In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know to create a scenario. Use the links below to jump between different parts of the article.
- How to create a new scenario
- What kind of content scenarios can include
- Next steps
Scenarios are not available on individual teacher accounts or standard school accounts. If you are interested in this feature, please contact our team.
Scenarios are still in active development. If you'd like to provide feedback, please use this form.
How to create a scenario
Select ‘Scenarios’ in the left-hand side menu, then click the blue ‘Create scenario’ button and choose a name for your scenario. Click the empty scenario thumbnail to edit it then click the blue ‘Add content’ button to create the first block.
Note that you can use the ‘Preview’ button to check what the learners will see as they go through the scenario.
What you can create
Scenarios consist of different blocks:
- ThingLink scenes.
- Third-party embeds - any tool or content that you can embed via an iframe, such as quizzes, presentations, maps, websites, forms, or anything else you might find useful.
- Branching blocks that change the learner’s path depending on their answer.
- Question blocks can be open or multiple-choice questions. If the learner provides a correct answer, they can proceed. If the learner provides a wrong answer, they’ll be redirected back to the previous step.
- Text blocks are simple text messages that you can show to your learners to provide feedback or link to other materials without using ThingLink scenes.
- Goals that allow you to track which scenes or branches the learner has visited. You can also assign points for each completed goal.
- Jump points that allow you to redirect learners to another branch.
The scenes option allows you to add a ThingLink scene from your account or shared folders. The viewer will be shown the scene you select when they arrive at this block.
To add a scene, create a new block and select 'Media', then click the 'Upload or select a scene' button. This will bring up a new window where you can select content from your ThingLink profile and shared folders:
This option is useful for presenting learning materials in context, e.g. as part of a 360° image or an interactive graphic.
The 'Media' option also allows you to embed external content instead of using ThingLink scenes. This can include any tool that can be embedded using iframe embed code as well as some websites. You can use this for:
- Embedding videos from YouTube, Vimeo or FlipGrid via a link;
- Embedding surveys and quizzes (e.g Google Form);
- Embedding other interactive learning tools (H5P, Wordwall and the like);
- Embedding maps (e.g. Google Maps, OpenStreetMap);
- Embedding whole presentations from SlideShare or Google Slides;
- Embedding webpages (e.g. Wikipedia). Please note that some sites prohibit embedding their webpages, so you won't be able to display them in a scenario.
Any content you can embed into the 'Add content from website' in the main ThingLink image editor can be embedded in scenarios, too.
Branching blocks create multiple paths that the learner can follow, and you can add different content to each path (each branch). When a learner teaches a branching block, they will see a question and multiple answers. The answers they pick determine which path they are directed to.
There are two types of branching blocks:
- A Simple branching block shows the learner a question and multiple options where they can only pick one.
- Conditional branching allows the learner to pick multiple answers, and you can direct them to different paths based on what combination of answers they pick using 'AND' and 'exclusive OR' conditions. See the more detailed description below.
To create a branching block, hover over any other block > click the plus icon > select ‘Branching’. A new window will pop up where you can select the type of branching:
Simple branching blocks
Simple branching blocks present the learner with a question and multiple options where they can only pick 1. Each creates its own path (branch), and the learner's path is determined by which option they choose.
- Use the ‘Title’ field to enter a question or provide context for different choices the learner can make.
- Use the ‘Branch’ fields to set different choices that will be presented to the learner. Each option will create a new path (branch).
- Click ‘Add branch’ to add another option/branch.
Note: deleting a branch deletes the whole path created by that option. Deleting a branching block deletes everything that comes after the branching block. If you wish to save the content you've added after the branching block, hover over the blocks, click the three dots button and use the 'Move & attach' option described here.
Conditional branching blocks
Unlike simple branching, conditional branching blocks allow the learner to pick multiple answers, and you can direct them down a different path based on what answers they selected. To create a conditional branching block, you need to consider 4 questions:
- What question or choice do you want to present to the learner?
- What options the learner can pick?
- How many outcomes do you want to create (for example: 'Wrong answer', 'Good answer', 'Perfect answer')? Each outcome will be a different branch/path, normally followed up by different content.
- What combination(s) of answers leads to each path?
We recommend using conditional branching blocks if you need to use combinations of answers to determine the learner's path. If each branch is associated with only 1 answer, you can use simple branching instead.
Once you are ready, create a new branching block, click 'Simple branching' and choose the 'Conditional branching' option instead.
- Enter the question in the 'Question' field. You can also describe a situation instead of asking a direct question.
- Enter the answers/choices the learner will see into the 'Answers' fields. Use 'Add answer' if you need to add more options.
Note that each answer is denoted by a letter (A, B, C, etc.) for easier reference. These letters are used in the editor interface only, the learner will not see them.
