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Changing Colors, Styles and Fonts in Basic Survey

Changing the Look and Feel in Basic Survey is a very simple process.  Start by logging into your account, create a survey and add a few questions if you do not have one created already.  Once the survey is created, click the CREATE tab then click “Look and Feel.” 

 1.jpg

Scroll down to the “What the Survey Should Look Like” area and click the background color link and select a color from the picker.  If you know CSS, you can customize the survey even more by clicking the link next to the “Do you know how to write CSS.”  You can also manually type in the hexadecimal color value (if known) to match a specific color that may not appear in the color picker.

Note:  You can download free color pickers to get specific hexadecimal color values to enter in the look and feel.

 2.jpg

Do the same with the font color then select the font size you would like.  Click the “Click Here to Update the Preview Below” to view the changes you have made. 

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After you are satisfied with the new layout, click Submit Changes

 4.jpg

Now we have to apply the changes made to the previously created survey.  Click the CREATE tab >”Create or Update a Survey.”

 5.jpg

Click ”Update an Existing Survey” and select the survey you wish to update. 

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Make any final modifications and click Publish Survey.  Once the survey is published, we can preview the changes made by clicking the link below then clicking “Click Here to try the Link.”

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CSS for Quiz Templates Explained Part 2

In this tutorial, I will be explaining how to modify the CSS properties for the selectors discussed in the previous article.

All colors in CSS are referred to using Hexadecimal format ex. #FFFFFF.  Most image editing software will provide Hexadecimal values when a color is chosen.  If you do not have image editing software, you may want to download a color picker to choose or get the color value from an image (You will find several pickers if you search Google for “free color picker”).  To learn about CSS syntax and terminology to help complete this exercise, visit this link http://www.w3schools.com/Css/css_syntax.asp

Start by creating a quiz, put the quiz into a course and add a student.  Now upload a logo to Weblearning (Files>Browse>Upload File).   Click the Modules tab > Properties and select your logo from the banner drop down box. My logo has a background-color of #EAEAEA so I will change the background-color of the quiz template to match.  Click the Modules tab > Properties > Advanced Settings tab, locate the Extra CSS input field

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Paste the following.

body{    

background-color:#EAEAEA;    

}    

Thats it!  Just replace your background-color with the hexadecimal value desired and click Submit Changes.

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Navigate back to the Extra CSS input field.  Now change the background color of the content area to white.  Paste the following below the code already entered.

#content{    

background-color:#FFFFFF;    

}

blog44.jpg

If you preview your quiz, (Courses tab > Portal) you will notice that some of the borders are white and may not show up well on the new background.  To change the top and bottom border color and style, paste the following.

#header_bar{    

border-style:solid;    

border-color:#333333;    

border-width:1px;   

}    

#navbar{
border-top:0px;
}

blog43.jpg
The border of #header_bar will appear solid, grey and 1px wide.  The top border of #navbar will not be visible because its width is 0 px.  You can add as many CSS properties for a selector (ex. #header_bar) as you would like but each line must end in semicolon as shown above.

The last item I will change is the color of the question font and size.  Paste the following code

.tp_question {    

font-family:Verdana, sans-serif;    

font-size: 16pt;    

color:#000066;    

}    

blog42.jpg

Click Submit Changes and preview your quiz template customizations.  Your new template should look something like below

blog48.jpg

If you would like to make other changes, you can visit http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_reference.asp to review all css properties and descriptions

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Creating a Survey in BasicSurvey

In this article, I will be discussing how to create a survey in Basic Survey.  Start by logging into your BasicSurvey account and click Get Started Now: Create Your First Survey

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Creating a survey is broken down into 5 steps listed below.

1.  Create Questions

2.  Setup Survey (Look and Feel)

3.  Create the Survey

4.  Taking the Survey

5.  Turn on Email Reporting

Step 1 – Create Questions

Begin by clicking Create Questions or Add Questions on the left. 

 blog35.jpg

Select the answer set you would like to use then enter your question

 blog34.jpg

Give the question a category (or select from a list of categories) and click Add Question

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Repeat this process until you are satisfied with your question list.   

Step 2  - Setup Survey (Look and Feel)

Click Look & Feel on the left and select the appropriate choices. 

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For this example, I will leave the default settings as is and click Submit Changes

Step 3 – Create the Survey

Select Create Survey on the left and click the Create Survey link. 

 blog32.jpg

Click Create – this is a new survey and enter a name.  Select the number of questions from each category and click Publish Survey

Step 4 – Taking the Survey

Click the Survey tab and you will see a list of your published surveys.  Click the Links and click the “Click  here to try the link” to take your survey

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Step 5 – Turn on email reporting for the surveys

Click the Account tab and select Response Report from the Email Responses drop down box.

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Note:  All survey responses will be sent to the email address listed under the Account tab

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CSS for Quiz Templates Explained Part 1

In this article, I will be discussing what each css name will modify for quiz templates in Weblearning 9. I will also note some property modifications that would be commonly used. In Part 2, I will be discussing how to make these changes using CSS properties.

