Dynamic Custom Course Logo

I am not a flash developer so this isn't something I can pursue myself. I have a strong desire to be able to build course lessons where the custom course logo is different based on information about the student taking the course so that the students see the school logo of the school account that they are enrolled through.

There was a thread on this on the old forums that I can't find but there were other articulate users who chimed in that they liked this idea.

So I wanted to see if this could be considered for a future release of articulate and to see if there was other support out there for such an enhancement.

What I am envisioning is that Articulate would specify instructions on cookies to be set by website that is used to launch the course. So if course if course launches from www.domain.com/coursefolder/lesson1/index_lms.html then there would be a cookie associated with domain.com along the lines of student_course_logo=<location and filename of .jpg or .gif or .swf to present where articulate displays logo.swf>


The logic can be simple that if the cookie isn't set, just pick up the logo.swf as usual. If the cookie is set then pick up the other graphic to display.

If you have the logic work this way then you don't even need to change the Articulate developer interface to reflect the enhancement. All you need to do is publish the cookie name to set and add in a little bit of if... then... logic.

I think that the ability to offer this kind of branding/customization to my customers is really important. In order to do this today I need to republish a course with all of its lessons in their entirety, dedicate addition disk space to the effort, maintain the additional course definitions and then if I want to change a single screen in a given lesson I would need to need to publish is again for every school I support. So while doable, it is time intensive to maintain and QA.

I would rather maintain a single additional field for each school we support that has the course logo directory/filename to cookie for the articulate course to read.

Maybe others can think up another more elegant solution but I would love to see something like this in near future releases of Articulate. Seems easy to me and a big bang for the product enhancement buck.

4 Replies
Stefano Posti

Deborah,

what you're asking for is not technically possible.

Each LMS can have its own API, and set cookies or xml files or variables that can be read by flash .... how could ever an authoring tool (like Articulate, but also like any other elearning authoring tool...) know in advance what to read and what to do, in absence of a standard provided by all LMS?

You will need to have a flash movie developed especially for you according to your lms; and it also depends on you lms, because you cannot take for granted that a flash movie in your course can read the specific variables or cookies with ease, if the lms guys dont tell you how...

Tha is why for this kind of stuff you should use an LMS that has branding features on the top header of the browser, and so you don't need to use the customized logo in the Articulate player...

see for instance how Absorb LMS http://www.absorblms.com/  applies branding...

I knew this... Articulate Studio is so cool that everybody wants it to do things that other systems are supposed to do (like LMS, or internet browsers...)

Stefano

Deborah Munitz

Nonsense. It is entirely technically possible.

LMS functions are only a portion of the functionality of any given domain. So yes, while this could potentially be a functions handled by the LMS directly, it can also be a function handled by other site implementation functions.

The fact that there isn't a standard provided by all LMS' doesn't mean that Articulate couldn't choose to be more function rich.

Right now articulate has logic that looks for logo.swf in a directory location relative to where a lesson is launched. The actual file is created as part of publishing. Articulate controls when and where they look for this file. They could add in a small bit of extra logic to check for the existence of a cookie within the same domain that the lesson is called from. So there are limitations on where the content is stored but there is already limitations on that due to browser launching security issues. In fact this is the reason that the lessons get launched into a separate window obscuring whatever site/lms branding there might be.

Articulate allows for a custom logo which is great. I am just suggesting that it would be nice if they could take it a step further with a minor enhancement.

You say: "You will need to have a flash movie developed especially for you according to your lms; and it also depends on you lms, because you cannot take for granted that a flash movie in your course can read the specific variables or cookies with ease, if the lms guys dont tell you how..."

Well I did actually think of creating a custom logo.swf that would do what I want. If I did this then I would need to worry about adding an additional step to the publishing process where I would have to go in and replace the logo.swf that is generated by articulate. This is something I might still choose to pursue. But it seems silly for every customer to do their own work around when Articulate could do this for everyone which is exactly why I posted this here. To see if, like before, there were more customer interested in this kind of enhancement.

I already have to go in and do global edits to articulate generated files after publishing because they haven't picked up the addition of very minor enhancements. The lessons used to send an update every screen to the LMS and then overnight that stopped. Now I am dependent on the unpublished "heartbeat" that defaults to every 10 minutes to force updates to the LMS by a lesson. Because they haven't externalized this one variable (WHICH THEY SHOULD), I need to go in and remember to globally change that variable from every 10 minutes to every 1 minute. This is a pain. I also go in and globally edit the page the lesson calls so on exiting which is something that should be passed in by the LMS or set by the developer. I am just not interested in continuing to add to my list of post production work arounds. Especially in an area where there are other interested users.

So thanks for the LMS product plug but I am not interested in switching LMS implementations. Just interested in seeing whether there is community interest in an articulate enhancement along these lines.

Stefano Posti

I'm sorry, since I've never heard of standards regarding cookies or LMS API I still cannot understand what should I do if I were an Articulate programmer...

I do understand your post-publishing issues, and I'm with you for more customizable LMS options, but the Logo switching based on something that is not currently standardized sounds hard to stand...

anyway, I would LOVE such a possibility, and for example in my LMS, Moodle, is quite easy to develop...but in other LMSs?

one thing: if you use Adobe flash and build a customized Logo.swf with Actionscript with detects the student group/classroom, whatsoever and goes to a specific frame showing the picture you planned for that group/classroom, you have a logo.swf with a logic.

just choose this logo.swf when publishing your Articulate course! Why should you replace the logo.swf you have chosen?

cheers,

Stefano