Which authoring tools?

Topics: User Forum
Oct 23, 2007 at 9:54 AM
Edited Oct 25, 2007 at 8:25 AM
What authoring tools do you (anyone) suggest using for creating learning material for SLK?
Are there free ones available?
Ive seen Microsofts codename Grava around, but that's not released yet, so in the meantime, what do you use?
What tool was solitaire.zip created with?
Would be happy for any pointers and tips regarding this.

//Stefan

Free tools:
  • Courselab (http://www.courselab.com) (thanks to JasonWelch)
  • Reload editor (http://www.reload.co.uk) (thanks to r2wheeler)
  • eXe-learning (http://exelearning.org) (thanks to Myrik)
  • Docyrus (http://www.docyrus.net) (thanks to Myrik)

Not so free tools:
  • Lectora Publisher (thanks to r2wheeler)
Oct 23, 2007 at 1:51 PM
Hi Stefan,

There are quite a few out there, but the one I've used over the years is called Lectora Publisher. It has a easy-to-use GUI interface for developing courses and allows you to publish in a variety of formats. It also has a test builder capability supporting various question types, and options for tracking. You can convert existing PPT files as well, if you get the add-on module.

There's another product (free I think) called Reload. I've done some preliminary reviews on this, but I have to admit I don't have a lot of experience. It's definitely less user friendly than some other I've seen, but again I think it's free.

If you find any others, please post your findings. Always interested to see what else is out there.

Thanks,

Ray
Oct 23, 2007 at 2:28 PM
Thanks alot for the input, hopefully this thread could become useful so I've decided to put your suggestions in a list in my original post.

r2wheeler wrote:
Hi Stefan,

There are quite a few out there, but the one I've used over the years is called Lectora Publisher. It has a easy-to-use GUI interface for developing courses and allows you to publish in a variety of formats. It also has a test builder capability supporting various question types, and options for tracking. You can convert existing PPT files as well, if you get the add-on module.

There's another product (free I think) called Reload. I've done some preliminary reviews on this, but I have to admit I don't have a lot of experience. It's definitely less user friendly than some other I've seen, but again I think it's free.

If you find any others, please post your findings. Always interested to see what else is out there.

Thanks,

Ray

Oct 23, 2007 at 4:58 PM
Free scorm tools:
• Reload editor (http://www.reload.co.uk)
• eXe-learning (http://exelearning.org)
• Docyrus (http://www.docyrus.net)
Oct 24, 2007 at 7:39 AM
Thanks for the input, keep them coming if there are more! Anyone know how solitaire.zip was made?
Oct 24, 2007 at 3:21 PM
Try http://www.courselab.com. They have a free, WSYWIG, SCORM-compliant elearning authoring tool that supports quizzes and assessments. I've had pretty good luck with it and SLK so far. It offers a relatively powerful set of features for developing eLeaning content for free, and there are a few pay-for-use add-ons as well.

HTH,

Jason Welch
Education Technology Practice Manager
NuSoft Solutions, Inc.
www.nusoftsolutions.com
Coordinator
Oct 28, 2007 at 12:45 AM
I'm 99.5% sure that Solitare was coded by hand by Eric Ledoux, one of the original SLK developers.


stott wrote:
Thanks for the input, keep them coming if there are more! Anyone know how solitaire.zip was made?

Oct 28, 2007 at 9:38 AM
Of these listed authoring tools which ones produce learning objects that function fully with the SLK, specifically the reporting of assignment results? I know that many provide untracked feedback to the learner but not to the teacher. I know that the old .lrms work in this regard but I'm not sure about the others. Does anyone know?
Coordinator
Oct 30, 2007 at 6:38 PM
FYI, I'm starting on integrating Grava with SLK including the reporting of assignment status and simple assessment results. Our goal is to have an SLK-integrated drop of the Grava tools available to the SLK community around next February.
Oct 30, 2007 at 11:02 PM
G'day Jay from New Zealand, in your most recent post you said

"Our goal is to have an SLK-integrated drop of the Grava tools available to the SLK community around next February"

2 questions spring to mind.

1 Is there a more generic version of Grava that acts as an authoring/content creation tool for non-SLK enabled Sharepoint implementations?

2: Is it possible that those of us who registered 5-6 months a go to gain access to the Grava code to obtain it before February.?

