Tutorial - Activities

Tutorial - Activities

Introduction

One of the most interesting tools in Verbo for activity design is the possibility of remembering the users' answers to evaluate their performance. Let's create a simple example that uses this functionality and shows the results of the activity.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create question/answer type activities and games that show the user's total or partial results. This will allow you to create evaluable and self-evaluating exercises, adapt homework and exams and track the evolution of the user over time. Just like AAC boards , these activities will be accessible via mouse, touch screen, switches, joysticks, head mice or eye tracking systems.

Remember that you will not normally need to design your communication board from scratch to work with Verbo. Most of the time, you can use an pre-made board as a template and edit it to adapt it to your needs and your own taste. For example, you can freely use any of the boards freely available in the Verbo Community, a collaborative space in which other Verbo users share the resources they create when they feel the may be useful to other people.

Throughout the tutorial we will use concepts such as "pages", "cells", "styles" or "commands" that you should be familiar with. If you need a reminder, visit the user manual.

Page design

Start with a blank board clicking on the toolbar icon or using the menu. If you just started Verbo, you may see a dialog with this option next to a button to open a board, visit the Verbo Community or visit the user manual. In an activity, it is not as important as in a communication board which preset board style you choose, since in most cases you will be editing it heavily to adapt it to the aesthetics you are aiming for. In this case, just choose the Verbo style.

In the Style dialog, edit the page style to remove the message bar and choose an interesting background color. Say, purple 500. Choose the highest value for row, column and edge spacing. Next, exit the style dialog and remove two rows and one column to leave only three cells in a page.

In this activity the user will see a set of pictures of animals and will have to choose the one that lives in the sea. First, let's insert the right answer. Double-click on any of the three cells (say, the middle one), go to the Answers section and choose "Answer". Double-click on that cell again to edit it and change the text to "Shark". The image box will suggest a few pictograms, choose one you like.

Before you close the window there is one more thing we need to do. In this particular activity, we want Verbo to jump to the next page as soon as the user picks an option. Click the '+' button at the right of the command list, go to the Page section and select the "Jump to the next page" command.

Now let's insert the two wrong answers. In this case it's enough to copy the cell we just created and edit the content. Select the Shark cell, press Ctl+C or the toolbar icon to copy it, select one of the empty cells and paste it with Ctl+V or the toolbar icon. Do the same for the other empty cell. Next, double-click on each of the new cells and type the name of an animal that does not live in the sea, e.g. "Lion" and "Gazelle".

Our page is almost done, but it could look better. Let's edit the style of our board to make it more attractive. Open the Style dialog and select the "Answer action" cell type. In this example we are going to change the cell shape to "Rectangle with rounded corners (more)", the font to Massallera 48 and we are going to place the text over the image. As you know, the cells will update automatically when you trim any style parameter, so you can see the result as you go.

Insert levels

Now, all you have to do is clone the page you just created as many times as you want to create new levels. Click on the '+' button at the right of the page list to insert a new one, call it "2" and check the option "Copy existing page". Do it a couple of times and call the pages "3", "4", etc (or however you prefer).

When you have a few levels in your activity, edit the cells and change the text and pictogram of the right answers (animals that live in the sea) and the wrong ones. Remember that in this activity you should only have one right option per page. To keep it interesting, change the position of the right answer in each page.

Display results

There is just one more thing to do: display the results of the activity. In this case we are going to insert a page at the end showing the selected answers next to the right ones. Click the '+' button once more, but in this case do not copy the Home page. Call it "Results" and click Ok.

In the new page, delete the automatically created "Back" cell. Next, insert three more rows (so you have 6) and as many columns as needed to reach the number of pages in your activity. In our example, that's 5.

In the first row, stretch the left-most cell to make it fill the entire width of tha page. Double-click on it, and in the Misc. section select "Text". Type "Your answers" and click Ok. Do the same for the last row, typing "Right answers".

We inserted so many rows so we could make the answers bigger. Stretch all the cells in row 2 and 5 down, making them twice as high.

In the first row include the right answers for each level. There are several ways to do that, but the easiest one is double-clicking on the empty cell, going to the Misc. section, selecting "Image" and choosing the same pictogram we used in the right option of each page.

In the last row we will display the user's answers. Double-click on each empty cell, go to the Answers section and select "Answers". Copy and paste this cell or repeat the steps for other cells.

We are done! Open the home page again and press F5 or the toolbar icon to play your activity. Pick any answer you want and see how Verbo jumps automatically to the next level. At the end, you should see a page like the following, in which we have purposely made one error:

What now?

Once your activity is done, there are a few things you can do:

  • Edit the style to change how the results page looks. For instance, you can hide the text in cells displaying answers, or use another font for the "Your answers" and "Right answers" titles.
  • You can use the "Export page to PDF" command to Save results automatically. Fot instance, you could insert a button in the last page to execute that command and jump back to the home page so the user can start over. That way, Verbo will generate a PDF with the results and save it in My Documents (on Windows) or the app data folder (on Android) with the user name, activity name, date and time, which can be used to keep track of the user's evolución.
  • Share you activity at the Verbo Community!. There are many people who would love to use your board themselves, or help someone else with it.