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The mLevel Content Grid

Overview

mLevel Mission Manager incorporates a new approach to managing training content.  Focusing on collecting content in a structured but flexible knowledge base, which will produce questions and answers that can work in all mLevel games.  The goal is to build knowledge bases with focused content that cover your learning objectives, and can be modified easily at a moments notice.  The analytics data is also driven off of these topics.  A Mission can be created with one topic or multiple topics.

This Guide

This document details the different elements of mLevel content and how Question Templates produce a pool of questions. Additionally, an Excel Document is attached to this article that shows several mLevel content examples.  Once your content is ready to be uploaded, save it as a .csv and directly upload it into the Mission Manager.  

For additional assistance, please contact your mLevel Account Manager or email support@mlevel.com.  An hour training session should be scheduled in addition to this article.

Preparing Your Topic

Topic - A set of focused information for learning and is used to group similar content. Some examples of topics include product lines, company employees, and IT applications. Anything that consists of several examples that can be compared via attributes will make a good topic. In our topic structure to the top left cell is where we type in our Topic. In the below example the topic is "Smartphone"

Items - Items are examples of your Topic. The far left column, in green below are our items or different Smartphones.

Attributes - The qualities or properties of your items. Attributes answer the question "How are you describing your items?". Below we would ask what do we want our players to know about the different smartphones. Some characteristics or attributes include : battery, camera feature, color, display type

Values - The intersection of Items and Attributes. A Value is the true characteristic (attribute) of a certain item. Example: The iPhone 5 (Item) has a screen resolution (Attribute) of 1136 x 640 (Fact). It's okay if you have blank Value cells in your Topic. Items can also contain multiple values per cell. Separate multiple Values using pipe delimitation. The pipe symbol is found on the same key as your backslash. Ex; Camera Feature of the iPhone 5

A Mission can be built with one topic or by combining multiple topics.  See the below example of how Items, Attributes, and Values are used within a Topic:

Topic_Worksheet.png

 



Defining Question Templates

Once you have your Topic content setup, it's time to create your question templates. mLevel uses question templates to define the format and structure of each question presented in the games - they produce a pool of data that the Activities use.  Question templates contain the following:

  1. The question script, including both static (i.e. manually written) and dynamic (i.e. retrieved from content) parts of the question.
  2. A question template can leverage {{topic}}, {{attribute}}, {{item}} and {{value}}.  The minimum needed are either {{item}} or {{value}}.
  3. mLevel uses question templates to produce Multiple Choice questions and True False statements.

Below is an example of an actual question generated from a question template.  Notice how the dynamic content - the name of  the topic (Smartphone), the Attribute (battery), and the value (1800 mAh) - is incorporated within the static text starting with "Which" and "has a".  Depending on what data is loaded to produce a question, mLevel will know which Item(s) are correct and use the other items randomly as wrong answers.

QuestionTemplate-1.png

Answers

You can determine what your answer is made of by evaluating what elements you've included in your Question Template.

If you include a Value in your Question Template, then Item would be set as the answer. Vice versa... if Item is included in your Question Template, then Value would be set as the Answer. 

Uploading the Content Grid

Preparing the Grid for Upload

  • After writing your grid, copy and paste the grid itself, without any templates, into a separate worksheet or workbook with your topic in cell A1.
  • Save the worksheet as a .csv file so that only the text of your content grid is saved. 

                                                               Uploading the Grid

  • Log in to the mLevel studio at missions.mlevel.com using your admin credentials.
  • Select the “Learning Content” Tab and click “Add Another Topic”.
  • Click “Browse” and select the file from your computer.
  • Common Errors:
    • “This topic already exists”: There cannot be two grids with the same topic name in a tenant. You’ll have to give your grid a unique name to successfully upload it.
    • “Row X is blank or contains white spaces”: The sheet you’re uploading contains text in a cell outside your grid. Try copy/pasting your grid into its own worksheet again to make sure all the other cells are blank before saving as a .csv file.
    • “Failed to Upload the Topic”: Covers a few errors, but the most likely is that there is a value in your grid that is above 400 characters. Shorten that value or break it into multiple values using the pipe bar ( | ) before uploading.
  • Once your grid is uploaded, you should be able to see it listed in the Learning Content tab.

