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Archive for February, 2008

Custom Course Page in Weblearning – The Final Step

In the previous 2 articles, I have gone over many of the features used to customize our course pages.  In this article I will be discussing a few final options that you may commonly use.  I will be covering how to add a hyperlink, inserting a list, using Placeholders.

Making text link to a site is a very easy process in Weblearning 9.  Simply type a line of text in your editor such as “click here to view our website.”  Select the click here text and click your hyperlink button in the top menu. 

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Enter the web address you want to link to then choose if you want to open the link in the same window they are in or a new window (recommended).  Easy enough right?

Creating a list is just as easy.  The first thing you need to decide is if you want an ordered list (puts numbers before each list item) or an unordered list (bulleted list).  Once you  have decided, click the appropriate list button.  I am going to create an unordered list.

part3_layer-3.jpg 

Start typing in your editor and you will notice a number or a bullet appeared before your text.  Finish typing your list item and hit return.  Since the list button is still selected, it will keep adding bullets or numbers for every line until you click it again to deselect it. 

Now we will move on to working with Placeholders.  The concept of using placeholders is a bit more advanced than what I have covered in the previous 2 tutorials.  At the bottom of your editor, click on the button that says Insert a Placeholderand a popup window will appear. 

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Note:  If you are on the login or enroll page,  will not see all of these options.

Before we begin, I will give you a general idea of what a placeholder does and how it is rendered.  A placeholder allocates space for an object that you want to add.  However, it will not display the file or text in the editor because it does not know what the file is yet.  Instead it is represented in the editor by something that looks like this [[[PLACEHOLDER_FOR_MODULE_LIST]]]. 

part3_layer-7.jpg 

Now that we have that out of the way, I will explain what each of these options will do…

Insert Placeholder for Resource from ‘Upload Files’ Area

This placeholder will insert a link or button for a file that you have previously uploaded such as a pdf or image in the area where the cursor is located

Insert Placeholder for Internet Resource

This placeholder uses the same concept as the placeholder above but will link to a file that is on the web.  For example, you may have a logo on your website and just want to link to it rather than upload your file to the Weblearning system.  

Note: This will not create a text hyperlink, it will display the linked image.

Insert Placeholder for a Quiz/Module

This placeholder allows you to put all quizzes (already in the editor by default) or specific quizzes that you have created in a list.  If you do not want to list all of the quizzes for a course, you would use this placeholder to select the appropriate quizzes.   To select a specific quiz, you will need to know the slot number where it is located.  If you are unsure what number it is, click the Courses tab > admin tools > Modules Add/Remove and find the number to the left of the quiz that is available for that course.

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Insert Placeholder for All Other Dynamic Data

These placeholders will allow you to add a score history, extended score history and other courses.

Add any combination of placeholders you wish to use and click insert.  The popup window will not close but the placeholder was added to your editor.  I added an image that I have previously uploaded to Weblearning.  Now preview what you have added.  You will see that your placeholder was added. 

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There are a few other design options that I have not discussed.  By now you should be comfortable with using the editor and should try out any additional features on your own. 

This will conclude the course layout design features.  I hope this clears up any problems that you may have encountered or features you did not understand.  Good Luck.

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Custom Course Page in Weblearning – The Next Step

In this article, I will be elaborating on the design features we went over in the last article Custom Course Page in Weblearning – The Basics.

Upload a banner file and a logo

Note: The banner size needs to be 800 by 150 pixels to be displayed properly
(If you are unsure how to upload files, please read Custom Course Page in Weblearning – The Basics)

Adding Your Banner

Ok, now that your files are sized and uploaded, you want to add the banner to your existing course. This is done by clicking your Courses tab > admin tools > properties and settings.
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Select the banner image that you uploaded from the banner drop down menu.
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Click the Layout & Design tab > Login Page.

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We now want to insert our logo in place of the arrow and change/add some wording. (You may have already done this in the previous tutorial) To change the background color of text, select the text and click the background color button at the top of the editor.

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Now click the Text Editor Plugins button to bring up your editor features. After you have done this, we want to put in a line to separate the content we are about to add. One way is to use on the Insert Line feature to add a line. The other is to copy and paste the top line. This can be done by selecting the line, right click and select copy (ctrl + c). Place the cursor where you want to place it, right click and select paste (ctrl + v).

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Now that we have a separation line, we will add some bold text then a youTube movie below.

To add the youTube movie, click the youTube movie button. Put in the web address and click OK.

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We are now done editing the login page so if you haven’t done so already, you want to preview it and make sure everything displays the way you want. You should have something that looks like this…

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Before I go any farther, if you know HTML you can do some advanced editing by clicking the HTML tab. If you do not know HTML and plan to do a lot of customization, it would be helpful to at least learn some basics.

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Section 2: Customizing Tabs

Now navigate to Tab 1

Important Note: All buttons and tools discussed below are in the top of the editor. If you hover your mouse over each tool, it will give you a tool tip saying what the button is.

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We now want to insert a table and align all of the information inside it to the center. Click the Add Table button.

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Select the amount of rows (horizontal) and columns (vertical) you would like. I am going to create a 3 row by 3 column table.

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Now that the table is created, select it and click your Align Center button. Now type some information into the top 3 table cells. Click the cells below and add some images.

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Finally we want to merge the bottom row to be one line. This is done by clicking in the bottom left cell. Click the Merge Cells button 2 times to create one line and type some information.

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You can also edit table properties, add a row, delete a row, merge columns etc. I would recommend testing most of the table buttons to get a better understanding of how each of them function. Finally, preview your custom pages.

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10 Tips on Selecting a Learning Management System (LMS)

Are you considering purchasing an LMS for your company? Below are some tips or a “checklist” of things you may want to consider. Please provide feedback whether this was helpful, or provide suggestions to add to the list to frank@atrixware.com.

Tip #1. Do your “Due Diligence”
More features usually means more complexity – What level of complexity can you handle?
___ Did you identify your core current needs or requirements for your LMS?
___ Did you identify your future needs? (see scalability below)
___ Which LMS Features are “need to have” versus “nice to have”?

Tip #2. My Server or Yours
___ Decide on a hosted solution LMS (by the vendor) or…
___ Decide on an LMS that you host (on your company’s servers)
Does the vendor offer both solutions? If so, Which solution is better for you?
If the vendor hosts, you probably don’t need an IT manager or department involvement.
If you host, did you identify LMS techincal requirements and get IT involved?

Tip #3. Try it before you buy it
___ Does the Vendor offer a FREE LMS Demo or LMS Presentation?
___ Is it “Live” so you can ask questions during the demo, or is it “pre-recorded” so you can watch it anytime?
___ Does the vendor offer a working “sandbox” implementation so you can “pilot” or evaluate the LMS using your data and conditions?