What is CSS?

CSS will allow you to “style” web pages. (change font color, size, background color etc.) Since Weblearning is a web application, the same principles will apply for customizing quiz templates. Each template already has CSS applied to it giving it a look and feel. If you want to modify a template for example to change the color scheme to match company colors, you would override the current CSS with your own in the Weblearning Control Panel (discussed in Part 2).

CSS Syntax

Here is a basic outline of how the code should be formatted with an example

Terminology

selector {

property:value;

}

Example

body{

color:#FFFFFF;

}

CSS Template names and descriptions

Note: Sections highlighted in red represent what the name (class or id) will control.

css_resized7.jpg

.navbutton: the next, back and end buttons on the bottom of the template. Common Modification: Change the width, height, font or color

css_resized9.jpg

.q_essaytext: essay style question text. Common Modification: Change the font size, font color or background color

.q_fibtext: fill in the blank style question text. Common Modification: Change the font size, font color or background color

.q_picklist: the picklist question style. Common Modification: Change the width, font size, font color or background color

.q_matching_text: the matching question style. Common Modification: Change the width, font size, font color or background color

.q_matching_picklist: the matching picklist question style. Common Modification: Change the width, font size, font color or background color

.q_title_bar: the question title bar. By default will display the question number. Common Modification: Making it invisible, modifying the font, color, height and width

css_resized5.jpg

.tp_body: this style will apply as a default for everything inside of the template if there is no style defined. Common Modification: background color and default font

css_resized1.jpg

.tp_choiceb: question answers. Common Modification: font, size and color

css_resized8.jpg

.tp_question: the question text. Common Modification: font, size and color

css_resized4.jpg

#content: box that holds the question title bar, the question and answers. Common Modification: background color, background image and border

css_resized3.jpg

#header_bar: holds the timer and the quiz title. Common Modification: background color and border

css_resized6.jpg

#navbar: holds the navigation buttons at the bottom. Common Modification: background color and border

css_resized2.jpg

#logo_container: holds the logo image at the top of the template. Common Modification: Align to left, right or center

css_resized101.jpg

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Insert a Flash Button in Menu Maker

In this article, I will be discussing how to add a Flash button into your Menu Maker project.  I will be using a button that is included in the Flash library.  However, you will not need to own a copy or know how to use Flash to include a Flash button.  There are many places online to download, create and customize your own buttons.

Click Here to download the button that I will be using if you would like to follow along.

Open Menu Maker and Create a New Project.  The first step is to add the Flash button to the project.  Click Project > Add/Remove Project Files in the Project Menu.

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Click Add File or Resource and browse your file system to locate your button.

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Click OK then Done to return to the Design Environment.  In the Add Components panel click the Video Component button, give it a name and click OK.  Click Pick, select the Flash button, un-check the Show Control Button and click OK.

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Click Preview in the Project Toolbar to make sure the Flash button appears.  You will notice that the button takes on the size of the Video component.

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Close out the Preview window and return to the Design Environment.  Resize the Video component by dragging the size handle or right clicking on it in the Component Explorer and selecting Advanced Properties.   Once the component is sized appropriately, you can add Actions to the click event, duplicate the component etc.

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Animate with Easing in Menu Maker

In this tutorial I will be discussing how to animate a component in Menu Maker.

Easing will create a more realistic looking animation as if the object was reacting to the forces of gravity.  Click here if you would like to look at an example of a ball bouncing with and without easing.

There are a few main concepts that you will need to understand before we start.

1.  The animation will be time based so we will need to set the EventTimer to fire 20 times per second to get smooth motion.

2.  A number will need to be updated to add/subtract a certain amount to move the image position every time the EventTimer is fired.  (This will create an animation without easing)

3.  An equation will be defined to have the image pick up/loose speed by multiplying or dividing the position.  (This will add easing to our animation)

Now that the theory is out of the way, we can get started.  The first thing to do is add an image component and name it Image1.

Step 1: Setting the Initial Left Position of the Image

Once your image is on the Canvas, move it to a position on the right side.  Now get the Left position of the image.  Right click on the image component in the Component Explorer, select Advanced Properties and remember the left coordinate

img1.jpg

This number will be the starting left point for the animation.  Next click on the Canvas, click Events >  select {Global Code} > click the Code Editor button.

globa.jpg

Now create the variable that will hold the left position value.  Paste the code below and change the left position number to left coordinate that was retrieved above.

 

dim leftPosition 

leftPosition = 500

global2.jpg

Step 2:  Setting the EventTimer

The event timer will have to be set when the application starts to determine how may times it will fire in milliseconds (entering a value of 1000 will fire every second).  Select the frmCanvas, right-click and select On_frmCanvas_Load to open the code editor.  I want my animation to fire 20 times per second so I will enter the following:
frmCanvas.EventTimer.Interval = 50
load.jpg

Step 3:  Moving the Image Position

Now that the EventTimer is set, I will need to decrement the leftPosition variable by 1 every time it is fired (20 times per second).  Select the frmCanvas, right-click and select On_frmCanvas_EventTimer to open the code editor.

eventtimer1.jpg

You can simply put the following to move the image across the Canvas no easing.

