What is an Intro Item?
An Intro Item is an Item that appears before the actual Assessment. As the name implies it is used to introduce what follows, give instructions or hints on how to answer the questions and so on. As such, an Intro Item offers additional information to students before the Assessment begins, especially in the context of online learning where an instructor or proctor might not always be present to answer questions beforehand.
The Intro Item is an unscored Item that is not part of the assessment and will not appear in the report. If you don’t have an Intro Item but show_intro is true, a plain white tile with the start button will appear instead.
How to create an Intro Item
Intro Items are created the same way you would create any other Item in your Activity. The easiest way to do so is in the Author Site via the +Create button. Should you be unfamiliar with the process of Item creation please refer to the Basics of Item Authoring page for further information.
Please note that Question Types are not ideal as an Intro Item, as they usually require a score and a correct answer must be picked. However, it is not impossible to use any question type as an Intro Item, as long as users are aware that they are not included in the scoring of the assessment.
Features are the perfect choice if you wish to implement an Intro Item. They do not require scoring or an answer, and they allow the author a great amount of creative freedom. You can choose from various Feature types such as Passage (rich text with or without images), Audio Player or Video Player that start playing as soon as the assessment begins or a combination of different Features. You can also make use of Actions to autoplay your features as soon as the Intro Item loads.
You can have only one Intro Item per Assessment. If you need an explanation or introduction for each Question you can choose to add a Feature or Simple Feature that provides the necessary information.
An example of what an Intro Item could look like is below. It’s a Passage that contains text and images and provides general information for the students:
Figure 1: an example of an intro Item
Similarly, an Outro Item can provide helpful information at the end of an Assessment, such as how to proceed after taking the test, when to expect the results or, in an unscored test, to acknowledge their efforts.
Figure 2: an example of an Outro Item
The Outro Item can be implemented in your code just like the Intro Item by adjusting settings in the same way as Intro Items are configured. It can be added as the last item in your item list in a linear Assessment or as an optional outcome in an adaptive Assessment.
Example for an Outro Item in an adaptive Assessment:
Code example 1: configuration for an Outro Item
How to change the default text of an Intro Item via label bundles
There are three ways of enabling Intro Items for an Assessment.
1. Changing the default text for an Intro Item via Author Site
You can easily change the default text of your Intro Items via Author Site:
Go to the Author Site and select All Activities from the drop down menu under Activities. There you can browse through all your Activities or find the one you wish to edit by its Activity Reference. Click on the Activity and select the Edit tab in the top right hand corner of the page. From there, scroll down to Navigation / Control Settings to find a list of all settings available. You can tick the relevant fields and enable or disable certain functions and display options, including Intro and Outro Items.
If you scroll down on the same page, you can find the option Label Settings. To change the default text of your Intro Item click on the Override Labels button. A new window with a list of all Assess API Labels will pop up. Move down to introItemMessage and insert the text you wish to display instead of the default text.
This is a UI friendly way of changing the text for a single Intro Item. Any changes that have been made are immediately visible in the Preview mode. Similarly, all changes are mirrored in the Activity JSON as well.
NOTE: In order to save the changes you’ve made to the Label Bundles you must scroll down to the end of the page and hit the OK button, otherwise your changes won’t be saved.
2. Changing the default text for an Intro Item via Activity Editor
The Learnosity Activity Editor allows you to customise all your Activities by creating templates. That way, you can also define a standard text for all your Intro Items. It works in a similar way to creating base templates which are replaced by the Activity Editor as of November 2020.
In the Activity Editor, select Player, then click the Customize text labels button. The different options include all Label Bundle settings.
To customise the Intro Item text select Messaging, then 'introItemMessage' and insert the message you want to display.
NOTE: You must scroll down to the end of the page and hit the Apply button in order to save the changes you have made.
3. Changing the default text for an Intro Item via JSON
The "introItemMessage" key is part of the Assess API label bundle and can be changed in the JSON directly.
Code example 2: changing the default Intro Item text via JSON
The default message can be customised by changing the display text. Label bundles are available in many languages other than English, as well.
How to implement an Intro Item in your Assessment
There are two ways of enabling Intro Items for an Assessment.
- By ticking the box for show_intro in the Activity settings in the Author Site, which will set the value to 'true' and therefore make the Intro Item visible.
- By editing the objects in the custom JSON under the config settings, within the navigation settings, as shown in the sample code:
Code example 3: editing navigation settings in JSON
- If you want to learn more about Initialisation options, see the Items API initialization options for developers.
- Learn how to configure activity settings.