Tip #4. Batteries not included (Know the LMS limitations)
___ Are all the features you need included “out of the box”?
___ Are there any features you need that are available but at an additional cost?
___ Are there any features you need that are not available at all? (the “deal” breakers)

Tip #5. Get a user-friendly LMS
___ Does the LMS interface have easy navigation and ease of Administration?
___ Is the LMS end-user centered for your student, employee and/or customer?
___ Is it an intuitive LMS? can the instructor use it immediately or is training involved?
___ Are there simple and time saving edit functions and Help available in the system?

Tip #6. Get a user-friendly Vendor
___ Do you get a “Live” vendors who take the time to talk with you?
___ Does the Vendor have experience with organizations similar to yours?
___ Does the Vendor align with your strategies and commit to your long term business goals?
___ What is the Vendor’s history, vision, and current successes?
___ Is the Vendor a Stable company? Who are their current clients?
___ How successful have their clients been with implementation? What is the vendor’s overall reputation?
___ Can the vendor provide to you a list of customers currently using their LMS?

Tip #7. Get a Scalable LMS (an LMS thats expandable like your business)
___ Is it a Configurable LMS?
___ Can you customize the interface to reflect your companys color scheme, logo, branding, etc?
___ Can the LMS automatically generate certificates for end-users with the necessary information?

___ Is it a Customizable LMS?
___ Do you need an LMS with e-commerce automation and integration?
___ Is it a for-profit LMS or a not for profit LMS?
___ Do you need your LMS Integrated with other systems?

Tip #8. Get a Flexible LMS
___ Does the LMS offer online tracking, self-registration, and front-end authentication?

What is the LMS Authoring capability?
___ Can you store different types of media including: .doc, .swf, .html,etc.
___ Is it easy to import existing elearning content or elearning materials?

What is the LMS Reporting capability?
___ Can reports prove your LMS training is both effective and cost effective?
___ Can you get easy access to standard reports and export the reports to varied formats like Excel?

Tip #9. Get a well Supported LMS and Secure LMS that is Easy to Implement
___ Will the vendor get you thru implementation and successful launch of the LMS system, or is there additional costs involved?
___ What post implementation services are available?
___ What levels of ongoing support are included and what is the cost of those services?
___ Is it email (ticketing system) support, phone support, both or none?
___ Does the Vendor offer System Backups?
___ What about Upgrades? Online Help? What type of training if offered?
Is is a Reliable LMS?
___ Is Reliability and Stability and continuity of LMS service guaranteed?

Tip #10. All that and a bag of chips… Affordability
___ Is it a cost-effective LMS?
___ Is the cost of the LMS within your budget?
___ Is it an affordable LMS (remember to include annual tech support, upgrades, etc)?

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Place Answer Hints in Your Online Quizzes

I was recently working on a Weblearning migration, and I noticed someone had come up with an interesting way to include ‘hints’ inside their questions – they placed a link inside the question that said something like ‘click here to view a hint’, and the link opened up a JavaScript pop-up window with an html page that had the hint text, along with some graphics in some cases.

It got me thinking to how you can use Weblearning to do that without having to build additional html pages. It’s actually relatively simple to do, but perhaps just a tad technical for some. I still thought it was worth writing about, so here goes.

Step 1: The fist step is to write your questions as you normally do.

Step 2: Immediately below your quiz question text (or perhaps even inside of it somewhere), enter the phrase “Click Here for the Hint” (or something similar) – we will be turning that text into a link that shows the hint in a bit.

Step 3: Begin your hint text/graphic area – this will wind up being hidden in the quiz. Add (somewhere in your hint) the phrase “close hint” – this will be turned into a click-able link that will close the hint.

image0015.jpg

Step 4: To turn your phrase “click here for the hint” into a clickable phrase that opens up the hint, click the HTML tab (along the bottom of the editor), and locate the phrase in the html source code. TIP: you can make the code window larger by dragging the bottom-right re-sizer.

image0025.jpg

As you can see in the highlighted code, I have surrounded the phrase “click here for the hint” with some html code. This code can almost be a copy/paste scenario (you just copy/paste it into every question). The only thing you need to change is the ‘q1hint‘ part – each ‘hint’ is given a name (in this example, q1hint), and the link to SHOW and HIDE the hint both need to reference that particular reference (name) so the code knows which one to show/hide.

So, here is the code you can copy/paste into your questions (just change the q1hint each time):

<a href=”Javascript:;”
onclick=”document.getElementById(‘q1hint’).style.display=’block’;”>

Click here for the hint
</a>

Step 5: Staying inside the source code, locate the section that represents your hint. Once you have found that, simply place the following line of markup code immediately before it (again, the q1hint will need to be changed for each question):

<div class=”hint” id=”q1hint”>

Then, immediately after the hint section, place this line of code:

</div>

image0035.jpg

Step 6: Much like we turned the SHOW HINT link to show the hint, we need to add code to the CLOSE HINT phrase as well. This code can also almost be a copy/paste scenario (you just copy/paste it into every question). Just as before, the only thing you need to change is the ‘q1hint‘ part – each ‘hint’ is given a name (in this example, q1hint), and the link to SHOW and HIDE the hint both need to reference that particular reference (name) so the code knows which one to show/hide.

So, here is the code you can copy/paste into your questions (just change the q1hint each time):

<a href=”Javascript:;” onclick=”document.getElementById(‘q1hint’).style.display=’none’;”>
Close Hint
</a>

Step 7: Save your question, and publish a quiz with the question in it. You can also go ahead and add it to a course if you want (so you will be able to try it out).

Step 8: Go to the Modules Tab, and click the PROPERTIES option.

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Once there, click the ADVANCED tab, then scroll down to the EXTRA CSS section, and enter in the following code:

.hint {
position:absolute;
left: 0pt;
top: 0pt;
width: 100%;
height: 100%;
background-color: #eee;
display: none;
}

image0073.jpg

Now go ahead and test out the quiz.

Here is a screen capture of the quiz before the hint is shown (with the ‘click here for the hint’ link):

image0081.jpg

.. And here is the quiz showing the hint:

image0091.jpg

Admittedly, it is a bit technical, but once you have done one or two of these, it is extremely easy to apply to all of your questions.