Many TIAs

ooroo

Les
Coordinator
Oct 31, 2007 at 5:36 AM

bosandals wrote:
1 Is there a more generic version of Grava that acts as an authoring/content creation tool for non-SLK enabled Sharepoint implementations?

2: Is it possible that those of us who registered 5-6 months a go to gain access to the Grava code to obtain it before February.?


Hello, New Zealand :-)

1. Yes. We're designing the interaction to work with web based LMSes in general. There will be some specific work to hook into the SLK E-Learning Actions that won't appear on a generic Sharepoint Document Library, but we'll document the entry points that could be used to add this customization yourself.

2. Maybe, but no promises.
Nov 27, 2007 at 7:18 AM
Reload is now:
http://www.reload.ac.uk/
Feb 22, 2008 at 9:53 PM
All of these posts have been very helpful. I however would like to know if anyone has any new information about being able to see what students put as individual answers when the content is created with any of these products. I have SLK up and running well. If I create content in the old Class Server Learning Resource editor, I can grade the assignment and review what the student put as individual answers just as I would expect. If I create content in the other Scorm Compliant tools discussed in this thread, they work wonderfully and give the student feedback as they do the questions (because I set it to do that) but when I go to grade it, I only see the overall score and when I go through the assignment it treats it as if I am doing it the first time. I don't see what the students put as an answer.

In a post last October, Jay mentions integrating Grava for some simple assesment results and it may be done in February. Is there any news on this?

I would be interested in hearing if anyone else has this experience or if I am just missing something obvious when I create the content in SCORM format.

On the CourseLab forum there was a post indicating that they thought you could not get the individual review of answers using SLK but since I can using the old LRE I wanted to throw it out here to see what others thought.
Mar 4, 2008 at 3:17 PM


DGundy wrote:
I however would like to know if anyone has any new information about being able to see what students put as individual answers when the content is created with any of these products. I have SLK up and running well. If I create content in the old Class Server Learning Resource editor, I can grade the assignment and review what the student put as individual answers just as I would expect. If I create content in the other Scorm Compliant tools discussed in this thread, they work wonderfully and give the student feedback as they do the questions (because I set it to do that) but when I go to grade it, I only see the overall score and when I go through the assignment it treats it as if I am doing it the first time. I don't see what the students put as an answer.



We are experiencing a similar issue - we can assign work to students, but when the student submits the work back it is the original version without the student's answers. Note I am referring here to Word documents assigned via the new SLK My Assignments webpart rather than SCORM resources. So if this is the same issue then it is not related to the SCORM format - we are investigating permissions settings?

Interesting that the Class Server resources work OK with it though - hadn't tried that.
Coordinator
Mar 10, 2008 at 11:21 PM
The concept of assigning a word document and the student uploading the changed document for review is what we refer to as the "DropBox" feature. It's under active development for the 1.3.2 release.

The concept of a teacher opening up an assignment that a student submitted and seeing the individual answers is something that is called 'review mode'. You can see from many other posts here that SLK supports this concept but I have yet to hear of any type of content working properly with it. I'm sorry to say that the Grava content I'm working on does not support 'review mode'. This would be very interesting to implement and I am posting the source code for the Grava controls and services that interact with SLK. Perhaps when I or another person find some time, we could look at what's involved here in more depth.
Mar 11, 2008 at 8:49 AM


JayBeavers wrote:
The concept of assigning a word document and the student uploading the changed document for review is what we refer to as the "DropBox" feature. It's under active development for the 1.3.2 release.

The concept of a teacher opening up an assignment that a student submitted and seeing the individual answers is something that is called 'review mode'. You can see from many other posts here that SLK supports this concept but I have yet to hear of any type of content working properly with it. I'm sorry to say that the Grava content I'm working on does not support 'review mode'. This would be very interesting to implement and I am posting the source code for the Grava controls and services that interact with SLK. Perhaps when I or another person find some time, we could look at what's involved here in more depth.


