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Some updates for spring

Some updates for spring.

Clusters / Multi-part questions:

In the cluster setings, you'll find a new option that lets you present its questions as a single page, creating a multi-part question; this can take advantage of any randomization settings you apply. Respondants only see the cluster pages (when taking the lesson, or in the summary index), but Managers see the individual questions in the reports. These multi-part questions are supported in all Lessons modes (quiz, tutorial, survey).

You no longer need to evoke branching if the only reason you were using it was to group questions on pages.

The lesson must be set to Display as individual pages in order for this to work.

Character settings / encodings:

For some time (Fall 2002) you have been able to enter UTF-8 characters (or other encodings), but there has not been a way to ensure that the Respondant sees the same character encodings until now.

In both the Unit and Lesson settings, you'll find a character settings section. You can pick from a set of common encodings, or provide another charset. This charset is then sent for all text entry boxes, and users using modern browsers should see the text you enter as you intended.

An encoding set in the unit will be used for any lessons in the unit. You can always override that encoding for a particular lesson.

By default Lessons sends no charset information to the browser, so existing lessons will continue to be presented as they have been.

Lesson settings: Forward Only, Reset Session

If questions are being presented as individual pages, you can now specify how respondants move through the lesson. The default is freely, e.g. respondants see next/previous buttons, and a link to an index. You can now force them to only move fowrard through the lesson. In this case, respondants only see the next button, and only a link to the directions/title page. As a consequence of this change, when students return to a lesson, they enter at the last question they visited, or the summary page if the lesson has been completed.

For Units with anonymous/self-identify access, you can now select reset session as a repeat option. This resets the Lessons session when the respondant reaches the summary page, setting things up for a new respondant. Previously, Managers have had to embed the "kiosk tag" to do this. Along with making the setting formal, lessons now hides the navigation on the summary page, instead offering a direct link to starting from the beginning.

Previously, surveys could only be taken once. That's still the default, but you can now use the other repeat options (let respondants take the survey as often as they'd like, or reset the session, as described above).

Blinding reports:

For some time, Lessons has been able to "blind" reports; Respondants can authenticate to take lessons with their uniqname (or UM.Friend account), but the reports are anonymized. At present, if you need this functionality, contact

Other Changes:
  • We've replaced the giant-sized, tacky answer labels we got from K-Mart back in 1997 with a sleeker variety. My apologies for inflicting 72pt Verdana on you all these years :-).
  • Branches are now followed on the second pass through the lesson.
  • Previewing lessons connected through branching should be more reliable (as in "actually work"). When clearing work, you'll still have to clear the work on all lessons involved in the "branch".
  • The use response option now works within the same lesson as the trigger question.

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