I hope many of you find this is helpful -

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Custom Course Page in Weblearning – The Basics

In this article I will be discussing the options you  have when creating a custom course page in Weblearning 9.  I am going to over a few basic things quickly so if you get stuck, you can review some video tutorials on the topic you are having trouble with.  Let’s get started…

Step 1:  Upload a few files

To do this click the Files tab, browse for your files and click upload.
(Upload at least one image for this tutorial)

upload.jpg

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A COURSE WITH AT LEAST ONE STUDENT AND ONE QUIZ, SKIP DOWN TO STEP 3

Now that we have some files to work with, click on the Courses tab and click “create a new course.” Give your course a name and click Add Course. 

course_name.jpg

Step 2:  Create and add a student and quiz

Now that we have a course created, we want to add a student to the course.  Click Courses > Admin Tools > Student Enrollments  > Add Student.  Fill in the required fields and click Add Student. 

Now you want to create or add a quiz to course.  After your quiz is created, click the Courses tab then “admin tools“ for the course we are working with.

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Click the Modules (Add/Remove) tab.  

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 Then select the quiz you would like to add to the course, click the Add button then Submit Changes.

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Step 3:  Customize Your Login Page

Now that your course is set up with a student and a quiz, we will begin customization.  Start by clicking Courses > Admin Tools > Properties and Settings of your selected course.

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Now click the Layout & Design tab and select Login Page.  The first thing that we will change is the header text.  Click in the editor and type whatever you would like for the login header.  If you look at the editor tools, you can change the font, make a list, table, link etc. I would recommend you to try out some of these options and see what would work best for your design.

If you would like to add or change an image, simply click in the editor where you would like the image to be displayed and click the Text Editor Plugins button.

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This will display a list of available options but for now we will just stick with inputting a custom image we uploaded earlier.  Click the Insert Image drop down box and select an image that you uploaded.

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It will then display in the editor then click Submit Changes.

Note:  You can also insert resources such as pdf files, links to a website, lines etc.

Now that you have customized your Login Page, you can do the same with any of the other tabs.  The fourth tab is a custom tab that you can add if desired.

custom_tab.jpg

Note:  If you do not want to display a tab, simply remove the Tab Caption at the top of each page.  This will tell the Weblearning system to remove the tab without the need of removing everything in the editor below.

tab_caption.jpg

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Modifying Question Prefixes in Test Pro Developer

In this article, I will show you how to work with the question prefix setting for questions inside of Test Pro Developer. In my example, I will show you how to display each questions category above each question.

This is definately a more technical article than most, so I will attempt to describe everything as best I can.

Start by launching Test Pro Developer:

Step 1: Click on your Develop Tests tab and select the test that you would like to modify.
Step 2: Click the Tools button and select “View/Edit Test Level Powerscript

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Step 3: Once the code window is opened, copy and paste this code snippet: (Note: If you have code in this window already, it will be best to paste it below all existing code).

Sub OnShowQuestion
 qPrefix = "<strong><% Question.GetCategory(Question.GetCurrentNumber ) %></strong>"
 qPrefix = qPrefix & vbcrlf & vbcrlf & "<% Question.GetCurrentNumber %>. "
 Interface.Question_Prefix = qPrefix
End Sub

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Understanding the code

Sub OnShowQuestion/End Sub: These lines define the block of code that will execute when a question is shown. All code inside these two lines will execute prior to each question getting displayed – providing us with the opportunity to create the prefix each time.

qPrefix = : These two lines (starting with qPrefix =) are building our prefix. In this case the prefix consists of both dynamic and static text and content:

  • <strong></strong> tags surround the text we want to appear in bold (in my example, I have bolded the category).
  • “<% Question.GetCategory(Question.GetCurrentNumber) %>” represents the question category. Since each question may be in a different category, we get the category of the active question using the code above. The <% %> tags are a special case only used in this scenario – it’s too much to explain in this short article, but the important thing to know is that when assigning dynamic data to the question prefix, all dynamic data gets placed into quotes surrounded by these tags.
  • “<% Question.GetCategory(Question.GetCurrentNumber) %>” represents the question number itself (1, 2,3, etc). Since we are changing the default question prefix (which is just the question number by default), if we still want the question number to appear, we need to include it in our code. Again, the <% %> tags are used since the question number is dynamic (each question has a different number).
  • You see various & (ampersands) in the code. These simply concatenate all of the sections in quotes, and sections not in quotes, together as we build the prefix. If your entire prefix was in quotes, then we would not need to use these.
  • You see various vbCrLf text in the code – these represent a line feed + carriage return (in my example, to get the category on one line, and then the question 2 lines below that, I added to vbCrLf’s after the category to achieve the result).

Interface.Question_Prefix = : this is the line of code that assigns our prefix to the question.

Step 4: Click your preview button in your code editor to see the changes that you have made

bpreview.jpg

btest.jpg

Step 5: Click Save and close your code editor

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How to Use Certificates with Your Online Quizzes

The Online Quiz Certificates functionality in Atrixware Weblearning 9 is a major improvement on previous versions in many ways. In this article, I will attempt to cover everything you need to know about them.

Note that you can customize the certificate for each online quiz from the MODULES > PROPERTIES > ADVANCED SETTINGS tab. Each online quiz can have its own certificate content and layout (this is true for the BASIC, PRO and ENETRPRISE plans).

image0024.jpg

When a student completes an online quiz, a certificate is generated and is then stored in electronic format in to the database. There are various ways to ‘get to’ that certificate. There are ways you (as the administrator) can retrieve it, and also many ways the student can get to it.

I will discuss each one in this article:

Let your student print the certificate after they pass the online quiz

If you want to enable your students to access/print the certificate for the online quiz immediately after they pass, chances are your online quiz is already configured to allow that. To check, click MODULES > PROPERTIES > ADVANCED SETTINGS, scroll down to the PASS/COMPLETE RESPONSE setting, and make sure the placeholder [[[CERTIFICATE]]] appears somewhere in the content.

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This will enable your students to print a certificate right from the response page when they complete the quiz.

Let your student print the certificate from an email

If you want to enable your students to access/print the online quiz certificate from an email, you can configure the student response for the online quiz to include a link to the certificate.

To make sure your account has student emails enabled, click the ACCOUNT tab and make sure you have the “student email mode” setting configured to be “Yes Email Results..” (and click SUBMIT CHANGES).

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Next, click MODULES > PROPERTIES > ADVANCED SETTINGS, scroll down to the STUDENT EMAIL TEMPLATE setting, and make sure the placeholder [[[CERTIFICATE]]] appears somewhere in the content.

image0052.jpg

As long as the student has an email address in the system, an email will be sent to them.

Let your student print the certificate from inside the course

If you want to enable your students to access/print the certificate from inside the course login, you simply need to modify the score report to show a certificate link. To do this, click the COURSES tab, then click ADMIN TOOLS next to the course that holds the online quiz, and then click PROPERTIES & SETTINGS.