Uploading a Grid with Special Characters

Certain special characters, such as quotation marks, carrots (< and >), and semicolons may sometimes not upload in the platform and appear as an error symbol �. It is possible to replace that punctuation with the proper character in the platform, but if you have many special characters in your grid, it may be faster to save it as a UTF-8 file, which always uploads those characters correctly. To save your file as a UTF-8:

  • Save the Grid as a .csv using the steps outlined above and close Excel.
  • Open the file using Notepad by opening File Explorer, right clicking the .csv, selecting “Open With”, and selecting Notepad.

  • With the file Open in Notepad, click “Save As”, and choose to save the file as a .csv again. However, next to the save button, there will be a dropdown menu that reads “Encoding: ANSI”. Click that menu and select the UTF-8 option, and then save the file.
  • Upload the grid in mLevel Studio.
  • If you have a Google Docs account, another option to save your grid in UTF-8 is to upload your workbook to google sheets and download the .csv from Google Sheets.

Creating Your Topic Walk through

Your Content Grid is a powerful tool within the mLevel application.  The content grid allows you to generate the maximum number of questions with a minimal amount of effort. 

Your content grid is created in Excel, exported as a .csv file, and uploaded into mLevel Studio.

Putting Questions and Content Together

Screen_Shot_2014-08-12_at_9.30.16_AM.png


Best Practices

  • Keep in mind you do not have to use the Topic or Attribute in the Question Template.
  • Items, Attributes, and Topic names must be less than 80 characters, including spaces.
  • We suggest Values are < 50 characters as well, however this not required.
  • .We suggest having 6 unique Values per Attribute (column).
  • Wrong answers or Values can be added in the very bottom row.
  • We suggest maintaining the same verb tenses and capitalization throughout the document.
  • Wrong answers (or distractors) pull from other correct values within the same column.  Make sure logical values are grouped together.
  • Where values are relevant for multiple items, word them identically and they will not be leveraged as distractors.
  • If a value needs to be explicitly excluded for a question/item combo, that value can be excluded when building the question in Mission Manager. 


How Much Content is Required?

The amount of content created for each topic is part science and little a bit of art. At a high level, there needs to be enough content to generate a random set of enough questions for the game type being played, while not too much content that players never see a repeat game question. Once you begin uploading in Mission Manager minimum questions needed will be communicated to you. You can find an overview of the various mLevel activities here: Overview of Activities

Steps To Create mLevel Content

  1. Define the topic - Topics should be focused around things that have similar and comparable properties. Smartphones have specifications and features, people have biographical information, financial products have rates and fees and charges, etc. Avoid broad topics. Also you can have more than one topic per mission. Don’t feel like you need to get everything to fit into one document.
  2. Define examples of the topic (i.e. the items) - For more concrete topics this should be straightforward: For Example, Smartphones include the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III, etc. For more abstract topics, such as a business process or company history, identifying items will be more difficult. Are the items process steps or desired outputs? Are they the key events in the company’s history? The only way to make a final decision is to build up a small set of content and manually construct questions from the data.
  3. Define the properties that define the topic (i.e. the attributes) - What is it about the topic items that you want people to learn? Is it product specifications and/or features? Dates of events? Facts about people? Keep in mind that attributes can have multiple fact values.
  4. Fill in fact values for every item attribute combination - Once the items and attributes have been defined, filling in values for each fact should be fairly straightforward.
  5. Add Question Templates - Draft question templates and proofread the questions produced. How do the questions look? Are they readable? Are they accurate? Do you see possible errors in grammar? Going through 5-6 example questions should be sufficient to validate that attribute names and fact values are appropriate. Make tweaks where necessary
  6. Create and/or collect images - mLevel allows you to tailor many elements of your Mission. mLevel will work without these images however the following locations allow for customization.
    • Mission Image
    • Topic Imagery
    • Answer Imagery (values / items imagery)
    • Level Configurations (3 locations they travel to for Fast Lane and Check Point)
  7. Get started in Mission Manager - Work with your Account Manager to schedule a training session. They will be able to assist you with login instructions and support you as you upload draft one.

 

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