Help with basics

Aug 13, 2013

Hi all, I'm totally new to e-learning and am trying to understand how it all works as I have been assigned a rather large and daunting e-learning project.

Does anyone know of any good, clear 'getting started' material which will set me straight on the basics? There's loads of info out there but it mostly presumes an understanding of the general concepts which I don't quite have yet.

My main confusion is whether you create quizzing and tests in the authoring tool or in the LMS. I'm researching both types of system and they both seem to list quizzing etc as a feature.

Many thanks

10 Replies
Minh-Triet Nguyen

Hello Helen,

This page has some nice resources.  The PPT presentation covers the "backstory" behind eLearning (specifically the SCORM specification).

With respect to quizzes in the authoring tool and in the LMS, you're right that they can typically be built in both. While it seems redundant, LMS platforms typically have some kind of test engine which is especially useful for instructor-led training events that need to run quizzes and tests online.  

Vasily Ingogly

If your company has a training budget, you might consider the Articulate training courses:

I took the four day Studio training two and a half  years ago, and it was well done -- covered all the bases of using Studio (including the quirks and tricks), and was partially hands-on so it wasn't just classroom lectures. 

Bob S

Hi Helen,

With regards to your specific question about creating assessments in the authoring tool vs the LMS itself...

Quizzing via Authoring Tool

  • Allows more creativity, polish, look & feel options
  • Typically allows more question types beyond T/F and Multiple Choice
  • Allows branching and question-level feedback
  • Allows customized scoring
  • Typically allows more control of banking and pooling options

Quizzing via the LMS tool

  • Allows easier "re-use" of questions across courses
  • Allows question-level reporting and analytics (eg "show me the most missed question from all learners")

There are pros and cons to both. Most folks here would tell you to use the excellent quizzing features in the Articulate products.

Hope this helps!

El Burgaluva

Hi, Helen

Bob has certainly given you some good points of comparison re: quizzing in the LMS vs the authoring tool.

I'd like to take a different tack...

You say that your "main confusion is whether you create quizzing and tests in the authoring tool or in the LMS".

You also say you don't yet have a solid grasp of the "general concepts" (of elearning design, presumably).

So... I'd suggest you could be putting the cart before the horse. A "quiz" may not even be necessary. Applying good instructional design principles will let you know whether or not that's the case.

I'm know there are a LOT of people on this forum (other than just me) who'd be willing to help you with "the basics" and "general concepts" -- either with direct responses here or by way of links to other material. I appreciate, however, that part of the "noobie's trap" is not really knowing what to ask!

So let me kick things off:

  • What is the topic of the course?
  • Who is the intended audience (and is there anything "obvious" you might need to consider when designing for them)?
  • What industry do the learners work in?
  • What are your target on-the-job performance outcomes? That is, what behaviour do you want your course to be instrumental in affecting (by which I mean "improve")? 
  • What knowledge and skills (be clear about which is which!) will be required in order to affect this change?

That should make for a decent start. I'm sure others will chime in.


Helen H

Hi Leslie and everyone,

SO sorry for not having replied before. I thought I'd get notified if anyone replied to my posts so haven't been checking back. And now I see lots of lovely replies and it looks like I've ignored them all! I really appreciate all the suggestions.

We have 3 software applications for which we want to create e-learning. One is very intuitive and just needs a fairly basic walk through of how to use the product whereas the other two are very complex and will require user interaction, assessment and certification.

The audience in all cases is healthcare professionals.

I suspect we may not need an e-learning package to create the basic course - we already have Camtasia and that may be enough. But the others will require something more.

Bruce Graham

Hi Helen,

In that case, if you are using Storyline you should get VERY familiar with this page, and the following links and pages.

It sounds as though the built-in "Show, Try and Test Modes" for Screen recordings may be an excellent way to achieve your objective.

Hope that helps, (and need to Subscribe to the replies manually!)

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