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Click the LAYOUT AND DESIGN tab. If you are using the default settings, the SCORE HISTORY is rendered on TAB 2 (although it can be rendered on any tab and in any place you choose). Assuming you are using the default, click TAB 2, and locate the placeholder [[[SCOREHISTORY]]]:

image0072.jpg

Delete the placeholder [[[SCOREHISTORY]]]. Next, click the INSERT A PLACEHOLDER button. When the placeholder popup window appears, click the “Insert Placeholder for All Other Dynamic Data” option, highlight “Placeholder for Extended Score History” from the list, and click INSERT >>.

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Click CLOSE, and you will be returned to the layout of TAB 2 – now with the new placeholder. Make sure you SAVE CHANGES. Now, when your student goes to the SCORE HISTORY tab (or whatever you have named it), they will be able to click a DETAILS button next to each score, and access the passing certificate (among other things):

image011.jpg

If you want to have the certificate link emailed to YOU

If you want the certificate link to be emailed to YOU each time an online quiz is complete, first click the ACCOUNT tab and make sure you have the “administrator email mode” setting configured to be “Yes Email Results..” (and click SUBMIT CHANGES).

image0044.jpg

Next, click MODULES > PROPERTIES > ADVANCED SETTINGS, scroll down to the ADMIN EMAIL TEMPLATE setting, and make sure the placeholder [[[CERTIFICATE]]] appears somewhere in the content.

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Pull up the certificate link from inside the Administrator Area

If you want to access the certificate from inside your Weblearning 9 account, you can access it from the REPORTS area in multiple ways. Here is one way. Click REPORTS > STUDENT LEVEL REPORTS and click on the student name.

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At the bottom of the report, click the VIEW link next to the online quiz you would like to get the certificate from:

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Assuming you have not modified the report template for your server, the link to the certificate will appear along the top of the report:

image016.jpg

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Add Visual Appeal to your Online Quizzes

The Atrixware Weblearning 9 System introduced a vast number of configurations for your online quizzes. One of the more ‘technical’ settings is the ability to apply CSS to your quizzes. CSS is an acronym for ‘Cascading Style Sheets‘, and is a technology used by web designers to make web sites look nice.

There are 1,000+ page books on the subject of CSS, so this article will not even scratch the surface, but I will show you an example of what you can do, and from there, you can research more if you find it appealing.

To get started, you will need to have an online quiz (practice quiz, or graded quiz) or online presentation already created. Go to the PROPERTIES of the quiz (click MODULES > PROPERTIES, and then click the ADVANCED SETTINGS tab).

image0014.jpg

Now scroll down just a bit to the “Extra CSS” section – this is where we will be adding our CSS.

image0023.jpg

Notice on the left, there are about a dozen items in blue (like .navigate, .q_essaytext, etc.). If you position your mouse over these items, a tooltip will appear with more information on what that item represents in the online quiz. For example, hover over the .navbutton item, and the tooltip says “style applied to back/next/end buttons“. This tells us that when we use this item, we are assigning properties to the navigational back, next, and end buttons.

Ok, so how to we apply a style to an item? Here is where it gets a tad technical, but its fairly easy for basic usage. Using the .navbutton as an example, we enter the item, followed by a space, then a ‘squiggly’ bracket like this:

.navbutton {

On each line below it, we enter in name/value pairs, and then finally, end it with a closing ‘squiggly’ bracket, like this:

.navbutton {
(all name/value pairs go in here)
}

For this example, let’s make some changes to the .navbutton item. To do this, I have placed a quiz into a course, and logged in as a student so I can access the quiz many times to view the changes (you will need to do the same if you want to view your changes in real time).

So, I have started with this template (from the skins included with Weblearning 9):

image0033.jpg

And after applying some CSS, it looks like this (notice the change to the navigation buttons):

image0042.jpg

This is of course an extreme example (the buttons are very bright), but it’s quite a dramatic difference. Here is the code I wrote for the css:

.navbutton {
color: white;
font-size: 16pt;
font-weight: bold;
border: 4px solid white;
background-color: blue;
}

.. or as seen in the editor:

image0051.jpg

Now understand that there are an infinite number of name/value pairs, and the more you know about CSS, the more effective you will be at making these changes. I used some basic name/value pairs (like color, font-size, etc) that are reasonably easy to understand. Trust me when I say the complexity of this can get enormous, but the results you can achieve are astounding.

So, the key points I want you to take out of this article are:

1. You can use CSS to modify just about every element in your online quizzes
2. There are an almost infinite number of CSS name/value pairs (or put another way, an almost infinite things you can do to change the look of each element)
3. The more you know about CSS, the more effective you will be at making your online quizzes look great.

Another tip: since the online quizzes you create are html documents, you can also apply CSS to all HTML document elements as well (such as body, p, h1, div, and all other HTML document elements). I know – this sounds confusing, but for those of you pursuing more CSS knowledge, you will understand how powerful of a concept this is.

So I am hoping I have opened up a new door for you to explore. Here are a few links if you are interested in learning more about CSS:

http://www.w3schools.com/css/
http://www.davesite.com/webstation/css/

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Cost Effective Elearning System is a Great Customer Service Tool

Do you need to create “A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service” in your organization? If so, put your employee training content into a cost effective Online Elearning System and put your customer feedback questions into an easy to use Online Survey System.

That is only one important message and call to action I got from reading the book Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. The subtitle to the book ” A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service”   is explained thru these 3 main ideas:

1. Decide What You Want Your Company To Be
Create a perfect “vision” of service centered on the customer. That perfect vision is your goal. Make it easy for customers to do business with you. For example, use websites and other technologies to help customers shop. Make the customer experience warm and pleasant by training staff to show attentiveness, warmth, and knowledge. Communicate your vision to the rest of the company and focus on constantly achieving your vision.

2. Discover What Your Customers Want
Customers only focus on a few needs. So you find and then focus on those needs. (when I was in the Fast Food industry we focused on HQSC - Hospitality, Quality, Service, and Cleanliness) Listen to what they say, and listen to what they don’t say. Start asking sincere questions, and win their confidence. (You may want to send out a customer survey.) Serve them, then ask their thoughts and opinions. Show them that they are important.

3. Deliver Consistently and Deliver Plus One
Consistency is the key. If you promise and deliver consistency in quality, timliness and results, you will win over customers and keep existing customers coming back to you. Improve your “vision” by 1% per week so you can master consistency in delivering new as well as existing commitments.

So how do you develop consistency?
A. Don’t commit to the mistake of offering too much service.  It’s better to find a small promise you can consistently deliver than a myriad of services you seldom can meet.
B.Put systems in place. Systems allow for a minimum level of consistency.
C. Support your systems with good training. Help your people deliver on what you promise to the customer by putting them thru cost effective training.  Systems are useless if you don’t put a training system to support it.
D. Finally, congragulate staff when they do well in exceeding customer expectations.

