Unlocking the Power of Lectora Variables, Part 2
By Jay Lambert
In an earlier post on this blog, we walked through using a Lectora variable to control page navigation in your eLearning course. In this post, we'll look at using the learner’s name in your course content.
Including the learner’s name in your Lectora course can take many forms, such as 'Welcome to computer skills training, John.'
If your eLearning course is set as AICC or SCORM (under Title Properties/Content), Lectora automatically adds a set of tracking variables to your course so half your work is done for you.
In this case, the name variable is AICC_Student_Name. When a learner opens your course from within a learning management system (LMS), the course will be able to get the learner’s name from this AICC_Student_Name variable.
If you’re not using an LMS to host the course, you’ll need to add a form or Entry Box into your title where the learner can enter his or her name. You’ll then be able to manipulate the name they entered (let’s hope it’s the right one) and incorporate it into your course content as well. (As a best practice, rename the variable name to something that you’ll be able to find easily later. Lectora automatically assigns sequential numbers to new variable names; for example, the variable shown below was originally Entry_0002, but I renamed it Entry_StudentName to better reflect what it is – a text entry box holding the student name.)
Let’s assume you have the AICC_Student_Name variable.
Add a text box to the page where you want to display the learner’s name. Name your text box something that you’ll be able to find easily such as ‘StudentName’.
There shouldn’t be any additional text in the text box beyond what you need to figure out where to place it on the page; it’s just a placeholder and whatever is originally in there will be overwritten.
Add an action to the Page itself. The Action would be On Show (meaning when the page is first displayed), Change Contents. The Target would be the ‘StudentName’ text box. And the New Contents would be the AICC_Student_Name.
Now when the page displays, it will automatically get the learner’s name from the LMS and put it in the text box on the page.
If you aren’t using the AICC_Student_Name variable, but rather one you created with an Entry Box, then use that variable name instead.
You can do similar tricks to display anything you’ve previously captured in a variable – something else about the learner, a piece of text you had them enter on a previous screen, etc.
In a future post, we’ll look at other things you can do with Lectora variables to spruce up your eLearning.