 

leftPosition = leftPosition - 1 

Image1.Left = leftPosition 

However, the image will continue to move without a stopping point.  To stop the image at 10, you will need to say…

If leftPosition > 10 Then 

leftPosition = leftPosition - 1 

Image1.Left = leftPosition 

End If

Once the image position is less than 10, the leftPosition variable will not decrement anymore and the animation will stop.  Preview your project to make sure the animation works properly.

Step 4:  Adding Easing

Now that the image is animating across the canvas, we will just need to make a slight modification to the code above.  Right now there is an image that moves to the left 1 pixel 20 times per second and stops when it is < 10.   Now the image needs to start off moving fast and slow down as it nears 10.  This is done by multiplying the leftPosition by a decimal value of .85.  The decimal value will determine how fast the image will move across the canvas.  (The lower the value, the faster the animation)  Delete any existing code and paste the code below:

If leftPosition &gt; 10 Then 

leftPosition = (leftPosition - 1) * .85 

Image1.Left = leftPosition 

Image1.Refresh 

End If

eventtimer.jpg

Preview your project to confirm the image animates with easing.  If you would like to view the finished animation, you can download it here: easing.zip

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Rotate an Image in CD Menu Maker (animated gif)

In this article I will be discussing a few tricks to create the appearance of an image rotating.  You can’t actually programmatically rotate an image component in Cd Menu Maker so I came up with 2 ways to work around it.  The first way is to create an animated gif and place it in an HTML Canvas.  The second way is to swap images based on a timer.  In this article, I will be discussing the animated gif method.  This will require some knowledge of image editing software like Fireworks, Photoshop,  ImageReady etc. to create your gif file.

Note: You can visit download.com and search for “animated gif” to find inexpensive or free software to create your gif

After your gif is created, open up CD Menu Maker and Create a New Project.  Begin typing a name and select the Blank Project template.   Add your animated gif to your project by click Project > Add/Remove Project Files > Add File or Resource in the Menu bar.

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Browse and locate your animated gif, click OK and Done.

Click the HTML Canvas component in the Add components panel, give it a name and click OK.   Type dep\YOURFILENAME.gif in the Initial page to Display box and click OK

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Click Preview in the Project Toolbar to view the animated gif. 

To remove the scroll bar and border, simply place the browser component inside a Layer/Page that is smaller than the browser component to hide the edges as shown below.

blog7.jpg

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Rotate an Image in CD Menu Maker (swap images)

In this article I will be discussing a few tricks to create the appearance of an image rotating.  You can’t actually programmatically rotate an image component in Cd Menu Maker so I came up with 2 ways to work around it.  The first way is to create an animated gif and place it in an HTML Canvas.  The second way is to swap several images based on a timer.  In this article, I will be discussing the swap image method.  This will require some knowledge of image editing software like Fireworks, Photoshop, etc. if you would like to create your own animation. 

Here are 4 images that are rotated slightly until the rotation is complete. 

 sun1.jpgsun2.jpg

sun3.jpgsun4.jpg

Save the images above (right click, save image as) and be sure to keep the names sun1.jpg, sun2.jpg, sun3.jpg and sun4.jpg.  Add the images to the project by clicking Project > Add/Remove Project Files > Add File or Resource

blog1.jpg

After all of the images are added, click the Image component in the Add Components panel.  Give it a name of img_sun and click OK.  Browse and select the first image of the animation sequence (sun1.jpg). 

blog2.jpg

The next step is to start the event timer.  Right-click on the canvas and select Event > On_frmCanvas_Load().  Once the Actions Menu is opened, click the Code Editor button on the bottom left and paste the following code:

frmCanvas.eventtimer.interval = 50

When the interval = 1000, the function will fire every 1 second.  In this case, I want the application to swap the image 20 times per second to ensure that I will have a smooth animation. 

Note:  Animations may differ so 20 times a second may be too much or not enough so adjust accordingly

Now I need to swap the image every time that the interval is fired.  You will need to click the Events button in the Project Toolbar and select {Global Code}.  Paste the following code:

dim increment

increment= 1

This variable will keep track of the image number that will be swapped and will be “incremented” each time the timer is fired.

Right-click on the canvas and select Event > On_frmCanvas_EventTimer().  Once the Actions Menu is opened, click the Code Editor button (if needed) on the bottom left and paste the following code:

If increment < 4 Then

increment = increment + 1

Else 

increment = 1

End If img_sun.Picture = Loadpicture(system.AppRootFolder & “dep\” & “sun” & increment & “.jpg”)img_sun.Refresh

blog3.jpg 

Code Explained:  

Line 1 will check to see if the “image counter” (increment) exceeds the total number of images in the project.  If it does not exceed the image number it will proceed to line 2 and add 1.  Once the image number has been exceeded, the “image counter” (increment) will proceed to line 4 and reset to 1. 

Line 6 Once the If statement above determines which image number to swap and Loads the image into the img_sun component.

