Can articulate do these things?

Hi All,

Im new to SCORM and articulate. I am going to build an eLearning website for university students from scratch. I am trying to choose an authoring tool that best suits what I am trying to do. I was wondering if anybody can help me out? Can articulate (storyline, presenter or both) do these things:

1)      Add custom buttons to the player that can do the following:

a)      Bookmarks – I want the student to be able to ‘bookmark’ the slide they are on in the SCORM module, and communicate this to the LMS (probably will be moodle). Ie, if a student wants to return to a slide later (eg because it has a complex formulae they want to look at again), they can bookmark this and then later select this from a ‘bookmark’ list in the LMS. Importantly, the bookmark should be to the SCORM package and ‘slide number’, to allow for one bookmark list with bookmark ‘links’ to slides in several SCROM modules.

b)      I also want the student to be able to ‘report’ a slide in a SCORM package (ie open a lightbox with a textbox for commenting on a particular slide). Again, this would require the slide number and SCORM module name to be passed to the reporting box so that this could be emailed (or otherwise passed somehow) to the teacher (eg if a student wanted to comment on content directly to the teacher).

2)      Quizes within the SCORM are reported to a gradebook or similar (seems to be a fairly standard feature of most authoring tools)

3)      The player should have a ‘progress bar’ to say how far through that SCORM module the student is, and to allow easy navigation. (ie: not the same as the seek bar which, as I understand it, just looks at the progress through that individual slide)

4)      Similar to points 2 and 3, I want to make a button in the LMS for ‘pick up where you left off’ – which will direct students to the SCORM module and slide they were last on when they log into the LMS. Is it possible to report to the LMS where the student left off, and restart here?

5)      HTML5 for use on mobile devices.

I know this is quite a tall order in terms of features. Particularly the linking to particular slides and modules is important. Can anyone with experience of articulate tell me if it can do these things?

Many thanks in advance for any help with this. 

19 Replies
Phil Mayor

Hi Matt

1. You can add custom buttons to the player using the SDK

a.You can only bookmark the last viewed slide

b. You could possibly communicate this data to the LMS using text entry questions,otherwise it will be difficult to get this information out of the LMS

2. Storyline can report a single results slide to the LMS, you can use results slides of results slides and report that to the LMS

3. There is no default progress metre in the player, you could build this in with the SDK (but will need flash and javascript skills. The menu will show progress.

4. Last viewed bookmarking is built into storyline.

5.  HTML5 is supported for iOS devices, it may work on android but is not supported by Articulate

Matt Stubbs

Phil Mayor said:

Hi Matt

1. You can add custom buttons to the player using the SDK

a.You can only bookmark the last viewed slide

b. You could possibly communicate this data to the LMS using text entry questions,otherwise it will be difficult to get this information out of the LMS

2. Storyline can report a single results slide to the LMS, you can use results slides of results slides and report that to the LMS

3. There is no default progress metre in the player, you could build this in with the SDK (but will need flash and javascript skills. The menu will show progress.

4. Last viewed bookmarking is built into storyline.

5.  HTML5 is supported for iOS devices, it may work on android but is not supported by Articulate


Hi Phil thanks for that very useful reply. It's a shame to hear it isn't possible to bookmark slides. That's one of the main features I am looking for. Is there no work-around for this? I would have thought this would have come up before? I have some js knowledge but I'm rubbish with flash.

Matt Stubbs

Thanks Phil.

That's a good idea. The problem is that the 'course' will be spread across probably 30+ articulate stories and therefore the bookmark really needs to be to both the story and the slide within it.

I was thinking about either of the following as an alternative:

1) Reporting the bookmarks to the LMS as an 'answer' - so each slide had a bookmark checkbox (a 'question'), and if checked then its answered yes which could be reported to the LMS (and act as a sort of bookmark?) Im not sure if that would work though because i dont know if you can actually report individual answers to the LMS? or just an overall 'score', im not that familiar with it.

