Creating an Activity

The Activity Designer is a new feature of of our application.  The Activity Designer lets you create and edit activities that you can later use in working with your subjects/patients/students.

To create a new activity, you must have an account with us and that account must have permissions assigned to it that allows you to create an activity.  You’ll be able to determine whether your have the correct account and permissions by looking at the Activity List and specifically at any given activity.  If you have permissions to create an activity, you’ll see a “Plus” icon in the top right corner of your Activity List display.


To get started, touch the “Plus” icon.  When you do so, you will be presented with the Activity View.  The Activity View allows you to fill in information about the activity, like it’s title, the objectives in using the activity, and any instructions you may wish to include for using or preparing to use the activity.   Fill in those fields and click the “Save” button (looks like a little diskette in the top right corner area of the display).  


Assuming you’ve done this, you will have created your activity.  It will display in your activity display list. 

Activity List with My New Activity in it

Go back to your activity display list and click the big “Play” button on the list.   When you do so, the activity player and designer will appear.

Activity Editor With Instructions for New Activity

The activity editor will start out assuming you are going to run the activity and displays the instructions you’ve entered.  You could run the activity right away if you want, but pretty much you’ll just get a blank black screen… Not super exciting.  So, let’s jazz it up a bit and put some stuff into the activity!!

First, notice in the top left corner of the activity on the navigation bar is the word “Edit”.  Tapping “Edit” tells the activity display that you are not currently going to run the activity but instead that you wish to edit the content of the activity.  The edit button will only display if you have permission to edit the activity.  You may only edit activities owned by your own group.  You can, however, copy an activity from a group that shares activities and edit the copy.  More about that in a later blog post….

For now, close the instructions window by tapping “OK”.  Then, tap “Edit”.

Activity Designer Blank Background Highlighted

Notice that you are presented with a black background and nothing much else.  Also, though, notice the background has a yellow rectangle around it.  The yellow rectangle is a visual indicator that tells you what item of your activity is the “currently selected item”.  Since the background has a yellow ring around it, you know that the activity editor views the background as the “currently selected item”.

When you make something the currently selected item in the activity editor, you are presented with menu options that apply to that item.  Those menu options display on the navigation bar at the top of the display.   For example, notice the icon at the top that looks like a hammer and a wrench.  Go ahead and touch it.  When you do so, the “property editor” displays, allowing you to customize the properties associated with the currently selected item.

Activity Editor Background Highlighted Property Editor displayed

So, now, you are looking at the property editor for the background of your activity.  Since the background was the “currently selected item”, you can use the features of the property editor to change attributes of your background.  Let’s do something simple for now and just change the background to a nice blue color.  To do so, touch the “Select Color” button.

Property Editor Background Color Chooser

You can use the color selector to pick the color you’d like for your background.  Choose a nice blue (or whatever color you prefer) and touch Done.  As soon as you do so, your background becomes blue and the property editor shows this color as well.  Now, tap the “Done” button on the property editor.  This will show you your activity with nothing but a blue background. 

Activity Empty with Blue Background

Let’s make this a little nicer!!

Notice on the top of the navigation bar is a “+” icon.  Tap this icon.  When you do so, a window displays with a list of items that you can add to your activity.  The window is named “Add Item to Activity”.

Add Item to Activity on Blue Background

When you design an activity, you basically determine a background color or image like we did before.  Then, you place things on the background by selecting them from the “Add Item to Activity” window which you got to by touching the “+” button.

For our simple activity, let’s add something to it.  Tap the “Square” item in the “Add Item to Activity” list.  You now have a green square on your background and you are well on your way to designing your activity!

Blue Background Green Square Selected

Now, notice that the green square has a yellow rectangle around it.  Remember that this means that the green square is the currently selected item.  That means that if you touch the “Hammer and wrench” icon, you will be presented with the property window set to change the property of the square.  Let’s go ahead and touch the property window icon (the hammer and wrench), and using the technique we developed for changing the background, let’s change the color of the green square to yellow!

Blue Activity Change Green Square to Yellow

Blue activity square color changed to yellow

So, now, just for fun, let’s run our activity.  How do we do that?  Well, we have to get out of “Edit Mode”.  To do that, simply tap the “Done” button at the top left of the navigation bar.  When you do so, you will be presented with the “Save Changes” prompt. 

Blue Activity Yellow Square Save Changes Prompt

This prompt lets you decide whether or not you want to save the work you’ve performed on your activity since the last time you saved the activity.   Today, click “Save Changes” so that we save all the work we’ve done so far.   You could have selected “Save Changes and Exit” and in so doing your changes would be saved and the activity display would have returned you to the activity list screen.  Or, you could have chosen to exit without saving or just to do nothing at all at that point.   

When you click Save, the Editor will exit and the activity will assume it should prepare to run.  In so doing it will present the instructions display just like you are use to.  Now, click the “Play” button at the top right corner.  Your activity will immediately run and you will see your beautiful new background and square!

Blue Background Yellow Square Running

So, you might think the activity isn’t very interesting, but, actually you’ve just accomplished a lot including:

  1. Learning when you can edit an activity
  2. Creating a new activity and giving it a name
  3. Understanding how to edit an activity
  4. Choosing a background color
  5. Adding an item to an activity
  6. The “currently selected item”
  7. Setting colors on the square
  8. Saving your work

Now, here’s something kind of cool… any of your team members that are in your group can see and use your activity at this point!  The activity is saved on our servers so that all of your team members can see your work and use the activity as they see fit.  All you had to do was save the activity and you’ve shared the activity automatically.  

Take a look at some of our other online help modules to determine some other neat things you can do easily… or, better yet… play around a bit!  We’d recommend trying the following all by yourself!

  1. Try to change the background from blue to say a picture in your iPhotos album.  How would you go about doing that?
  2. Squares are nice, but wouldn’t it be better if it wasn’t kind of offset from the middle?  How do you think you’d move that square to the middle?
  3. The square is so great!  It’s yellow, and maybe now it’s centered.  Since it is so great, how would you make it bigger?  Hint:  Know how to pinch/poke ?  Give it a try!!
  4. Got your square looking huge??? How about rotating it a bit!!
  5. So, if you’ve got these items all going… for the truly creative type such as yourself, try using your techiques to build a baseball field… hints…. you’ll need to rotate things, change colors of the background to a nice green, add some square for bases…. come on!  Give it a try!! You can do it!


Learning MORE!!!

  1. Moving, Sizing and Rotating
  2. Adding other shapes
  3. Working with Pictures
  4. Placing labels/text on your activity
  5. Sounds and Picture Libraries
  6. Activity Events – Bringing an activity to life
  7. Activity Design – Additional Topics