Line 7 Refreshes the image component for a smooth animation

Note: If the images above were not used, you must customize the function to correspond with amount of images used and adjust any component name or image name that may differ from above

Click Preview in the Project Toolbar to view the image rotating.

blog4.jpg

You can download the completed animation here: rotate.zip

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Add a Swap a Caption Action to CD Menu Maker

In this article I will be discussing how to add a custom Action in CD Menu Maker that will swap text when an Event takes place. 

First, download the Custom Wizard I created using the Custom Code Wizard Template and unzip it.  

Download: swap-a-caption.zip (1.7 MB)

Navigate to the folder below:

On XP 

C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USER NAME\Application Data\Atrixware\CD Menu Maker\wizards\ 

On Vista 

C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Roaming\Atrixware\ CD Menu Maker\wizards\ 

Drag the Swap a Caption folder inside the wizards folder and open CD Menu Maker. 

 

layer-35.jpg 

 

Click Create a New Project and select the Business Training 1 Template.   Select any button, click the Events button in the Project Toolbar and select On_MouseClick

 

layer-54.jpg 

 

Click New Action and select +Swap a Caption

 

 layer-73.jpg

 

Select the header component to swap the caption on, enter the rest of the required information and click OK.

 

Note:  You can click the code button to view the code that this wizard will write

 

 layer-92.jpg

 

Click Preview in the Project Toolbar and click the button that has the Swap Caption action applied to it. 

 

layer-101.jpg

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Adding Flash content to Weblearning

In this article, I will discuss how you can embed a Flash video into your Weblearning course layouts, quizzes, presentations etc.

I will start by uploading my Flash Video to Weblearning by clicking the Files tab > Browse > Upload.   Now we need to get the path where the file is located to put in the code later.  Click the Existing Uploads tab > Videos > View.  Copy the URL in the Address Bar of your browser (or keep the browser opened to copy later).

url.jpg

Now create a new course by clicking the Courses tab and click Create a New Course.

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Give your course a name then click the Layout & Design tab.

If you already have a course created, click your Courses tab > admin tools > properties and settings > Layout & Design.

Click Tab 1 and click HTML button at the bottom right of the editor.

blog_wl2_6.jpg

Paste this code below all of the existing code

<embed src="http://pro.weblearningcenter.net/lms/atrixware_tech2/qc_imagerep/ball.swf" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed>

Replace

http://pro.weblearningcenter.net/lms/atrixware_tech2/qc_imagerep/ball.swf

with the url that was copied earlier and change the height and width to match your movie.

Your video is now inserted and should look similar to the image below.

blog_wl2_3.jpg

Click Submit Changes and then preview it.  If you have created a new course as I did, you need to add a student to the course so you can login.  Click the Courses tab > admin tools > student enrollments and add a student.  Click your Courses tab > portal then login.

link.jpg

Your Flash video will now be available to view in Tab 1 of your course page.

view.jpg

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Including a Video With a Question in Test Pro Developer

In this tutorial I will be discussing how to add a video in a question with Test Pro Developer.  First create a Learning Mode w/ Advanced Report Test by clicking Create a New Test > Enterprise > Learning Mode w/ Advanced Report.  After your test is created we will need to add your video to the project.  Select your test and click the configure button.

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Click the Other Resources tab, click the Open File Dependency Editor and click the Add button.

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Navigate to the location of your video file and click Add.  Click OK, Close twice and Save Changes to return to the Develop Tests window.

Next, we will need to create the HTML document that the video will be embedded into.  If you are familiar with HTML, you can further customize the HTML document as desired.  For this example, I will keep it very simple.  Open Notepad and paste the code below.

<embed src="testVideo1.avi" loop="false" autoplay="false" width="360" height="240"></embed>

You will need to change the video name, width and height in the code to the properties of your video.

blog6_1.jpg

Save the file and name it what ever you would like with a file extension of .html (ex.  yourfilename.html).    Close the html file and Open Test Pro.

I will now add a question to our test by selecting the test and clicking the Add Question button.  Now click the Add a Question button in the questions area.

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Then click the + sign on the Multiple Option Style Variations question type and select Multiple Option – On Form HTML Exhibit.

blog6_3.jpg

Enter your question/answers and click Next.  Test Pro will prompt you to add an html file for your question.  Navigate to the HTML file we just created, click OK then Done.

Now it is time to preview your questionSelect the question, click Edit Question > Preview Question > Complied Preview.  Your video will now appear in the question as shown below.

blog6_4.jpg

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Changing the End of Test Report in Test Pro Developer

In this article, I will be customizing the End of Test Report in Test Pro Developer.  You will need to have knowledge of HTML or an HTML program like FrontPage or Dreamweaver.

Note: This customization is not for the Standard Legacy Report.  You can remove the Standard Legacy Report by clicking Configure and unchecking the Show Standard (Legacy) Report Upon Completion of the Test box.