2) A javascript plugin which would add a 'link' to a list (say in one of the sidebars of the LMS), which i could probably build. However, i dont know if articulate can accept post values through the URL like this: eg: www.website.com/story1.html?slide=5. Or some alternative?

Thanks,

Matt

Matt Stubbs

Thanks again Phil.

That's a shame. I noticed that it can be done in presenter though?

http://articulate.www.resources.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/community/tutorials09/presenter09/Overview/player.html?slide=5

I wonder why its a feature of presenter but not storyline?

Do you know of any posted examples of this being done using js in storyline, so i can get an idea? I think its a pretty important feature for the type of learning that i am trying to make (fairly complex post graduate medical stuff - lots of tables and equations that i think students will want to mark to come back to often).

Im thinking i could have a custom button in each slide, which executes a script which adds a hardlink to a separate page that is accessible to the student. Obviously wouldn't work for offline mobile learning but its closer to the mark.

Maybe im just trying to shoehorn this project into storyline too much because i like the software. I really like the GUI its nice design features but at the end of the day i still need it to be able to build my project. I dont know if any other authoring tools out there can do this? ...perhaps this is the wrong forum to be asking in!

Phil Mayor

It can be done in presenter 09 but not 13

I don't know of any examples that do this.  

It may be that you are over thinking this, why do you think they will want to access, is it something that will help in their job? If so I would add it as a downloadable file.

Otherwise as you say it may need to be a different tool

Matt Stubbs

Its going to be a long course with lots of modules and information. I suppose what i am trying to achieve is the equivalent of folding down the corners of important pages in a textbook that you might want to re-visit (but slightly more organised). Downloading the material doesn't really help. I will see what i can do with js, and post if i work it out. I'm actually really surprised this hasn't come up as an issue before. Although looking more closely at articulate there are a number of other things that i would have thought would be standard features that it cant do (eg as far as i can tell it cant go fullscreen without additional swf or js). Im sure it's good bit of software, but for the cost i would expect it to be able to do a little more. Then again, I guess people have different priorities and you cant include everything.

Thanks again for the help and info Phil.

Phil Mayor

I try to steer my clients away from huge courses and break then down into bite size chunks.

Bookmarking is a nice feature idea, and could be achieved within a course (you probably don't need javascript), you just couldn't pass this information to an LMS, because the LMS wouldn't understand what you were trying to tell it.  I don't think any LMS will allow you to deep link into a scorm.

I don't like the idea of fullscreen it gets the users lost very easily, it is much better to leave the chrome of the browser visible.

Matt Stubbs

Phil Mayor said:

I try to steer my clients away from huge courses and break then down into bite size chunks.

Yes me also. Hence why i need to deep link to multiple scorm modules. I think i used the term 'course' ambiguously, sorry. It will be a single 'course' as far as a learner would define the word, but made up of lots of modules and lessons, each lesson will be a separate SCORM (which is perhaps what you thought i meant by course?)

Bookmarking is a nice feature idea, and could be achieved within a course (you probably don't need javascript), you just couldn't pass this information to an LMS, because the LMS wouldn't understand what you were trying to tell it.  I don't think any LMS will allow you to deep link into a scorm.

Might require a bit of code manipulation in the LMS. Im OK at PHP so shouldnt be too much of a problem if i use an LMS built with php/mysql. They key question for my project is what info the scorm is able to pass to the LMS, rather than whether the LMS can interpret it. Of course that is all a waste of time if the student cant link back to the bookmark they have made (deep-linking), which is why i am interested to hear you say you think that could be done. I will explore and post on it if i get it to work. I have put in a feature suggestion on this also. 

I don't like the idea of fullscreen it gets the users lost very easily, it is much better to leave the chrome of the browser visible.

Fair enough. I would like students (and developers) to have the choice to make that decision themselves, personally. I wouldn't force full screen but would expect the option (as exists in many scorm authoring tools i have seen - including presenter 09, interestingly)

Phil Mayor

Presenter 09 never had a fullscreen option, it had a slide only option but this still left browser chrome visible.