- Use the 'Add branch' button to add the desired number of branches. Each branch is denoted as #B1, #B2, etc. for easier reference.
- Click the 'Edit' button next to each branch to choose a condition for the branch - a combination(s) of answers that will lead the learner to this branch. Conditions are described in more detail below.
- The Else branch is an additional branch that handles any combinations of answers that do not meet the conditions for other branches; it's a fallback branch. It cannot be removed.
How conditions work
Conditions let you pick combinations of answers that will direct the learner to a certain branch. For example, if you select answers A and B as a condition for branch #B1, then the learner will be directed to this branch if 1) they select answers A and B and 2) do not select any other answers.
You can add multiple conditions for each branch. For example, in the screenshot below the learner will be directed to branch this branch if they select answers A and B without selecting any other option, or if they select answer A only:
The conditions will be displayed next to each branch (and shown on top of the branch block in the editor interface):
Note that if you set multiple conditions for a branch, they will be exclusive. In other words, the learner will be directed to that branch if they meet only one of the conditions. In the screenshot above, the learner will be directed to branch #B1 if they select answer C without selecting any other answers or answers A and B without selecting C. If the learner selects A, B and C they will be directed to the Else branch.
Note that you cannot set the same condition for multiple branches as we would not be able to determine which path the learner should follow.
Question blocks are open or multiple-choice questions. If the learner provides a correct answer, they can proceed to the next block. If the learner provides a wrong answer, they’ll be redirected back to the previous step.
To create a new question block, hover over any other block > click the plus icon > select ‘Question’. This will bring up a new window where you can choose between an open question or a multiple-choice question.
For open questions, enter the question into the ‘Question’ field, then type in the answer into the ‘Answer’ field. You can also add a custom message for wrong answers using the ‘Wrong answer message’ field. The answers are not case-sensitive.
To create a multiple-choice question, enter the question into the ‘Question’ field then use the ‘Answer’ fields to provide different options. Use the ‘Add answer’ button to add another option. You can mark the right answers using the checkbox next to each answer.
- If you do not provide a 'Wrong answer message', then the learner will be able to proceed even if they select an incorrect answer or do not select all right answers.
- Learners can try to answer both types of questions multiple times if there's no 'Wrong answer message'.
- There’s no character limit for questions and answers. However, we highly recommend using short answers if you expect your learners to complete the scenario on mobile devices.
Text blocks are simple text messages you can display to the learner to provide feedback or other information without using ThingLink scenes. Text blocks consist of a title and description text. The description text is what is shown to the user, while the title is the name of the block you'll see in the scenario editor.
You can use the text formatting options shown above the main text box to format your text, insert links and images:
ThingLink uses markdown for text formatting, so additional characters will appear when you format text. Here's the markdown syntax used by ThingLink:
- Bold text: put two asterisks on each side of the character string: **example**.
- Italics: put the text between two underscores: _example_.
- You can combine both options by using asterisks and underscores.
- Hyperlinks: put the text inside square brackets and add the URL in parentheses like this: [learn more](https://support.thinglink.com).
- You can create headings using the number sign at the beginning of the line like this: # Header text. You can create 3 levels of headings (# for level 1, ## for level 2, ### for level 3).
- Bullet lists and numbered lists: use the text formatting buttons.
To insert an image, click the 'Upload image' button above the main text box and select a file from your computer.
Once the image is uploaded, you'll see a long text string starting with "![uploaded_file_name.jpg]" followed by a link. Image upload specifications: JPEG, PNG or GIF images up to 25 MB and 12000x12000 pixels. Recommended file size: 5 MB or less.
We highly recommend using the Preview button to preview the scenario and the text block.
Goals allow you to provide feedback to the user and track their progress through the scenario. Goals are useful if you want to mark a milestone or an important point in the scenario.
To create a Goal block, hover over any other block > click the plus icon > select 'Goal’.
You can also assign points for each completed goal if you’d like to grade your learners based on how they completed the scenario. For example, different paths can contain goals with different point values.
Jump blocks allow you to redirect the viewer to another block in the scenario. This can be used to direct learners to another path or force them to review a part of the scenario if they made a wrong decision.
To create a jump block, hover over any other block > click the plus icon > select ‘Jump to’. This will bring up a new window where you can enter the text that will be shown to the learner when they reach the jump block. Click the ‘Select block’ button to pick the destination block:
You can jump to all blocks except other jump blocks. Selectable blocks will be highlighted after you click 'Select block'.
Click the ‘Preview’ button in the upper-right corner if you’d like to see how the scenario will work for your learners.
Now that you know what kind of content you can add, click here to learn about different tools you can use while editing a scenario as well as different settings you can use to control data collection, how much time a learner can spend on a scenario, and more.
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