First you will need to create a Learning Mode w/Advanced Report test (Create a New Test > Enterprise Tab > Learning Mode w/Advanced Report).  Then we need to add a dependency file (the banner image) by selecting on the test and clicking the Configure button.

blog2_3.jpg

Select the Other Resources tab and click the Open File Dependency Editor button.

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Click Add File and navigate to your banner image.

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After your file is added, click OK, Close, Close and Save Changes.  Now that our banner is included in the test, we want to modify our HTML report template.   To find the HTML report template follow the path below and open it in your HTML editor if desired. (you can open it in the text editor as well)

Note:  Your Application Data folder may be hidden.  To view this folder, click tools > Folder Options > View and select Show Hidden Files and Folders.

On Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USER NAME\Application Data\Atrixware\Developer 8\Profiles\YOUR PROFILE NAME\Electronic\YOUR TEST NAME\aw-adv-report.txt

On Vista

Right-Click on your Desktop Shortcut and select Open File Location.  Click Profiles\YOUR PROFILE NAME\Electronic\YOUR TEST NAME\aw-adv-report.txt

Now I will link to my image by adding this line of code right below the <body> tag

&lt;img src="banner.gif" /&gt;

Note: Replace banner.gif with the name of your banner image

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I also want to remove the grey background, border and padding from the bold text by removing the style selected below.  I also want to add the text Your Results For before my test name.

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Save your file after you have modified your report template to your liking.  Open Test Pro and go to your Develop Tests tab.  Right click on your test and select Compile & Run > Standard Test.  Once your test opens, click End to see your new report.  If your banner image is too wide for the default size of the test window (like the image below), you will need to make a few modifications.

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First find the line of code below and remove it (View/Edit Test Level PowerScript)

Browser.Move main.left, main.top, main.Width, main.Height 

Now with your cursor still in the same spot, paste the code below.

(under this line: FileTemplate.AppendFile finalFile, reportOutput)

‘ RESIZE AND CENTER THE REPORT WINDOW
ReportWidth = 830 * Screen.TwipsPerPixelX
ReportHeight = 600 * Screen.TwipsPerPixelY

LeftPosition = (Screen.Width – ReportWidth) / 2
TopPosition = (Screen.Height – ReportHeight) / 2
Browser.Move LeftPosition, TopPosition, ReportWidth, ReportHeight

Change reportWidth(currently 830)/reportHeight(currently 600) number to your width/height in pixels and click save.

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Change reportWidth(currently 830)/reportHeight(currently 600) number to your width/height in pixels and click save.

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You can preview your test from the code window by clicking the button below.

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Use Pooling in Test Pro Developer

In this article I will be discussing the use of rule scripts in Test Pro Developer.  The use of rules can be very helpful to select a number, type, weight etc. of questions in a test.  The most common rule used would be to select a certain number of questions from each category.    You also have a number of other rules you can use to filter your questions.  You can select the questions or the answers to contain specific text, by a script tag or by question weight.

I will start by creating a test that has multiple categories and varying score weights.  Now that the test is created, we can apply some Rule Scripts to it.  I want my test to contain 10 questions from the First Category, 15 from the Second Category and all questions from the Third Category.  To do this, select the test you are working with in the Develop Tests tab and click the Configure button.

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Click the Question Configuration Tab and click the Select Questions with a Rules Script option box.  Click the Edit Script button then click the Open Wizard button.

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Select 10 from the first drop down box, select the First Category from the second drop down menu and click Add and Continue.

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The rule has been added so now we can continue to add the rules for the remaining two categories.  Once you have added your last rule click Add and Close.  Click Save then Save Changes.  I will run my test to make sure my rules have gone into effect by right-clicking on my test, selecting Compile and Run, then select Standard Test.

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Answer a few questions then click End to bring up your report.  The report will tell you how many questions you got correct out of the total number of questions in each category.  This is how we will know that our rules are working properly.

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So now that my rules are in place, I am going to make some modifications to them.  Select the test, click the Configure button and click the Question Configuration tab.  Click the Edit Script Button and click the Open Wizard button.  I want to have every question with a score weight of 9 to be included in the test.  Select All for the first drop down box, 9 for the last drop down box and click Add and Close.

I now want to change the Third Category to include only 1 question instead of all questions.  Click the Create Script Manually tab and you will see a list of the Rule Scripts we have added.  Find the Rule Script that says…

Rule
Match Category “Third Category”
Use All

and change it to…

Rule
Match Category “Third Category”
Use 1

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Click Save then Save Changes

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Placing Quizzes/Modules Across Multiple Tabs

In this article, I will be showing how to display quizzes across multiple tabs using placeholders in Weblearning 9.

Create a New Course,  give it a name and click the Layout & Design tab.

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Click on Tab 1 and rename the Tab Caption to Quiz 1.  Change the heading text to Quiz One and remove [[[Placeholder for Quiz Modules]]].  Select everything in the course editor then copy (ctrl+c) and paste (ctrl+v) it into Tab 2 and Tab 3.  Change the Tab Captions and heading text to correspond with the quizzes you want to enter in.