I’ll be back again next week with another summary of a best-selling business book and how it relates to the elearning industry. Do you have questions about Online Learning, Elearning Software, or even Printed Quizzes or CD-Rom Packages? If so, give me a toll free call at 866-696-8709 x922 or email me at frank@atrixware.com . I would be happy to offer you a free consultation or webinar.

  

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Custom Banners in Weblearning 9

In the Atrixware Weblearning 9.0 system, you can upload your own corporate/company logos to use along the top of your courses, and even on your quizzes and presentations.

Let me show you how easy it is. I will begin by uploading a custom header for a course.

(Note: the course banner must be 800 x 150 pixels)

1. Click the Files tab, click Browse, navigate to your image file and click upload. (You can confirm that it uploaded by selecting the existing uploads tab and clicking the appropriate file type tab).

Banner Uploaded

2. Click the Courses tab then click create a new course. If you already have a course created, click the Courses tab, click Admin Tools then Properties and Settings

3. Navigate to the Banner drop down menu, select your banner image and click save changes. If your image is not in the drop down, check the exisiting uploads area under the Files tab to confirm it was uploaded.

Select Banner

4. View your banner by clicking the Courses tab then click portal

Portal

To upload a header to a quiz that you have created, follow the steps below.

(Note: the quiz banner must be 468 x 60 pixels)

1. Click your Modules tab then select properties

2. Upload your banner in the Files tab (discussed above)

3. Navigate to the banner drop down menu and select your banner and click submit changes

4. If not done already, assign the quiz to a course, click the Courses tab and click the portal link of the course you created. Login and take the quiz. Your custom banner will now be displayed at the top of the quiz

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ELearning Terms and ELearning Acronyms (part 2)

Anyone who has something to say about elearning may find the below ( L thru Z ) collection of elearning terms and definitions helpful. (compiled by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson on behalf of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development)) 

Click here to view the ( A thru K ) definitions.

LAN (local-area network): A group of personal computers and/or other devices, such as printers or servers, that are located in a relatively limited area, such as an office, and can communicate and share information with each other.

LCMS (learning content management system): A software application (or set of applications) that manages the creation, storage, use, and reuse of learning content. LCMSs often store content in granular forms such as learning objects.

Learning: A cognitive and/or physical process in which a person assimilates information and temporarily or permanently acquires or improves skills, knowledge, behaviors, and/or attitudes.

Learning environment: The physical or virtual setting in which learning takes place.

Learning object: A reusable, media-independent collection of information used as a modular building block for e-learning content. Learning objects are most effective when organized by a meta data classification system and stored in a data repository such as an LCMS.

Learning objective: A statement establishing a measurable behavioral outcome, used as an advanced organizer to indicate how the learner’s acquisition of skills and knowledge is being measured.

Learning platforms: Internal or external sites often organized around tightly focused topics, which contain technologies (ranging from chat rooms to groupware) that enable users to submit and retrieve information.

Learning solution: 1) Any combination of technology and methodology that delivers learning. 2) Software and/or hardware products that suppliers tout as answers to businesses’ training needs.

LMS (learning management system): Software that automates the administration of training. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalog, records data from learners; and provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesn’t include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources.

M-learning (mobile learning): Learning that takes place via such wireless devices as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or laptop computers. Multimedia: Encompasses interactive text, images, sound, and color. Multimedia can be anything from a simple PowerPoint slide slow to a complex interactive simulation.

Online: The state in which a computer is connected to another computer or server via a network. A computer communicating with another computer.

Online learning: Learning delivered by Web-based or Internet-based technologies.

Online training: Web- or Internet-based training.

Scalability: The degree to which a computer application or component can be expanded in size, volume, or number of users served and continue to function properly.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model): A set of specifications that, when applied to course content, produces small, reusable learning objects. A result of the Department of Defense’s Advance Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative, SCORM-compliant courseware elements can be easily merged with other compliant elements to produce a highly modular repository of training materials.

Soft skills: Business skills such as communication and presentation, leadership and management, human resources, sales and marketing, professional development, project and time management, customer service, team building, administration, accounting and finance, purchasing, and personal development.

Synchronous learning: A real-time, instructor-led online learning event in which all participants are logged on at the same time and communicate directly with each other. In this virtual classroom setting, the instructor maintains control of the class, with the ability to “call on” participants. In most platforms, students and teachers can use a whiteboard to see work in progress and share knowledge. Interaction may also occur via audio- or videoconferencing, Internet telephony, or two-way live broadcasts.

TBT (technology-based training): The delivery of content via Internet, LAN or WAN (intranet or extranet), satellite broadcast, audio- or videotape, interactive TV, or CD-ROM. TBT encompasses both CBT and WBT.

Teaching: A process that aims to increase or improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a variety of goals. Teaching is often driven more toward the long-term personal growth of the learner and less toward business drivers such as job tasks that are often the focus of training. Some people characterize teaching as focused on theory and training as focused on practical application.

Training: A process that aims to improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a specific job task or goal. Training is often focused on business needs and driven by time-critical business skills and knowledge, and its goal is often to improve performance.

Tutorial: Step-by-step instructions presented through computer or Web-based technology, designed to teach a user how to complete a particular action.

WBT (Web-based training): Delivery of educational content via a Web browser over the public Internet, a private intranet, or an extranet. Web-based training often provides links to other learning resources such as references, email, bulletin boards, and discussion groups. WBT also may include a facilitator who can provide course guidelines, manage discussion boards, deliver lectures, and so forth. When used with a facilitator, WBT offers some advantages of instructor-led training while also retaining the advantages of computer-based training.

Webinar: (Web + seminar) A small synchronous online learning event in which a presenter and audience members communicate via text chat or audio about concepts often illustrated via online slides and/or an electronic whiteboard. Webinars are often archived as well for asynchronous, on-demand access.

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ELearning Terms and ELearning Acronyms (part 1)

Want to “speak” elearning language? Anyone who has something to say about elearning may find the below ( A thru K ) collection of elearning terms and definitions helpful. (compiled by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson on behalf of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development))

Click here to view the ( L thru Z ) definitions

Assessment: The process used to systematically evaluate a learner’s skill or knowledge level.

Assessment item: A question or measurable activity used to determine whether the learner has mastered a learning objective.

Authoring tool: A software application or program used by trainers and instructional designers to create e-learning courseware. Types of authoring tools include instructionally focused authoring tools, Web authoring and programming tools, template-focused authoring tools, knowledge capture systems, and text and file creation tools.