I start to get the feelling that Storyline is not the tool you need, if you want to package a multi-sco (which although possible will not work out of the box), you want to deep link and pas information back to the LMS at this point I see headaches that I would tell any client to avoid.

Maintenance is another issue if you plan on using noodle you will need to reapply your hacks after each upgrade.

On a positive if you use interactions to pass data to the LMS then you will be able to read the data, as it will be stored in the database with a respective interaction ID, you could then pass this variable back t the course on initialisation and using triggers and conditions choose the point that the course starts, I think you will need to disable the resume function (thuds data is compressed and not user readable anyway.

You may be better with a html based course editor, or using the dreamweaver elearning add-ins

Matt Stubbs

Thanks Phil thats good advice. There are a lot of positives to Articulate which means i would really like to use it, but i do want to avoid those headaches. The multi-sco shouldn't be a problem, doesn't need to work OOTB, but the bookmarking feature is important to me (either by deep-linking to slide number or some other method). Do i understand you right that using interactions this could possibly be done? How would one pass the variable to the course on initialization? GET/POST? I dont really mind if the info is stored in the LMS or stored in the database and i use some custom php to retrieve and pass it, so long as articulate can understand it.

Thanks

Pedro Fernandez

Ok, so I am reading this post and now I am wondering:

Phil: is it possible to open a module so that it opens to a specific point in the story?

I ask this given the following assumptions:

- The learner is opening one module in a course

- The course has at least 2 stories

- The learner clicks on a button published on the LMS web page that can launch the module using customized strings passed to it from a    session variable  (thus accomplishing any customized strings that our team would need to implement to launch a module that opens to a specific point in a story)

- I do not want to use the last slide visited "function" within Storyline (thus accomplishing bookmark-like for the LMS webpage button)

Matt: Thanks for posting this!  It has really stirred up some ideas of my own!

Matt Stubbs

Hi Pedro,

Yep that pretty much what i am trying to to as well (with the added step that the user can set their own 'bookmark buttons/links'), with the page /module location info passed to the database from within the story itself using a 'bookmark this point' button. From what i have understood from Phil and my other reading so far, the LMS itself is probably not going to be able to do this without some modification. Which LMS do you use?

EDIT: i wanted to use the SDK to add the bookmark buttons to the player, but reading around it looks like the SDK only works for the flash player, not HTML5, which is a shame. Im (very) happy to be corrected on this.

Pedro Fernandez

Matt,

Not really able to share much about the LMS *BUT* if I were doing this on my own, I would try to create the custome button using the SDK and have it inject the relevant data using JavaScript.  You can then pass data back and forth inside/outside of the LMS as needed (assuming you want to tackle the effort, read on...). 

You would also need to set up a database, the scripts, the connections, consider security in your code design, and consider the kind of maintenance you would need to perform on a per class/session basis (assuming you do not want to maintain the bookmark data perpetually) to properly implement this solution (not to mention the departments and team members you would need to confer with)

However....HTML5 is a show stopper if you want to use JavaScript, based on what I have also read in the Community forums.

You can get some more ideas and gain some great insight by reading through the following Community thread (I certainly learned quite a bit!)

http://community.articulate.com/forums/t/13231.aspx

Shawn Stiles

Based on what I have read here, you may want to take a look at Lectora from Trivantis. Lectora provides more functionality as far as passing and manually controlling variables. You can use asp or javascript to send information to external sources. Lectora also allows for multiple SCO content, but personally I would break up courses into much smaller chunks to allow easier navigation and access. Lectora also supports publishing to mobile devices. The cost for Lectora is similiar to Storyline.

Matt Stubbs

Shawn Stiles said:

Based on what I have read here, you may want to take a look at Lectora from Trivantis. Lectora provides more functionality as far as passing and manually controlling variables. You can use asp or javascript to send information to external sources. Lectora also allows for multiple SCO content, but personally I would break up courses into much smaller chunks to allow easier navigation and access. Lectora also supports publishing to mobile devices. The cost for Lectora is similiar to Storyline.


Thanks Shawn,

Will check that out.

Matt