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Now we want to add our quizzes into the layout.  First, make sure that your quiz is added to your course.  Next, we need to get the slot number of the quiz we want to add.  To get the slot number, click your Modules tab and retrieve the numbers on the left to your quizzes.

Now we will add the Placeholder to each of our tabs.  Go back into the course layout (Course tab > Properties > Layout & Design > Tab 1)  and click in the editor where you would like to place the quiz link and click the Placeholders button.  Click Insert Placeholder for a Quiz/Module.

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Click the correct slot number Placeholder and click Insert.  Now repeat the process for the remaining tabs and click Save Changes.

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Now we want to preview the course layout to make sure everything works as intended.  Click the Courses tab > Portal.  Make sure you have a student added to login (Course > Admin Tools > Student Enrollments > Add Student).

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Adding a Video in Menu Maker

In this article I will be discussing how to add a video from a button in Menu Maker.

First, open Menu Maker and click Create a New Project.  Give your project a name, click the Test Launcher Template tab and select the Test Launcher Legacy Clone D31A.

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Click your Basic Button tab in your Components panel.  Give your button a name and select the layer you want to place it into and click ok.

Note:  the middle row of containers are called cntLeftColumn, cntMiddlecolumn and cntRightColumn.

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Enter you button Caption then click the Define “MouseClick” Action.

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Click the Create Action Using Wizard button and select Play a Video.

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Now we have to add the video to our project.  Click the Add button then click your Add a File or Resource button.

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Select your video and click OK then done.  Click the Pick button, select the video you just added and click OK.

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Click Save on the code editor then size and position your button.  Preview your launcher by clicking your Project tab > Run in preview mode > Test Pro Test Launcher (with sample tests) to confirm your video will open properly.

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Now that your launcher is functioning, click Project > Build & Deploy.

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Create a Link From an Image in Weblearning 9

In this article I will discuss how to link to existing images already on the web and turn them into button links.  This is helpful if you do not want to upload the image/file to Weblearning, if the file is on another website or is too big to upload to your Weblearning system (over 2 MB).

First we will start by uploading your button image.  Click your Files tab, browse and upload your image.  Now that your button is uploaded, we will place it in the course layout.

Click your Courses tab, select Admin Tools of the desired course and click Properties and Settings.

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Now click your Layout and Design Tab then click Tab 1. 

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I am going to add my button at the top so we can work with it easily.  This is done by clicking where you would like the button to appear in your editor then click the Text Editor Plugins button.  Select your image file from the Insert Image drop down box and click Insert.

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Now that our button is inserted in our editor, we want to link it to a file on a web server.  I am going to link my button to a pdf that is too large to upload to Weblearning.  Select your button in your editor and click your hyperlink button.

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Enter the url of your desired file, what window you would like it to appear in, give it a title and click OK.

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If you preview your course now, you should have a fully functional button.

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Inserting a You Tube Video in Weblearning 9

In this artilce, I will discuss how you can insert a youTube video into your Weblearning course layouts, quizzes, presentations etc.   First I will start by creating a new course.   Click your Courses tab and click Create a New Course.

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Give your course a name then click the Layout & Design tab.

If you already have a course created, click your Courses tab > admin tools > properties and settings > Layout & Design.

Click Tab 1 and click in the editor where you want to place your video.

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Click the youTube button to enter the URL of the video.

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You may want to go to the location of the video, then copy and paste the URL.

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Your video is now inserted and should look similar to the image below.

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Click Submit Changes and then preview it.  If you have created a new course as I did, you need to add a student to the course so you can login.  Click the Courses tab > admin tools > student enrollments and add a student.  Click your Courses tab > portal then login.

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Your youTube video will now be available to view in Tab 1 of your course page.

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You can now use the same process to add a video where a youTube button is available in the editor.

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Why Is My First Question Blank on My Quiz in Weblearning 9?

A common question with Weblearning 9.0 is “Why is my first question blank when I take my quiz?” 

The answer is because you have not added Intro Text.

This problem is really only noticeable when you are taking a navigational style quiz (one question per page) rather than a scrolling quiz (all questions).  Intro Text can be applied to all quizzes created after the defaults are set or for specific quizzes.

I will start with setting Intro text for all quizzes.  If you click on your Create tab, then select Setup Publishing Defaults for all Modules.

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Scroll to the bottom and you will see a section for Intro Text.  You have all of the same editor features and placeholders you would use to customize any course layouts.

For now, I will just put a generic introduction saying “Welcome to Our Course.”

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Now click Submit Changes.  You have now set up Intro Text that will be applied to every quiz created from today on.

What if I already have a quiz created?
The default changes do not apply to a previously created quiz so you must add Intro Text to that specific quiz.  Click your Modules tab, then click the properties of the quiz you would like to add the text to.

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Click your Advanced Settings tab and scroll down to the third category called Intro Text.

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Add your new text here and click Submit Changes.  You can  now preview it by clicking the Courses tab then the portal link of the course that has your quiz.