Blended learning: Learning events that combine aspects of online and face-to-face instruction.

Browser: A software application that displays World Wide Web pages originally written in the text-based HTML language in a user-friendly graphical format.

CAI (computer-assisted instruction): The use of a computer as a medium of instruction for tutorial, drill and practice, simulation, or games. CAI is used for both initial and remedial training, and typically does not require that a computer be connected to a network or provide links to learning resources outside of the course.

CBL (computer-based learning): See CBT.

CBT (computer-based training): An umbrella term for the use of computers in both instruction and management of the teaching and learning process. CAI (computer-assisted instruction) and CMI (computer-managed instruction) are included under the heading of CBT. Some people use the terms CBT and CAI interchangeably.

CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory or compact disc read-only media): A computer storage medium similar to the audio CD that can hold more than 600 megabytes of read-only digital information.

Certification: 1) The awarding of a credential acknowledging that an individual has demonstrated proof of a minimum level of knowledge or competence, as defined by a professional standards organization. Professional certification can be used as a screening tool and verification of an individual’s skills and knowledge. 2) Program that evaluates products or tools according to predetermined criteria

Classroom training: See Instructor-Led Training.

C-learning: See Instructor-Led Training.

CMI (computer-managed instruction): The use of computer technology to oversee the learning process, including testing and record keeping.

CMS (content management system): A centralized software application or set of applications that facilitates and streamlines the process of designing, testing, approving, and posting e-learning content, usually on Webpages.

CoD (Content on demand): Delivery of an offering, packaged in a media format, anywhere, anytime via a network. Variants include audio on demand (AoD) and video on demand (VoD).

Content: Information captured digitally and imparted to learners. Formats for e-learning content include text, audio, video, animation, simulation, and more.

Courseware: Any type of instructional or educational course delivered via a software program or over the Internet.

Customer-focused e-learning: Technology-based learning programs offered by a company and targeted at their current and prospective customers. The intent is to increase brand loyalty among existing customers and attract new business

Default: A setting that the computer system uses automatically, unless it is changed by the user.

Delivery: Any method of transferring content to learners, including instructor-led training, Web-based training, CD-ROM, books, and more.

Disc/Disk: Floppy Disk or CD-ROM.

Disk drive: The part of a computer that reads and writes data onto either a floppy disk, a hard disk, or an optical disk (CD, CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM, WORM, and so forth).

Distance education: Educational situation in which the instructor and students are separated by time, location, or both. Education or training courses are delivered to remote locations via Syncronous or Asyncronous means of instruction, including written correspondence, text, graphics, audio- and videotape, CD-ROM, online learning, audio- and videoconferencing, interactive TV, and FAX. Distance education does not preclude the use of the traditional classroom. The definition of distance education is broader than and entails the definition of e-learning.

Distance learning: The desired outcome of distance education. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

Download: (noun) A file that’s transferred or copied to a user’s computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet. (verb) To transfer or copy a file to a user’s computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet.

E-learning (electronic learning): Term covering a wide set of applications and processes, such as Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio- and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, CD-ROM, and more.

End user: The person for whom a particular technology is designed; the individual who uses the technology for its designated purpose. In e-learning, the end user is usually the student.

E-training: See TBT.

ILS (integrated learning system): A complete software, hardware, and network system used for instruction. In addition to providing curriculum and lessons organized by level, an ILS usually includes a number of tools such as assessments, record keeping, report writing, and user information files that help to identify learning needs, monitor progress, and maintain student records.

ILT (instructor-led training): Usually refers to traditional classroom training, in which an instructor teaches a course to a room of learners. The term is used synonymously with on-site training and classroom training (c-learning).

Internet-based training: Training delivered primarily by TCP/IP network technologies such as email, newsgroups, proprietary applications, and so forth. Although the term is often used synonymously with Web-based training, Internet-based training is not necessarily delivered over the World Wide Web, and may not use the HTTP and HTML technologies that make Web-based training possible.

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How to Force Students to Take Your Quizzes in Order

The Weblearning Online Quiz System enables you to create courses that contain quizzes that must be taken in a specific order. By default, when you create a course, that functionality is turned ‘off’ (meaning quizzes you place into a course can be taken in any order).

However, you may have a requirement that students can only take ‘QUIZ B” after they have taken “QUIZ A”. The Weblearning System enables you to perform some fairly sophisticated logic, and covering all of the scenarios could make for an extremely long article, so for this example, I will show you how to place three quizzes into a course, and set up the course so that the student will have to PASS each quiz before taking the next one.

Fisrt you will need to place quizzes into numbered ‘slots’. You may have come across this when you published your quizzes in the past, and just ignored it (as you should have if you aren’t concerned about the order in which student take the quizzes). Since we are now concerned with this, the slot number is very important - as it defines the order in which the quizzes are ranked. For example, a quiz in slot #5 is ranked higher than one in slot #10. Therefore, if you have 3 quizzes in your course, the ‘order’ in which they must be taken are based on these slot numbers.

Understanding that, during the publishing of your quizzes, you will need to plan a bit how to order them. You may not necessarily be creating the quizzes in the same order as you want them delivered, for example.

image0012.jpg

As shown here, we are going to place each quiz into specific slots. I have “Quiz A”, Quiz B’ and “Quiz C”, and have placed them into slots 20, 21, and 22.

Next, I will create the course. I am calling it “ABC Course”. Set the option to require students to take quizzes/modules in order to YES:

image0022.jpg

Click the ADD button to add the course. Next, click the ADMIN TOOLS link next to the course and pick MODULES (ADD/REMOVE):

image0031.jpg

Highlight each of the three quizzes one at a time (QUIZ A, QUIZ B and QUIZ C) and click the ADD button to add them to the course. Note that the order that they appear in the list is the order they will appear in the course – this is a good verification of whether your quizzes will be appearing in the order you expect. The slot # is represented in square brackets next to each quiz title as well.

image004.jpg

Make sure you click the SUBMIT CHANGES button.

Next, go to the MODULES tab. For each of the three quizzes, click the PROPERTIES link:

image005.jpg

Make sure that the Allow Retake on Pass is set to NO, and Allow Retake on Fail is set to YES. This must be done for all three quizzes.

image0061.jpg

Submit the changes, and you are done.

See my example below — I have added myself as a student, and then logged into the course. As you can see, the first quiz is ready to be accessed, but the other two are not yet accessible.

image007.jpg

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Convert Flash Videos to CD-Rom Auto Launch Executable

The Atrixware CD Menu Maker software is designed to enable you to turn just about anything into an auto launch CD-Rom application. A common task is turning one or more flash videos or presentations into an application your end user can run automatically simply by placing the cd-rom into their system.

