Shortfall of SL 360 "New Browser Window Properties"
May 08, 2019
SL 360 "Jump to File" trigger is problematic. Depends on the LMS and browser. I'll point out the details and a possible solution.
The LMS we operate opens the course in a "locked" new window. So do the LMS of some of our clients. Not the same LMS vendor either. So our LMS isn't the only one that behaves this way.
No new tabs can be opened in the course window. It's "locked". This ensures learners can not open another tab(s) in the course window. This is a good idea.
Incidentally, the learner's window normally covers (hides) the LMS window.
Now to implement a button in SL for the learner to view a pdf, there's the SL trigger "Jump to File".
Using the SL "Jump to File" trigger option: "Display in the current browser window": opening a pdf with this option will open in the course window which exit the course completely displaying the pdf. (no new tabs.) We don't see how this is useful. The learner must close the window, revealing the LMS, launch the course again, resume where they left off. Wow.
Using the option "Display in a new browser window", the pdf will open in the LMS window as a new tab. (Is this really a new browser window? It is a different browser window, sure.) This brings the LMS window to front, covering the course. Some learners will not recognize this two-tab browser window as the LMS and close the LMS window, oblivious to the alert decrying this action and poof! The learner is logged out of the LMS and course. Wow again. Course progress may be lost to boot!
window.open(fnam, "_blank", "resizable,scrollbars,menubar=no,toolbar=no");
The "_blank" forces a NEW window, not a tab in ANOTHER (LMS) window. After viewing the pdf, the learner closes that window, course revealed. Voila. A satisfactory learner experience.
Should the SL "Jump to File" option "Display in a new browser window" open a NEW window rather than ANOTHER window? If not, should there be a third option "Open in a brand new browser window"?
PS, our clients, and our testing group, uses Chrome which holds 60% market share. I was surprised no other browser, IE, Firefox, whatever... is more than 10%. I mention this because other browsers may behave differently.
Sorry for the long post, but this has been a problem for some time.