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How would I add Intro Text that is specific to a quiz without changing my default Intro Text?
If you already have Intro Text in your default settings, you just need to add Intro Text to the specific quiz.  Once you put Intro Text on the quiz, it will choose this text over the default settings.

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Understanding Your Test Pro Menu Maker Launcher

I will be explaining some questions to help explain how your  Test Pro Menu Maker Launcher works in conjunction with Test Pro Developer.

First we will take a look at the Menu Maker launcher.  Start Menu Maker, select a new project, give it a name, click the Test Launcher Templates tab and select the Test Launcher – Legacy Clone – D31A launcher.  Open Test Pro Developer as well to follow along a bit better.

Now that both programs are opened, I will make a few comparisons.  If you look at your Menu Maker launcher, you will see two blocks of text that say {pkgTitle} and copyright elearning software company. This text holds a place for preferences that you will set when you publish a Test Pro Elearning Software Package.

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Below is what will display in your placeholders when you are publishing an e-learning software package in Test Pro Developer.

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OK now that we have taken a look at how your Menu Maker launcher will function with Test Pro, I will move on to the next section in the package wizard .  As you navigate through the wizard, you will come across a drop down box that asks you to Select Design.  This is where you will select the launcher that you had Deployed to make available in Test Pro developer earlier.

Note: When you are finishing work on a template in Menu Maker, you must Build and Deploy it as a Test Pro Test Launcher to make it available to select in Test Pro Developer.  Project > Build & Deploy > Test Pro Test Launcher

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Now preview your Menu Maker launcher by clicking Project > Run in Preview Mode > Test Pro Test Launcher.  Your preview window will popup and you will see a drop down box that says Sample Test 1.  This drop down box will correspond with the tests you select in the Test Pro Developer Wizard (shown below)

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Customize a Test Launcher in Menu Maker

A common question we get at Atrixware is customizing launcher templates.  It is a pretty straight forward process so we will begin with creating a new Test Launcher.  Give it a name like “custom launcher.”  Click the Test Launcher Templates tab and select the Test Launcher – Legacy Clone – D31A launcher.

Your launcher will appear in your design window.  First I will start with changing the image.  Prepare an image that is the same size as the top left image we are going to replace.  This image happens to be 425 by 135 pixels so create your logo to this size. 

Note: If you would like to check the dimensions of this image for yourself, select the image and in your properties and events box and click the advanced tab at the bottom.

Next I am going to swap the current image with our logo.  This is done by clicking on the existing image (blue boxes will appear when it is selected).

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After it is selected, right click on it and select properties.  Click Set Image Picture then click Set Image.  Click your filesystem tab and navigate to the location of your logo.

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Important: If your file is on your Desktop, you will need to double click on the folder that contains your computer username.  You will then be able to browse common areas like your desktop and my documents folders.

Click OK a few times to return back to your design screen.  Your logo will now appear in place of the old one.  Now that the logo is complete, I will show you how to add a link to your website.

First click on your Hyperlink button in you components section.  It will prompt you to enter a name and ask you where you want to place it.  Give it a name like website_link and we are going to put it into the MAIN FORM/CANVAS.

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Note: If you want to put the link inside one of the gray boxes, you will need to select the name of the component you want to place it in instead of the MAIN FORM/CANVAS.  To get the name, simply click the component you want to put your link and look at your properties and events dropdown box.

Now that we have it in the correct component, give it a name, change the font etc.  By default after the new Hyperlink component is created, it will be selected.  You can move it around to the appropriate location by clicking the larger center box.  If for some reason your component is not selected or you have clicked something else, you can simply click on it again to select it.  However, if components are overlapping you may not be able to select it.  To get around this, you will have to click your Properties and Events drop down box and select the Hyperlink component that you have just named.

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I have decided to place my hyperlink at the bottom right of my canvas.

One problem you need to be aware of is when components are overlapping.  If you have placed your Hyperlink at the bottom right like I have, when you preview it, you may experience some problems.  The copyright component is overlapping my Hyperlink component and causing the rollover to work incorrectly.  To fix this we want to select the copyright text and shrink the size of the text box by dragging the small blue handles on the right over until the components are no longer on top of each other.

Now with that out of the way, we are ready to link our text to a website address.  This is done by selecting your Hyperlink, right clicking on it and selecting Event > {YOUR_HYPERLINK_NAME}MouseClick(x,y).  Now click the Create Action Using Wizard button and select Show a Web Page.

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Type in the web address you want to link to, select how you would like it to open and click OK then save.   You must put the entire web address ex. http://atrixware.com – or you can go to the site in a web browser then copy and paste the address.

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We are now ready to preview what we created to confirm everything works correctly.  This is done by clicking Projects in the top left menu > Run in Preview Mode > Test Pro Test Launcher.   

This will launch the preview window and just click your link to make sure it works properly.

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Once this is completed we are now ready to output it so we can use it with Test Pro Developer.  Close your preview window and click Project again.  This time select Build & Deploy > Test Pro Test Launcher.   Give it a name and click Build.

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Your launcher will now be available to use in Test Pro Developer.

