Thanks so much. I respond inline below in italic bold.
if the opening instructions change in the linked file,
they would also update in the TaskChain.
I understand that by "opening instructions" you mean the text on the Entry page of the TaskChain activity. At the moment, I think this comes from the "Introduction" of the first task in the chain of tasks. Are you saying that you would like to the the text on the Entry page synched with the "introduction" in the first task file?
This is exactly what I am saying. Usually, all of my changes/edits occur in the Hot Potatoes file including instructions (which turns into the introduction for the first task in the chain), the exercises, titles and everything else. So with this change, along with others you indicate below, it means that all edits occur in the Hot Potatoes File and TaskChain takes note of them all when it replaces an active file online. This assumes, of course, that the file has been aliased.
The other is that the task titles update when the linked file is updated.
This is done now. You will have this functionality the next time you update your TaskChain module. Yay!
a. The first is where you finish a task and return to a list of tasks and choose your next one.
This is the default behavior for TaskChain, so you already have this. Yay!
(b) is not currently available, but I understand what you mean. Other people have requested this in the past. I have thought about implementing it as a "conditions template" which consists of [conditions for 1st task] + [conditions for middle tasks] + [conditions for last task]
Right now there are conditions and they really do provide total flexibility. I admit though that it is not something that I have my mind around. My impression from the limited discussion on this list is that few people use them. I might be wrong and should perhaps try again.
I mostly use the default where the students move back and forth from each task to a menu of the tasks. What happens is that students learn to pop into one of the tasks where they figure out answers, then they pop out and back in right away to re-do the task and get a better score repeating the process until the task has 100% before they move on to the next task. For some reason, they also don't always do the tasks in order even the the lesson design might call for that.
I imagine the hoped for scenario to be progressive or some name that suggests that. In order? Sequential? Linear? It means that the students never see a menu. They start with the first task and when they have finished or when the give up, they would be taken to the next task. So I would also imagine the following buttons:
Abandon (which would take them back to Moodle and should they re-enter, they would return to the task they were at when they abandoned),
Check (which checks their answers. Ìf they are at 100% they would be taken to the next task or out if it is the last task. It would be great if it told them which task number they were going to on the total number of tasks - so task 2 on 10, for example.)
Give Up and Continue (which sets the score for the current task and takes them to the next task. I expect that this is where some teachers might like to have conditions in that it might permit a student to breeze through all of the tasks without putting in much effort and then start a new attempt in a situation where the exercises were supposed to build on each other.)
My impression is that Quizport, back in the day, had this built in.
(c) is a new idea for me. I see what you mean. The Quiz module has this kind of navigation where you can move around to other questions. The difficulty with Hot Potatoes exercises is that they don't currently remember the "State" of the exercise, which is why when you "resume" a HotPot task you have to start at the beginning. To really make (c) work, I think we would have to sort out the difficulty of restoring an HotPot to a previous semi-complete state.
Previous may not be all that useful. Perhaps teachers that would allow it, would be inclined to use the default.
Thanks for all your work Gordon. This is an amazing tool given the rich variety of tools that it allows us to work with in chains in Moodle.