Note: This article was written with a beta version of CD Menu Maker, so some screen shots and steps may vary slightly from the final release.

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Start CD Menu Maker, click the Create New Project button, enter a name fpr the project (I used ‘Movie Player’), and pick one of the templates from the ‘Blank Templates‘ tab.

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2. From the Add Component Panel, click the VIDEO button, and then click OK on the dialog box:

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3. The View Component Properties Panel will appear. From here, click the ADD button, click the BROWSE button on the File Dependencies Dialog, and then click the Filesystem tab on the Dependency Browser panel:

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4. Locate your swf file (in this example shown above, I have my swf file ‘Weblearning8.0LMS.swf’ located and highlighted). Making sure the swf file is selected (highlighted), click the OK button

5. Making sure the swf file is selected (highlighted), click the OK button on the Dependency Browser dialog, and then click DONE on the File Dependencies Dialog.

6. Now, click the PICK button on the Video Component Properties panel, and your swf file should now appear an an option – pick it.

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7. You can leave all checkboxes checked (the default) for this example – they are the most common settings. Click OK, and then resize the component to your desired size:

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8. You may need to Preview (press F12, or click the PREVIEW button along the top toolbar) your project a few times until you work out the desired size of the video component and/or window size.

If you want your video component to ‘snap’ to the form size, and perhaps you want your end users to be able to resize the form, follow these steps:

1. In the Components Explorer panel, click the ‘frmCanvas‘ component (at the very top of the list).

frmcanvas.jpg

2. On the top toolbar, click the Actions button, and choose OnStart.

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3. On the Actions Menu, click the CLICK HERE button to access the Code Editor.

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4. When the code editor appears, type in the code as shown below:

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5. Click the Actions button (along top on the top toolbar) again – this time, instead of choosing OnStart, choose the On_frmCanvas_Resize option, and then type in the following code:

article1_html_4fcfcaa5.jpg

Once you have completed the project, click the BUILD button on the top toolbar. Once complete, drag & drop the files onto a blank CD-Rom (or use your favorite CD Burning software).

The end result is, when your end user inserts the CD Rom into their system, your application will start, and the video will begin playing immediately.

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Online Quizzes 101: Sequencing Questions in Weblearning

There are times when you want to shuffle the question order of your online quizzes (to prevent cheating or memorization, for example). However, there are also times when you want to make sure you deliver questions (and slides) in a specific order. In this article, I will discuss the latter.

When you enter in questions or slides into your Weblearning account, each question is given a ‘random’ sequence number (you will not find any ‘sequence number’ data filed on the question entry form).

The place you will be able to find the sequence datafield is in the question listing area. To get there, click CREATE > MANAGE QUESTIONS & SLIDES > UPDATE LIST

img1.gif

You will see the sequence number boxes next to each question/slide. To sequence the questions and slides, simply type in the sequence number for each one, and then click the re-order button. Note that each ‘category’ has its own set of sequencing (as you can see in the screen capture below):

img2.gif

The next step is to publish your quiz or presentation. To do this click CREATE > CREATE A PRACTICE QUIZ (or one of the other create options to make an online quiz or online presentation).

Once there, enter your quiz title, and then you will need to specify each category of questions you want to pick, in the order you want them displayed. You will need to pick the “All” option for each category (as opposed to a specific number) to indicate you want the questions and slides pulled from the question bank in sequence (specifying a number will result in the items getting pulled randomly).

img3.gif

In my example, there are two categories (“section 1″ and “section 2″). As you can see in the example above, I have specified to pick “All” questions from “Section 1″, and then pick “All” questions from “Section 2″. The system sees this as: “Pick All Questions from Section 1 in sequence, and then pick All Questions from Section 2 in sequence”.

Publish the online quiz by clicking the Publish Quiz button.The final thing to do is make sure your quiz is not set to shuffle the order of questions and slides each time it is viewed. To do this, click the MODULES tab, and then click the PROPERTIES link next to the quiz or presentation you just published.

img4.gif

Scroll down a bit and make sure the ‘Shuffle Questions’ setting is set to “No – show in sequence”.

That’s it. Now place your quiz or presentation into a course, and you are ready to go.

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ELearning at a Distance

Distance learning has become very popular with the elearning community.  It enables the ability to offer online courses with lectures, lesson plans, online tests etc.  Students can now receive all of the attention they would receive in a classroom environment online.

Here are a few useful options you may want to explore…

Streaming content such as video and audio has made online education very useful and effective.  Many programs such as one I use personally – Apple’s iLife – make it very easy to record, edit and deploy content. Streaming audio and video has become instrumental in displaying content in real-time online. It has also allowed almost instant playback of large videos that otherwise would take several minutes to hours to download.

I have used software like gotomypc.com and is very helpful for remote use of computers without the need of networking knowledge.  This creates a one on one experience between the instructor and student to troubleshoot any issue the student may be having. 

Programs like Adobe Visual Communicator allow users to create professional quality presentations to stream online very quickly.  This can be used as instructional videos, lectures etc.

The use of the programs and media mentioned above in conjunction with eLearning software like Test Pro Developer and Weblearning which enable you to create and deliver online quizzes, self-guided presentations, and courses, can create a full featured distance learning experience.

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Implement Corporate Elearning Systems Rapidly, Securely & Affordably

Here is a “Success Story” we recently distributed as a Press Release and Newsletter Article that I though you would find interesting, especially if you are in a Corporate Enviromnent considering an Online Elearning Solution:

Atrixware recently teamed with PixelPoint, one of the world leaders in Point of Sale (POS) software for the Hospitality Industry.Based out of Toronto Canada, PixelPoint is a Division of Par Technology.

They worked with Atrixware who provided an online customizable eLearning platform to train and certify their worldwide dealer network of hospitality establishments that use their POS retail order systems.”Implementing online testing is not for the naive. Companies must rely on the integrity of their test results to make it worth providing in the first place. Atrixware understands this and provides the tools necessary to achieve an outstanding result that is easy to implement.” Mr. Scott Dunlop Manager, Training & Education PAR PixelPoint.”When PixelPoint approached us about deploying a global eLearning solution to their regional offices and dealer network, their critical need was to protect the integrity of their certification process. We were confident about our ability to meet their expectations. What we are most gratified by is that we could help contribute to the continuing success of such a great company .” Mr. Frank Dunleavy, Director of Sales Atrixware, LLC.

Now worldwide dealers and regional service offices can attain certification as a PixelPoint Certified Professional through their Atrixware Online WEBLEARNING Account, a secure online eLearning and testing system.