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Customize Reports in Weblearning 9

Customizing your reports in Weblearning 9.0 is a very easy process. You can modify a report to use the same template for every quiz you publish and you can modify them on a specific quiz. I will start with customizing the report in our default settings for every quiz.

Note: Your new default settings will only apply to future quizzes and will not affect any of your previously created quizzes.

First click on your Create tab then Set Up Publishing Defaults for All Modules.

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Now click your Response Pages and Emails tab.

First, we want to make the editor window a bit bigger so it will be easier to work by grabbing the bottom right corner of the editor window as shown below. After you drag it to an appropriate size, we are ready to go.

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We will begin by modifying the Pass Response Page. If you are not sure what a tool does in the editor, you can rollover it and a tool tip will appear.

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You can do the same with the blue placeholders on the left of the editor. If you are unsure how the editor or placeholders work, click here to read a few tutorials that go in depth on the editor functions.

In this tutorial, we will be performing some basic modifications to your response pages. First we will remove a section. Rollover the edge of the gray box with the [[[certificate]]] placeholder. You will see a + sign with arrows at the ends appear. This will allow you to select the box. It is a bit tricky to get but after your selector appears, just click on it then hit the Delete button on your keyboard.

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Once you have removed the certificate that appears at the end of the test, we will now add another line to our Result Summary table.

Click anywhere inside the table and click your insert row button.

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Now you have an extra line to add any additional information. I am going to add the date the test was taken. On the left side of the new row, type “Date.” On the other side, we will insert the [[[date]]] placeholder. Now we have added the date that the student has taken the test to our Pass Response Page.

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You can make the same modifications to the rest of your response pages if desired. If you want to set up your response defaults for all of your quizzes and have a specific quiz display something different, you can. Click your Modules tab, then click the properties link of the specific quiz you would like to modify. Click your advanced settings tab and scroll down to your response pages. You can now edit your pages as you did when you were setting up your defaults.


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Customizing Emails in Weblearning 9

In this tutorial, I will be going over customizing email responses in Weblearning 9. Lets start by going over the concept of placeholders. Placeholders are a line of text that hold space for a report, image, text etc. We offer a variety of placeholders throughout Weblearning 9 so your quizzes, reports and emails can be as customized as you would like. The placeholders that are available for each template are listed next to the editor and look something like this… [[[category]]]. You can move your mouse over each one and it will describe what each placeholder will do. Once you decide what placeholders you would like to use, you just type the placeholder name in the editor window.

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Now that we have that explained, we can begin to modify our email templates.

First we will edit our default email settings that will apply for every test we will create. You can also edit emails per quiz and will be discussed later. Click on the Create tab then click Setup Publishing Defaults for all Modules.

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Now click your Response Pages & Emails tab and scroll down to your Admin Email Template. Type anything you would like in the template window. I want the email to say something like “John D. has passed math” before any of the other information is posted. When I use placeholders, it will say [[[STUDENT]]] has [[[STATUS]]] [[[COURSE]]]. Now I want a link to a website at the bottom saying “Visit Us at http://atrixware.com” and make sure you hit the space-bar after you type the web address so it will become a link.

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You can now customize any of the email responses by using any of the available placeholders and plain text. You can also customize a specific quiz email to overwrite the default settings by clicking the Modules tab then click the properties link. Click the advanced tab and scroll down to the email response sections and change appropriately.

Click here to learn how to customize your responses pages.

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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.

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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]]]. 

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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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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)

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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

bsave.jpg

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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 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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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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Usability in eLearning Communities

Usability is one of the most important things to take into account when designing a website. Proper usability techniques can greatly improve the “stickiness” or amount of time spent on a site. It can also generate many more sales if users can easily find and purchase what they are looking for. One of the best resources on usability standards is a site called useit.com and I urge anyone interested in this topic to visit this site.

In my case, I do a lot of designs for online e-learning businesses. It is a perfect example of why you must have a flexible website that can be effective for a variety of users. The ultimate goal is to enable the same online quiz or study guides to be used by anyone. Online quizzes and online presentations have to accommodate for this diversity to create a pleasant experience for all users.

Like many people, when I visit a new web site, I tend to look at a site very briefly. If my intended topic or item is not immediately available, I will leave the site and search for another one. Using clear keywords on links and navigation tabs is very important to keep the user focused on the task at hand.

A couple tips…

User interaction is a key to the success of a site. By adding some Flash animations, it is possible to generate a more interesting and interactive experience for your visitors.

When designing a site with text heavy articles, online quizzes, etc. for the web, it is very important to manage the materials to suit the needs for a wide variety of users. Keep paragraphs relatively short and try to limit yourself to about 10 words per line. Split up blocks of text with images and design elements.

Here is something that you may not have realized: the ability to scale text and image size by using ctrl + (Windows) command + (Mac). Many design elements will become jumbled and the site becomes very hard to read. Make sure your site will scale properly to ensure a pleasant experience for all users.

As one of the main designers of the Atrixware.com site, I have tried to make sure is a good example of a site that scales text and design elements very well (although its always a work in progress).

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