Q&A on HTML5 and eLearning

From Darwin Sewell:

[My organization] has a mobile platform for our learners who use iPads. It is called mLearning and is a 3rd party platform developed by Intuition.

I am interested in creating animations using HTML5 and then placing them into a Lectora file (we use Lectora as our authoring tool)…and finally displaying the animation as part of a course in our mLearning platform.

Is this possible? Do we have to do anything special to make this work?

Darwin, I am not familiar with that platform, but I’ve had great results embedding animated content in Lectora and other authoring tools that allow insertion of web objects, without doing anything special. In fact, that’s now my preferred development method, since Lectora does not yet take advantage of much new HTML5 functionality on its own and while Storyline delivers well on the “pretty”, it doesn’t deliver on many of the advantages of HTML5 (see the recent eLearning Guild report on HTML5 and elearning for more on that).

Having said all of that, be sure you test well on the devices your learners will be using. Always.

Lectora Gaining Tin Can API Support in Version 11

You may have already seen that Lectora has announced that its upcoming version will support the Tin Can API. I have high hopes for this upgrade all around and have a mental list going of what I hope it contains.

Regarding Tin Can, I hope in particular that the developer has the ability to specify when to send calls, rather than the tool reporting essentially all clicks (as Storyline does). That will allow the designer to make conscious decisions about what to track and why, rather than just sending a sea of data.

Here’s hoping. Though I haven’t always agreed with Trivantis’s marketing, I’m a longstanding Lectora user and the tool has a well-earned reputation for power. We’re still early in the adoption curve and there’s a big opportunity for rapid power tools that use Tin Can to support an intentional and nuanced design.

Rapid Power Tools: The Top eLearning Authoring Software

I presented on Rapid Power Tools at Learning Solutions this year and I’m happy to share that this idea now has a home on the internet on eLearn Magazine. The article details which applications fall into this category and which features put them there, as well as a few notes about HTML5 publishing and Tin Can API integration.

Related thought: I’ve enjoyed a lot of conversations lately about how courses aren’t necessarily the answer. Looking back on my work over the past 10 years, I’m realizing that my appreciation for higher-end tools was mainly born from attempts to make my courses more freely navigable or more immersive or more reflective of real-life experience… in short, less like traditional courses. And while I wouldn’t say these are my top choices to create performance support, mobile learning, or games, they stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of advanced customization of the course experience.


The ToolBar, Episode 13 — The Bitter Episode

Logo for The ToolBarOops! I’ve forgotten all week to post this here: Brian and I recorded Episode #Lucky13 of The ToolBar, aka The Bitter Episode. Listeners have since commented that it’s “bitter veneer wrapped around a good cause”, “not as bitter as expected” (kinda like Brian’s beer) and “not so much bitter as whiny”. Clearly, your mileage may vary. But at least you get to hear us gripe about one listener’s new favorite term: Navigation Rage.

I drank Chainbreaker White IPA and Brian drank Angry Goat.

Why Storyline is a Departure…

Amazing how much has already been written about Storyline, Articulate’s new elearning authoring tool. Here’s my 140:

What makes Storyline a departure is that it’s a best all-around. It’s as powerful as Lectora. It’s as easy as Articulate Studio. It has all of PowerPoint’s slick graphic tools. It has killer screencasting — better than Captivate. It’s ahead of any of the rapid power tools in mobile and HTML5 publishing. And possibly its best feature is the community that Articulate has fostered around its tools, many members of which are active in promoting not only on better use of the software, but better instructional design.

I’m thrilled with all of those features and it’s about time that learning designers had a tool that serves good course design this well.

…And Why It Isn’t.