed attempts; will be reused for second question, number is assigned by On Enter action
    • v_counter: counts the clicks, to be compared with v_attempt;  will be reused for second question, reset to 0 by On Enter action
    • v_wrong: counts the mistakes, is not reset because it will continue to increment on second question, is used on custom score slide.
    Here you see the timeline of this slide. The correct hotspots, shape buttons, have been duplicated to create the covers that are normal shapes with a texture fill. 

    For the incorrect hotspot (shape button) I created a conditional advanced action with two decisions:
    1. "Always" is a mimicked standard action, self-explanatory. Because this hotspot can be clicked multiple times, the last statement is necessary to place the playhead one frame back, in the active portion of the shape button.

    2. "ShowNext" checks if the number of allowed attempts is reached, and if that is the case will hide all the hotspots and shows the Next button.

    For the correct hotspots, that allow only one click, I created a shared action with two decisions

    1. "Always" is a mimicked standard action, self-explanatory. The parameters are highlighted.

    2. "Checker" is similar to the second decision for the incorrect hotspot. Parameters are highlighted.

    The On Enter action for this slide is a standard shared action that resets the value of v_counter and v_wrong to 0 and assigns a value to v_attempt.


    Concept Hotspot Question - version 2

    I will not explain this question as extensively as version 1 (maybe in a planned book about Quizzes). It has multiple incorrect hotspots, and uses an extra variable v_scorehot. Try to figure it out. As a tip, this was my timeline:

    Comments?

    As always I welcome comments about this example. As mentioned in the Intro, I would also like to know if you'd appreciate a book explaining the design, the tweaking possibilities and custom questions for Captivate quizzing.

    Controlling the score slide!

    Intro

    For sure that you already have used Quizzes in Captivate. And I suspect that sometimes you were frustrated by lack of control over Question slides and over the resulting Score slide? Such like not being able to add interactive objects like buttons on those slides, not having access to the timeline of buttons and objects, limited possibilities of actions attached to the buttons, etc. Last week I proposed workarounds concerning the Score slide on the Captivate user forums and thought they could be interesting to other users. Again, I am grateful to those who provide ideas for this blog and help me by stimulating my creative mind.
     
     

    Questions 

    1. The first question was about the new functionality in Captivate 5 to have Quiz results posted to acrobat.com or to an internal server. When using this feature, a button 'Post Result' will be added to the Score slide. This button appears at the same moment as the Continue button, and eventually the buttons Retake Quiz/Review Quiz. To be sure that the user posts the results, and not just click on Continue, I was asked if the button Continue could be delayed until the user had posted his results?

    2. Second question was about being able to have audio played when entering the Score slide, based on the score: different audio clip depending on the Pass/Fail status. Although it is possible out of the box to play audio after clicking the Continue button on the Score slide, for having this at entering the slide I had to look for a workaround.

    Result

    Play with this movie to watch the result of the proposed workarounds
     



    Workarounds

    Delaying Continue button

    It is not possible to time the buttons on the score slide, their timelines are hidden. For this workaround I feel like cheating on Captivate and the users:
    • Make the button Continue invisible: change its style to Transparent and delete the text 'Continue' (first image in the Gallery shows properties); then I did shrink the button to a very small one and put it somewhere on the slide where the user probably never will try to click.

    • Attach a shortcut key Enter (feel free to choose another one) to this button.

    • Increment the slide duration and move the pausing point towards the end (second image in the Gallery shows the Timeline of the Score slide). In this example the duration is 10 secs and the pausing is set at 9 secs.

    • Create a Text Caption that appears just before the pausing (in the example at 8,9 secs); in this Text Caption the user is instructed to use the shortcut key to continue (after posting of course).
    The idea is that the user will only see, for a reasonably long time, only the button 'Post Result'
    and thus will be pushed at posting them. To me 9 secs seems a very long time, but perhaps you will have adapt them to your public.
     

    Audio on entering Score slide

    Here I based the workaround on a condition advanced action, labeled CheckScore and triggered on entering the score slide, and on the fact that object audio will only play when the object is visible. This is the proposed workflow:
    • Add two rectangles to the Score slide (see second image in Gallery), labeled PassAudio and FailAudio. They have audio clips attached to them (I used clips from the default Sound Library of Cp). They are totally invisible, because the stroke width is set to 0px and the fill color to 0% Alpha. Beware: even though they are physically invisible, you still have to deactivate 'Visible' in the properties panel to avoid that the audio plays automatically when entering the slide.

    • Create an advanced conditional action CheckScore, triggered on entering the Score slide. You can see that action in images 3&4 of the Gallery. It checks the system variable cpQuizInfoPointsScored, and based on the check shows either the rectangle PassAudio or FailAudio. The result is that one of both audio clips will play on entering the score slide.
    Of course you can improve the workflow: having more than two possible audio clips by creating a more complex conditional action, showing images as well as audio clips, adding voice overs, etc.
     
    Thanks for taking the Quiz and reading this post. Please feel free to add comments or suggest other topics.

     

    Customize your Quiz using Advanced Actions (CP5)

    Captivate has a lot of predefined question slides on board of all kinds. Formatting options have been greatly improved in version 5 using the Object Style Manager and the Property Inspector. But those Question slides are different from normal slides, and you have much less control over them. Just some examples:

    • you do not see the different objects on the Timeline, it shows only one 'interactive object', although you have a lot of Text Captions, dropdown lists, Text Entry Boxes and buttons on the slide
    • you can have only one type of Question on a slide,
    • the score for a Question slide is always 'black/white', correct or incorrect, you can never have a partial score
    • you can add only non interactive objects on the Question slide (no buttons, no click boxes, no Text Entry Boxes)
    • you can customize the success/failure captions for each Question slide
    • even have up to 3 different failure captions but... Review message wiil be the same for all Question slides

    To have more control you can create your own Question slides. Of course this is possible using Flash (or Dreamweaver). Using standard objects, variables and Advanced actions can however result in constructing most of the Question slide types, except for the types that involve drag-and-drop (as can be used in Sequence and Matching Questions). I published several articles for different usecases. In the articles I provide a Captivate SWF to show the result and start files (for downloading), to enable you to practice the workflow described in the article. Here are the links:

    1. Creating a test resulting in multiple scores: using Advanced Standard and Conditional actions you will construct a test that will collect scores about the learning type of the user (Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic). Contrary to a normal Quiz resulting in one score, here you will obtain three scores. Those scores will be used in the next article:

    2. Conclusion based on multiple scores: based on scores obtained in the previous article, you will use one Advanced Standard and one Advanced Conditional action to show the conclusion. I meant this article to be an introduction to the new User Interface of Advanced actions.

    3. Create question slides with partial scoring and customized feedback: one of the issues with the default Captivate Question slides is that the user never can get partial scores if his answer is partially correct. In this article I created a hotspot question slide with multiple hotspots and the user can get a partial score.

    4. Create customized feedback: in this video tutorial you will learn how to use an Advanced Conditional action (with multiple decisions) to show differentiated feedback based on the score of a Quiz constructed with the default Question slides of Captivate. This video is meant as an introduction in the terminology and workflow of Conditional actions.

    I hope this can help to start using Advanced actions. Please, feel free to comment and suggest other usecases.