Dear JayBeavers:
i have prepared an example homework for SLK, you can assign it to your students (if the content is OK); you can download from the following link.

http://guide.ceit.metu.edu.tr/download/CEIT133_Photoshop.zip

using this sample as a reference you can assign, collect and grade homeworks. but, unfortunately, i couldn't find the document library address which stores uploaded homeworks. could you please help me?
best regards,
M. Yaşar Özden
Mar 12, 2008 at 9:53 PM


JayBeavers wrote:

The concept of a teacher opening up an assignment that a student submitted and seeing the individual answers is something that is called 'review mode'. You can see from many other posts here that SLK supports this concept but I have yet to hear of any type of content working properly with it.

As DGundy pointed out, I can confirm that SLK works fine with Class Server content, and it also works well with other SCORM compliant content which I have kicking around, including Solitiaire - unfortunately I don't know the exact sources of most of these. By this I mean that it works in review mode and allows me to see student answers and grades work which is set up for automarking.

However I have yet to find a product other than Class Server which allows me to create SCORM content that works with SLK in this way, which I guess brings us back to the original question in this discussion. Does anyone have a content editor other than Class Server which is working fully with SLK?

Mark
Mar 16, 2008 at 5:57 PM
hi;
I've tested and used Hot Potatoes (ttp://hotpot.uvic.ca/) if you pack your material as SCORM content and upload to your site.
best regards
M. Yaşar Özden
Mar 25, 2008 at 5:07 PM


myozden wrote:
hi;
I've tested and used Hot Potatoes (ttp://hotpot.uvic.ca/) if you pack your material as SCORM content and upload to your site.
best regards
M. Yaşar Özden


myozden,

Thanks for the info on Hot Potatoes. I had seen that quite some time ago but did not think of it for this application. I have tried it and again, unless I am missing something I do not get the ability to see what the student put as their answers, just a autoscore. I saved the content as SCORM as you suggested. It seems to me like this would be a fundamental thing that instructors would want to be able to see when they grade the content. Like I stated in an earlier post, it works like I would expect it to when I create the content in the old Class Server LRE. We are going to use this for now in testing it with some instructors, I would just like to be able to take advantage of other editors capabilities but it is frustrating that I don't seem to be able to get to see what students actually put as their answers when they submit it, using anything else but Class Server LRE.

I am continuing to monitor the discussions and am hopeful it is just something that I am missing.

Thanks
Darren
Mar 26, 2008 at 8:32 PM
Edited Mar 26, 2008 at 8:41 PM

DGundy,

There is a list of content and authoring tools on the MLG community site http://www.learninggateway.net/partners/conandauthtools/default.aspx . Also, SolutionsIQ has posted a SLK reporting tool on their partner page http://www.learninggateway.net/partners/SolutionsIQ/default.aspx . I have not tested it; however, it states that the following sample outputs are provided.

a. Learner Score Summary – shows the score for each Learner of an assignment
b. Assignment Score Summary – Shows high/low/avg score for each assignment including how many Learners took the assignment
c. Assignment Question Summary – Shows QuestionID, # of Learners, how many Learners answered that question correctly/incorrectly with the option of switching between actual count and %.
d. Assignment Time Summary – Shows max/min/avg time all Learners took for an assignment.

So, I am not quite sure if the learner's answers are given as well.

Vincent





Apr 23, 2008 at 7:15 PM
Thanks Vincent2 for that information. I am looking into those resources. If I find that any of those help, I will post here what I do find out.

Darren
Apr 23, 2008 at 9:27 PM
Hi all,

I thought I'd better get in on this discussion also as I have been quietly struggling with the issue of viewing students answers to individual assignment questions for the last month or two. I only have a couple more months to get this sorted and report back about our potential use of SLK in our New Zealand High School. I am also very keen to hear from anyone in NZ using SLK and their experiences.

It appears (from the SQL Schema) that SLK stores all the student question responses and our problem is to find an e-learning package that can access/report on these in the same way as Solitaire.zip. I don't see us teachers having the time to tweak the files generated from SCORM test generating packages, so to be of use we need a package that does it for us.

I too will test the suggestions from the last few postings in the hope of finding a suitable solution.

