SL Infectious Diseases Prototype

I have had some ideas for developing nursing learning games for a long time now. I have never been able to create them because the software development tools have not been available and I was not keen on learning Flash well enough to program them.

StoryLine has changed all that so HERE is my first project. The purpose of this "game" is twofold: a) refresh knowledge of disease names, and b) review knowledge of which micro-organism cause each disease. By hovering the mouse over the "?" the nurse also gets a hint about that disease. Obviously this is just a prototype with 2 slides. The full game will have about 15 slides with 85 or so infectious diseases.

I have a few questions about StoryLine that I was not able to figure out:

1. How do I get Stephanie to revert to Normal state between drag and drops?

2. How do I add a "correct" and "wrong" sounds to go along with each change in State? (I see that I can add sound to the slide, but cannot see any way to add a sound to a State.)

3. How do I ensure that each Marker text is in front so that it is readable?

I have decided that I won't track the results as feedback is immediate. Instead I will create a parallel quiz using our usual quiz software which provides a Certificate and reports the results to our database. I will cross-reference the game and quiz.

In addition to answers to my questions, I would appreciate any suggestions and feedback on how to make this learning exercise more effective.

Also, a very special thanks to Tom and Jeanette for their informative video tutorials which I must have watched a dozen times to "burn in" StoryLine features into my brain. 

Thanks,

Russ

22 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Russ, that looks really nice - congratulations!! I really like how you've incorporated markers onto the draggable shapes. 

To answer your questions: what you might consider doing is creating 2 additional layers (one for correct feedback, and one for incorrect). Have the appropriate layer display (and then disappear after a couple seconds) when the learner drops their choice. On each feedback layer, you could insert a copy of the character, with the appropriate pose & expression, and turn off the visibility of the base layer character (so that it doesn't appear as two characters overlapped). You could also incorporate a sound effect on the layer that plays as soon as the layer timeline starts. Set the layer timeline to last just a couple seconds and then create a trigger to hide the layer when the layer timeline ends. This way, the character reverts back to her original pose & expression in between the learner's drag-and-drops.

Regarding the marker text always appearing on top... that's tricky when you have so many draggable objects that the learner can layer any way they want. To minimize the likelihood of things becoming obscured, you might consider changing the orientation of the label so that it opens almost directly over the rounded rectangle...that way the only thing being obscured is the rectangle itself. Like this:

Another thought to consider: right now  the four causes of diseases are located pretty close together, such that a learner could actually place a draggable item half way over two juxtaposed drop targets. To reduce the likelihood of that happening, you might be able to rearrange things a bit so that draggable items can only ever be touching one drop target at a time. Here's a quick mockup of one idea:

Russ Sawchuk

Jeanette,

Thanks so much for your usual prompt excellent suggestions and feedback. It is very much appreciated. 

Although the hover idea is excellent, some of the diseases have a fair amount of text associated with them, so probably won't fit into the button size. But I will try reconfiguring the location of the text.

I will try your idea of layers for the feedback (after I watch a few tutorial videos again to make sure I understand how to do it).

Thanks a bunch.

Russ

Elizabeth Israel

I like this idea a lot!  Congratulations and thank you for sharing it with all of us (I am somebody who tends to learn better by seeing people actually DOING something with the tool).  Jeanette - amazing ideas.  Here are a few things I would recommend (I went through it and got all of them correct except for one):

I felt that the beginning slide had too much text; may want to crisp things up or bullet them to make it easier to read

I would like to have to learn how each of the four types have certain features - that would assist me when making a decision as to which disease falls into which type.  I felt that it was very random and guessing could work rather well (as evidenced by me getting all but one correct)

I like the facial changes of the nurse but are you planning on having her speak as well?  Having voiceover?

I would like to see some more animation with the flasks instead of them being static

I like the idea of the disease fading or going away after it has been placed appropriately (fading will at least enable the learner to remember which one goes where)

Again, great start and thank you for sharing this!

El Burgaluva

Hi, Russ

I like the simplicity of this. It's a nice little review task.

In addition to the layout suggestions, I also agree with the selections disappearing once you've placed them.