Since its implementation, PixelPoint has tested over 400 installers spanning every continent. They now have total administrative control and automated reporting that has made their entire training and certification process secure, fast and easy to manage. Before choosing Atrixware, one important challenge PixelPoint faced was to provide up-to-date training and certification resources that would be available anywhere in the world at any time. Between manuals, the internet and computer-based training, they were able to provide training resources to their dealers worldwide. Unfortunately, qualifying their skills for certification was another matter. The goals they set for solving their certification problem were:

   1. To provide a testing system available anywhere & at any time in the world
   2. To provide secure access to protect the integrity of the certification process
   3. To have regimented administrative control of participant’s use of the system
   4. To receive automated reporting of results upon certification testing

PixelPoint investigated numerous Internet systems capable of providing access anytime/anywhere, but their capabilities were lacking in five critical areas important to them. After research and evaluation, they selected Atrixware, LLC located in Blackwood, NJ.

Why? Because Atrixware offered a number of differences to their competition. Most importantly:

   1. The ability to provide security levels of participant access
   2. E-ommerce capability to charge for their certifications
   3. Regimented control of their participants use including:
        a. Offer test questions one at a time rather than in a continuous sheet format
        b. being able to time out tests
        c. after taking a test once, end-users could not retest without administrator approval
   4. Automated reporting of test/certification results
   5. Affordably priced & easy to deploy

Atrixware clearly came through the hands down winner in all these key areas we wanted,” according to Scott Dunlop Manager, Training & Education for PixelPoint, who led the sourcing process for evaluating an online eLearning solution for the company.

Atrixware WEBLEARNING is an ideal Online Learning Management System for any corporate training professionals who need to train, certify or license employees, VARs, or installers.

Moreover, you can be up and running in about an hour, it is that easy!
It is affordable and available on a monthly or annual subscription basis, or optionally can be set-up on your own internal servers, if you choose and eliminate monthly fees. Whether it is content creation, assessment, testing, surveys or delivery, Atrixware has a solution that is affordable to help you do your job easier and more productively.

For an online corporate eLearning solution, a service like the Atrixware WEBLEARNING System is ideal, especially for the “non-technical” instructor or trainer. You can even include all sorts of file exhibits, including images, sounds, office documents, flash videos, presentations, and more. In addition, you can include hyperlinks in your questions that point to files or documents that reside anywhere on the Internet or your Intranet. It’s easy to start creating & using eLearning to increase productivity, automate test preparation & reporting while improving your participant’s test results and boosting achievement. The only requirements are: a local server (Intranet) and a browser or a Web based Internet connection & a Web browser.

To get started deploying your own online corporate training solution, contact Atrixware.

Call toll free 866-696-8709 or visit on the Web where you can sign up for a FREE 7-day trial WEBLEARNING account.

Thanks Scott Dunlop for sharing your time and experience! 

If you are an Atrixware customer and you are interested in participating in an “application story” like the one above, please email me at frank@atrixware.com.

If you are NOT YET an Atrixware customer, but you would like a free consultation, please email me at frank@atrixware.com. I look forward to talking with you!

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How to Make a Quiz in PowerPoint

Even though we offer PowerPoint Quiz Maker to enable you to easily insert quiz questions into PowerPoint, you may be interested in ‘toughing it out’ with PowerPoint and doing it manually.

PowerPoint is a very popular tool in the E-Learning community. Many of you are probably already familiar with at least the basics of using PowerPoint. Therefore, I am going to discuss how you can create quiz questions inside your PowerPoint presentations (and perhaps persuade you to use a tool such as PowerPoint Quiz Maker to make things easier).

To begin, of course, open up PowerPoint.

For each question you would like to add to your presentatio:

  1. Create three blank slides (click the ‘New Slide’ button).
  2. On the first slide, type in your question and choices.
  3. On the second slide, type in what you want to show the user if they pick the wrong choice.
  4. On the third slide, type in what you want to show the user if they pick the correct choice.
  5. Link the correct choice (on the first slide) to the third slide (which shows the response when correct) by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the choice (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and from the menu, pick Slide. Pick the third slide from the outline (the slide that you set up in step #4 above). Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).
  6. Link each incorrect choice (on the first slide) to the second slide (which shows the response when incorrect) by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the choice (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and choose Next Slide from the menu. Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).
  7. If you want the user to be able to go back to the question if they answered wrong:
    link the second slide (the one that shows if user answered incorrectly) back to the question by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the entire slide (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and choose Previous Slide from the menu. Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).
  8. If you want the user to be taken to the next question (or next section of your presentation):
    link the second slide (the one that shows if user answered incorrectly) to the slide after the third slide (which represents either the next question, or, the next section after your question) by using the Menu option Slideshow > Action Buttons > Custom. Create a box around the entire slide (click and drag). In the dialog that appears, pick the Hyperlink To option, and from the menu, pick Slide. Pick the slide that comes after the third slide from the outline (the third slide being the one that you set up in step #4 above). Select the newly created box, click the right-mouse-button while on top of it, and choose the Format AutoShape option, and from there, change the color to No Fill (then click OK).

So, as you can see, it’s possible to create quiz questions inside of PowerPoint, although it’s certainly not fast or easy.

Might I persuade you to have a look at our PowerPoint Quiz Maker product? It makes adding quiz questions to PowerPoint a snap.

If you want more on PowerPoint, read my PowerPoint Tips article here.

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Peer-to-Peer Networking for eLearning

Peer-to-peer networking is one of the most popular items for teenagers on the internet today.   Sites like MySpace and Facebook allow anyone to easily create their own personal webspace free of charge.  It has become so big, that most people my age (25) and younger have a profile and update it regularly.   

Social networks like the ones mentioned above can create very successful environments for eLearning as wellTeachers can easily build online communities through MySpace and Facebook to help students study, discuss and share information.  Although most people would not want their current profiles displayed to a teacher or superior, new profiles can be developed specifically for an elearning community

MySpace has a variety of very helpful features that can be applied to eLearning communities.  I have been using MySpace for about 1 year so I will discuss some of things that this community offers.   

The most basic feature of MySpace is to send and receive comments posted on your home page or privately.  This creates an online classroom enviornment that can address the needs of the class or the needs of an individual student.

In conjunction with youTube, elearning videos can be posted onto MySpace pages and discussed accordingly.  MySpace also has a bulletin board that is displayed when you login.  This can be helpful to post homework assignments, lesson plans etcElearning blogs can also be developed by students and teachers as well. 

To complete the online classroom environment, teachers can use an online learning management system (LMS) to develop quizzes, tests and add other online materials.   LMS systems can automatically grade quizzes, eliminate copying quizzes, generate online reports etc.  This can free up a lot of time for teachers so they can concentrate on developing an elearning community successfully.

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