Best wishes,
David.
Apr 23, 2008 at 11:14 PM
G'day David,

yes we at Riccarton High School (in Christchurch) have been using the MLG/SLK combination since mid last year. Frankly, (I'm amazed that Heurisko - who run the MINTS Scholarship, and are fully aware of what we are doing here have not pointed you in our direction before now?? <G>)

The MicrosoftcLearning Resource Editor (the core of the old Class Server Teacher Client, is still the most intuitive and fully functional Resource Creation Tool that we have found for the SLK environment

It beggars belief, as to why MS did not, and have not provided us with the replacement Grava, (which to be fare has had the underlying MS topologies change on it eg. having to now run on Silverlight etc, thus meaning it's time for development has been greatly stretched <G>)

Anyhow 03-348-5073 Ext 856, 03-332-4998, 021-0223-1910 or bosandals@gmail will get me

Many TIAs

ooroo

Les Chapman
Apr 24, 2008 at 1:50 AM
Hi Les,

Thanks for the info and contact details.

I have started the registeration process to access Grava so I expect to be able to test it in a couple of days.
It will be good to catch up, so I'll make contact soon.

Many thanks,
David.
Apr 26, 2008 at 2:44 PM
I've just gotten started with SLK but I wanted to note that I can see the student responses on individual questions in surveys and assessments created with Adobe Captivate 3.

Not in the free category, of course.

Apr 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM
Edited Apr 29, 2008 at 4:57 PM
The information here is great; thanks. We are just installing SLK now and are just looking to add additional "how to's" to the information based on our current setup for the users. We are just taking snap shots of the sites and adding visuals of what to do; within like office, etc. What would be the tool easiest to do this?

My apologies in looking further, the reference in my installation is to this site. However, we are doing STK not SLK. However, still required a SCORM compliant tool to be able to upload new information to the STK.
Apr 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM
Is there an update on this integration? This would make the SLK almost perfect!


JayBeavers wrote:
FYI, I'm starting on integrating Grava with SLK including the reporting of assignment status and simple assessment results. Our goal is to have an SLK-integrated drop of the Grava tools available to the SLK community around next February.

Apr 30, 2008 at 9:14 AM
MS just released a preview of a new tool for editing content: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/tools/lcds/default.mspx
It is worth trying. It is not based on Grava, but a parallel project.
Aug 5, 2008 at 12:15 PM
Hello,
can you create new contents with Microsoft Learning Content Development for the microsoft office sharepoint 2007 training??
Aug 5, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Hello all,

The updated site for the RELOAD tool is:

http://www.reload.ac.uk/
Sep 8, 2008 at 9:17 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for the info.
 
The authoring tools what I use to create the content are CourseLab and Wondershare Rapid E-Learning Suite. They are really easy-to-use and big saving on the budget.

I will try the eXe-learning and Reload Editor later. 

Regards,
Sabrina
Sep 23, 2008 at 11:52 AM
Hi,

I've recently come across LCDS - Learning Content Development System -  Link to Microsoft site.
 
However I don't seem to be able to get the zipped content to work within SLK. If anyone else has already acheived this I would be grateful for your help. I've found several other posts with the same problem, so would also be able to pass this on.
 
Regards
Mandy
Sep 23, 2008 at 1:13 PM
Hi,
Please look at the LCSD help, it supports only scorm 1.2, not thw 2004 edition.
from the help:"The resulting zipped folder represents a SCORM 1.2 Package"

Diego
Sep 23, 2008 at 1:32 PM
Hi,

But on the Microsoft site its says SLK is Certified SCORM 2004 support and full support for SCORM 1.2 and Microsoft Class Server formats. So this does not really explain the issue.

Mandy
Mar 27, 2010 at 9:46 PM

This discussion suddenly stops in Sept 2008!  But the problem still appently exists re a suitable authoring tool for SLK. I have used the Learning Resource Editor in the past with some trial resources in slk. However I have lost the LearningResourceEditor.hta file that allows me to use this with the old ClassServer. Does anyone still have it as I know that this works and our staff are familitar with it and also it probably is the only thing that can be used to edit the old .lrm files that we have heaps of!

Alternatively is there anything better around now. It has been quite some time since things have passed on from Class Server days.

May 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Hi, go and see www.learningobjectsbuilder.co.uk if you wish an authoring tool integrated in SharePoint (it's a SharePoint solution), building SCORM 1.2 and 2004 3rd Edition multimedial courses fully functioning with SLK (either normal or review mode).

Max

May 27, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I have been tring it out with Adobe Captivate 4.0 and have no problems pulbishing, loading, or viewing. I think Captivate might be the easiest way for non-techy people to produce good e-learning right now.