Plus... I don't know anything about some of these diseases so I just guessed. When I got it wrong, I just dragged it somewhere else. There was no real reason for me to "commit" to my choices. Consequently, the "learning level" was pretty low.

It might, therefore, be better to get the learners to make all their selections and then submit their answers and get tailored feedback based on their choices. This is more complicated, but it would have much greater learning value, I feel; especially where there are common confusions or misunderstandings leading to typical errors.

To (hopefully) clarify, I'll give you an example:

I found out eventually (after dragging the object around) that Croup is a virus. Now let's say it's common for nursing students to think Croup is a bacterial infection because [insert reason they typically cite and which you know from experience]. Let's also say that they almost never think it's a fungal infection or caused by parasites.

So -- using the awesome power of variables! -- you set up some conditions to display conditional feedback depending on where the learner placed each choice. So in the Croup example, you set up the following three conditions:

1. If drag [Croup object] to [drop-zone=virus], display on the next slide [Croup-correct object] (or change value of variable and then display objects based on the value of variables)

2. If drag [Croup object] to [drop-zone=bacteria], display on the next slide [Croup-wrong-bacteria object]

3. If drag [Croup object] to [drop-zone=fungi OR drop-zone=parasites], display on the next slide [Croup-wrong-fungal-parasites object]. 

In the feedback box for #1, you confirm that it's the correct choice and reinforce the choice.

In #2, you say "common mistake because blah blah blah... but, in fact, blah blah blah... (alternatively, you could not reveal the answer here; instead you give a hint and get them to try the quiz again)

In #3, you just say "not correct. Think about blah blah blah [hint] and get them to choose again, as per #2.

Hope that helps,

Leslie

P.S. I could be way over-complicating this! LOL!

James Brown

Very nice.. This project aas a nice appearance. Too bad you didn't take a Flash course because this would have been very easy to create in Flash. What I love about flash is the control. If  a student gets a right answer, I can point them in one direction or if they get it wrong, I can point them in the other direction. Anyway, nice topic and it make me want to download and play with storyline.

James

Saenna B Ahman

James Brown said:

What I love about flash is the control. If  a student gets a right answer, I can point them in one direction or if they get it wrong, I can point them in the other direction. Anyway, nice topic and it make me want to download and play with storyline.


THank GOODNESS we don't have to take a flash course to do this!!!. James actually Storyline makes this sort of thing absolutely easy to do, with no need for programming. 

Russ Sawchuk

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. Based on the ideas and inspirations, I have significantly redesigned the learning activity. For example, I have replaced the Markers with layers and an electronic mobile device. I have also added links to the CDC's description of each disease.

Again using layers, I have added different states (with sounds) for the correct and incorrect answers. I am trying to design this learning activity to provide total control to the learner.

One problem that I still encounter is that sometimes the Right or Wrong layer does not show up after the drag and drop. I'm not sure whether this is a timing issue or whether there is a bug in StoryLine. Any suggestions on resolving this issue would be appreciated.

I invite your feedback and comments on this new and improved version. Also, I am happy to answer any questions or share the files.

Causes of Infectious Diseases V2

Thanks a bunch.

Russ

David Steffek

I really like the evolution of your course. Good progress!

My advice when incorporating sound is, to paraphrase Tom Kuhlmann, to do so with intent.

While the buzzer sound for a wrong answer follows the theme of various TV game shows, I was not expecting it based on the tone you had previously established in the course. Your soundscape starts off with soft upbeat music, and the ding for a correct answer is also a softer sound. Thus I was 'shocked' when I made my first incorrect answer.

On the one hand, it did inspire me to avoid any more wrong answers and, therefore, it was effective negative reinforcement. On the other hand, it reduced my desire to continue. (I might get buzzed again!) :(

So I humbly suggest reviewing other possible sounds to use for an incorrect answer which better fit within your soundscape.

I've found success perusing freesound.org for various sound effects. See what you can find there!

Again, great work so far on the design of your course! I really like the addition of the "electronic mobile device" and the re-placement of the drop containers.

Jeanette Brooks

Hi again Russ & everyone. Loving this discussion and how cool it is when the community collaborates & brainstorms!  

