The Planning tool - also called the Planning View - is designed to be used in conjunction with the Authoring View by giving you a more high-level, visual representation of your simulation. It is especially helpful if you are utilizing our branching features, enabling you to see the different paths in your Sim.
You can freely switch between the two different views, and changes made on either one will be reflected in the other view as well. You are basically viewing the same simulation from two different perspectives.
The Planning View can be great for creating and viewing complex branching scenarios, but it's equally as useful for simple linear simulations too!
To open this view, use the Planning View button at the top right of the simulation editor:
If you are starting on a new simulation and the page is blank, go ahead and click an empty square on the grid to add your first step.
Any new step will be automatically added as a Planning Step, which you can think of as a placeholder step, having no actual function in your finished simulation (yet). Once selected, on the left side, you can assign a title to this step, then click on it and change it to any of the other step-types so it can be built out in the Authoring View. (Or alternatively, leave it as a Planning step for now and change it later when you may know better what step-type would be most useful at this place in the Sim.)
The description box is purely for your own notes - this will not be shown to the learner.
Every step (apart from the final step) needs at least one "Next step" branch in order for the learner to be able to move on to the next step in the Sim. If there is no branch present, the simulation will end when that option is selected (or repeat that step until a correct branch is selected.)
By default, the dotted arrow (shown below, left) will appear, representing the software's predicted "next step" in the simulation. You can change this by dragging the arrowhead and moving it to any other step within the Planning View. This will change it to a solid arrow (shown below, right).
You can add more branches to a step if you wish to use a step-type that allows for branched options. Only two step-types cannot have branched options as they do not allow learner input and are naturally one-way steps. These are:
You'll be able to change which step each branch goes to and specify if it's a correct or incorrect branch. All these changes will be reflected in the steps once you switch to the Authoring View to add your content and specify the options you want to use for each step.
Other Planning Tool options
Align - This button will cause the software to try to organize your steps in the neatest way it can. This is purely visual, and will not affect any of the actual branching or steps. Note: If you have specifically mapped out your simulation into the positioning and order you like, do not use this Align option.
To go back to the Authoring View, select "Actions" then "Save & Quit Planning View". If you don't wish to save your progress from that planning session, hit "Cancel & Quit Planning View" instead.
The icon to the right of the "Actions" button is an option to display a compact view. This will show the steps and grid in a zoomed out view, allowing you to see more steps on your screen.