The Activity Manager

With the Activity Manager you can create interactive learning experiences. Before going into detail about the features of the Activity Manager, let’s have a look at some basic concepts and terminology.

Basic concepts

In the Novo Studio, an activity is a sequence of slides. A slide is a single page on which one or more blocks are displayed. A block can be used for presenting text, multimedia or exercises.

The user interface of the Activity Manager consists of several areas:

Section Editor UI

Canvas Displays the currently selected slide where it can be edited and previewed.
Storyboard Displays all slides in the activity. Each node on the storyboard represents a single slide and links between slides shows the possible sequences (also see Storyboard & Branching) ).
Editing Tools Used to configure settings of the activity and the current slide.
View Settings Used to set the device frame and orientation to preview the slides.

Working with blocks

When you first enter the newly created activity, there’s an empty slide waiting for you. You can add a block to this slide by clicking on the build button in the edit tools. A screen will pop up on which you can select the type of block to add.

There are two main types of blocks: content blocks and interaction blocks. A content block contains static media such as graphics and video. You can learn more about this type of blocks here. Interaction blocks contain elements with which the learner has to interact, for example a multiple choice exercise. Once you have selected the type of block and click Next, you can fill in the details for the specific block type. A detailed explanation of the interaction types and their settings can be found here.

A slide can contain multiple content blocks, but only a single interaction block.

After adding a block it will be shown on the canvas. You can choose to edit or delete a block by first clicking more_vert. You can also edit a block by simply double-clicking on it.

Creating & navigating slides

To create a new slide, click the add button on the right side of the canvas. You can either create a brand new slide or copy an existing one. The slide will be added to the storyboard and the the add button will change into a navigation button (arrow_forward).

Click on the arrow_forward to go to the new slide. Note that the new slide is highlighted on the storyboard. You can navigate back to the previous slide by either clicking the arrow_back button on the left side of the canvas or selecting it on the storyboard.

Deleting a slide

To delete a slide click on delete from the editing tools or right-click on a slide on the Storyboard and choose Remove.

Note that you cannot delete the first slide in an activity. To delete this slide, you'll first have to set another slide as the first one. To do so, right-click on the slide on the storyboard and choose 'Set as first'.

Storyboard & Branching

With the Novo Studio you are able to create branching scenarios. In a branching scenario, the response from the learner determines the next slide.

Branching scenarios are a valuable tool to let learners experience the consequences of their actions.

Branching scenarios can be created by using branching interaction blocks. These can be added by choosing any of the interactions under the Branching tab in the Add block screen. After you've added a branching interaction, you'll see a add button next to each of the interaction's response options. With this button, you can create new slides and link them to a particular response option.

You can also use the storyboard to link response options to existing slides instead of creating new ones. Each slide on the storyboard has one input port at the top and an output port for every response option at the bottom.

An output port can be linked to an output port by creating a link between them. To link them, drag a line from an open output port to an input port. A link can be removed by hovering over it and clicking the close icon.

Storyboard delete link

There are a few tricks to make working with the Storyboard easier. The Storyboard can be moved around by dragging the background. Slides themselves can also be rearranged through dragging. To zoom in and out you can use the add and remove buttons on the right side of the storyboard. To automatically align the slides and links on the storyboard you can click the sync button.

When you enter an existing activity, the slides will first be automatically aligned.

View settings

View Settings

The Activity Manager is set to edit mode by default. In this mode you can edit everything on the canvas. To see and interact with a slide as a learner, switch to play mode. If you have any interaction blocks, you can try them out right away! You can toggle between edit (edit) and play (play_arrow) mode in view settings. Note that when you switch to play mode the editing tools disappear: you can’t edit or rearrange the blocks.

Switch to play mode every now and then to preview the slides. Try out the interactions to make sure your learning materials work as expected.

In both edit and play mode, you can preview the slides on different device screens. To toggle the canvas between phone, tablet and desktop mode, click the tablet_mac icon. With the screen_rotation icon you can toggle between portrait and landscape mode. You can use the final view settings icon to change the user language into any of the activity’s translation languages.

If you have translated content on your slides, you might want to check what it will look like to the learner with that particular language.

Customizing the background

The background of every slide can be changed by clicking on Background. You can either set a color or an image as a background. Furthermore, you can choose between 2 background sizes: header and full screen. A header will only cover the top part of the screen and can be used to keep the learner focused on the content. To have a more immersive feel, a full screen background might be more suitable.

< blockquote class="warn" >

Beware: a busy background can be distracting.