Creating a non-simulation Topic

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The primary purpose of UPK is to create training simulations (these are UPK's Topics). However, you may also want to include other types of (non-simulation-based) information in UPK, for example, to create a single training library' that contains other learning objects, such as presentations, videos, Microsoft Office documents, and so on. These types of documents can be imported into a Package in UPK, and then linked to from - or used as - a Concept Page. Alternatively, you may want to include a simple page of information that does not have an associated simulation. Here, a Web Page used as a Concept Page works well. However, in both of these cases, the Concept Page must still be assigned to a Module, Section, or Topic.

You may be able to attach this Concept Page to a Module or Section that contains [Topics]] related to the same subject, or attach it to a Topic that does not already have its own Concept Page. However, perhaps this additional information does not belong with any other element - perhaps it is more 'stand-alone' information. Here, you could attach it to its own, empty Module or Section. Prior to OnDemand 9.1, 'empty' Modules or Sections would simply be omitted from the published Player, regardless of whether they had an attached concept Page. In OnDemand 9.1, even if a Module or Section is empty, as long as it has a Concept Page it will be published.

The downside with this approach is that this empty Module or Section (that contains your (for example) one page of non-simulation information) will appear in the Player using a blue 'page' icon ( Empty Section Icon.png ) - regardless of whether it is a Module (which is a purple book if it contains sub-elements) or a Section. Perhaps you want this information to appear using the same icon as a Topic ( Topic Icon.png ), to indicate that is information at the same level (typically, the transactional level). The cleanest way to do this is to create a dummy topic, and attach your non-simulation information to this.

Creating a dummy topic

To create a dummy Topic to which you can attach your non-simulation information, carry out the following steps:

  1. Record a new Topic. This must have at least one Action Frame.
  2. In the [Topic] Properties > Play Modes deselect all of the Play modes. This will prevent any of the play mode buttons being displayed in the Player.
  3. Attach your non-simulation to this Topic as the Concept Page.
  4. Include this dummy Topic in your Outline, and publish as normal.

It is important to note that although the Topic does not contain any playable modes, it must contain at least one Frame that is set to appear in each of the Play modes. Otherwise, warning messages will be displayed during publishing.

The finished result will be as shown in the following example:

Non-simulation Topic Player.png

Here, we have created a dummy Topic called Requesting access to the SAP system, and linked this into our Installing SAP module, at the same level as our 'normal' Topics. Note that this 'Topic' does not contain any play mode buttons - effectively, it appears exactly as a Concept Page for a Module or Section appears. However, the important distinction is that this 'Topic' uses the same icon as 'normal' Topics, whereas an empty Module or Section uses the 'blue page' icon, as is the case for the Provide Feedback entry at the bottom of the Outline in the example above.

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