David you raise a good point about the buzzer! Any thoughts on a particular sound that might be more fitting? Wonder if this one might work better.

Russ: Regarding the behavior of the layers not always appearing as expected, I noticed that there was a little bit of dead space at the end of the layer timeline on the incorrect & correct layers. So if the learner happens to move another drag item before the previous one's correct/incorrect layer is completely finished playing, it can trip things up. I removed all excess from the waveform of your sound effects, and also tightened up the layer timelines a bit and that seems to have cleared up the problem. .

And since I like to tinker, I also made a few other minor adjustments for you to consider:

  • Added a "close" button on the Help layer, just for grins.
  • Narrowed the width of each drag item just a bit, so that it would be less likely that a learner would overlap the item onto two separate drop targets.
  • Changed the drag/drop setting such that the dropped items are tiled on top of the targets, rather than stacked directly on the center...that way the learner can easily see all the items they've dropped on a particular target (and the drop items won't conceal each other).
  • On the correct/incorrect layers, I turned off the visibility of the Nurse character on the base layer, else you can see the original character peek out from behind the duplicate character on the layer.
  • I also thought it might be nice to include a little cue at the end, once all the dropped items are correct, to tell the learner they've mastered the activity and they're finished. So I created a new layer, and it displays once all drag items are in their proper places. A simple true/false variable monitors whether each one is correct. See what you think.

Published (looks nice on an iPad, too, btw!)

Source

Russ Sawchuk

WOW! What can I say? Jeanette, you are simply amazing! Not only did you "fix" my problem, but you added a ton of value to the project. I love - and will keep - your tinkers! Thanks so much!

David ... good point on the buzzer! I don't like it either but went with the (game show) flow. I read something a few days ago about effective teaching of adults. One point that stuck out was NOT to punish learners when they make a mistake ... "mistakes" are essential to effective learning so we should not use negative reinforcement in our feedback.

I also recall many years ago when I was a college instructor that the Social Work faculty never used RED pens when marking student assignments ... they felt it was too "negative" and used green colored pens instead! I will change the buzzer.

Again, thanks to all for your comments, suggestions and assistance. I will post a link to the final, completed product on our Learning Nurse website shortly so that others can view and benefit from this learning experience.

Russ

David Steffek

Russ, I agree that adult learners don't like to be punished and it can result in them "shutting down." But we also learn more from our mistakes, or at least we remember them more. So we do still need to let them know that they have made a mistake, but in a memorable - and not punitive - manner.

Jeannette, the sound you found (rhyme! ) is definitely better - more fun and "forgiving" than the buzzer.

Poking around I found this one that also might be decent.

Steve Shoemaker

James Brown said:

Very nice.. This project aas a nice appearance. Too bad you didn't take a Flash course because this would have been very easy to create in Flash. What I love about flash is the control. If  a student gets a right answer, I can point them in one direction or if they get it wrong, I can point them in the other direction. Anyway, nice topic and it make me want to download and play with storyline.

James

I do know Flash and I prefer to use Storyline for this type of thing.  It's much easier for me to do this in Storyline.  I use Flash for more complex programming but Storyline is great for creating drag and drops with customized feedback and many other types of interactions that I used to program in Flash.
Russ Sawchuk

Hi Jeanette,

"I also thought it might be nice to include a little cue at the end, once all the dropped items are correct, to tell the learner they've mastered the activity and they're finished. So I created a new layer, and it displays once all drag items are in their proper places. A simple true/false variable monitors whether each one is correct."

Yes, I love this finishing touch, but I can't get it to work on the subsequent slides. On Slide 2, I created new T/F variables and set it with the diseases. However, the Finished Layer shows AFTER EACH drag and drop, and not at the end. Also, I can't find the trigger for showing the finished layer after all the items are correctly placed.

I check the forums and the tutorials, but was not able to find how to do this. Thanks,

Russ

Russ Sawchuk

The "final" version of this StoryLine course - Causes of Infectious Diseases - has been posted here.

Since this project is the result of Community input and advice, please feel to use any or all of the ideas or approaches for your own learning exercises. I would like to thank all that helped and especially Jeanette for her invaluable assistance!

Thanks,

Russ