CourseLab Quick Start Guide

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CourseLab Quick Start Guide

CourseLabQuick Start GuideCourseLab Quick Start Guide 1


Table of contentsIntroduction ..............................................................................................................3Starting CourseLab .........................................................................................3The Course Menu ..................................................................................................3The Module Wizard ...............................................................................................4Anatomy of a Course .............................................................................................6The Default Screen ..........................................................................................6Front Page and Master Pages .......................................................................7Slides v Frames ................................................................................................7Using Components ..................................................................................................8Adding text .......................................................................................................8Adding Graphics .............................................................................................8Insert from file .........................................................................................................9Insert from Clip Art .................................................................................................9Insert from AutoShpes ...........................................................................................9Using objects ..................................................................................................10Complex Objects ................................................................................................10Formatting Objects ........................................................................................11Adding questions ..................................................................................................13Question Properties .......................................................................................14Question ...............................................................................................................14Limitations .............................................................................................................14Scoring ..................................................................................................................15Feedback .............................................................................................................15Display ...................................................................................................................16Messages ..............................................................................................................17Using Actions ..........................................................................................................18Display ...................................................................................................................19Goto ......................................................................................................................20If and Else .............................................................................................................21Navigation ............................................................................................................21Publishing a module .............................................................................................22CourseLab Quick Start Guide 2


IntroductionCourseLab is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, e-learning authoring system that offersprogramming-free WYSIWYG environment for creating high-quality interactive e-learning content which can be published on the Internet, Learning ManagementSystems (LMS), CD-ROMS and other devices.It makes use of a PowerPoint style interface that is familiar and designed to allowusers to create course materials simply and efficiently.Starting CourseLabLocate the CourseLab icon on the desktop and double clickWhen first running the module you will be prompted for aregistration and a code. Complete these screens as required andenter the code that will be sent by e-mailThe Course MenuOnce open CourseLab will display the Start Page. To create a new course click on theicon highlighted.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 3


The Module WizardOnce the course creation button has been clicked, CourseLab will display a wizard tohelp you create the module.The Introduction screenEnter the following:1. The name of themodule to becreated2. The folder that themodule is to becreated in3. The location of thefolderCourseLab Quick Start Guide 4


At this stage you can choosethe template that you will beusing for the module.Choose from a series ofdefault templates from a dropdown menu or select a usercreated one.After a short delay, thepackage will be created.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 5


Anatomy of a CourseThe Default ScreenOnce created you will be presented with a default front screen as follows:ToolbarsCourseStructureSlideThumbnailsMain EditingareaTemplateButtonsCourseLab Quick Start Guide 6


Front Page and Master PagesFor every module it is possible to create a title page and a master page.The master page will contain elements that will be displayed one every slide.The title page will contain information that will be displayed on starting the module.To switch between the three sections, use the template buttonsTitle Master NormalSlides v FramesEach slide can contain content made up of text, graphics and/or CourseLab objects.In addition a slide can be broken down into frames that allow step by step processes tobe displayed.An example frame structure can be seen below. Most modules that are created willmake use of a slide by slide basis, but frames can be used when trying to simulatesoftware.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 7


Using ComponentsAdding textTo insert text onto a slide, click the text box on the toolbarThis will display a text box on the screen. Double click this box to open the text editorThe text editor has functions similar to Microsoft Word. However it does not have anylanguage tools such as Spell Check or Thesaurus. In order to make sure that your textis correct, copy and paste from the Editor to Word, spell check and the copy backagain.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 8


Adding GraphicsThere are three methods of inserting graphics into CourseLab modules.Insert from fileThis allows you to import graphic files in common formats. The main formats used areJPEG, GIF and BMP.Once imported, resized files will often pixilate and distort if resized. Therefore it isbetter to resize them outside of the program.Insert fromfile buttonInsert from Clip ArtThere is no built in clip art in Courselab. Instead it will collate all the imported graphicfiles into a clip art catalogue.Whilst this can sound a good method to access graphic files, after you have created afew modules, it will take some amount of time to produce the clip art catalogue for use.Insert fromclip art buttonInsert from AutoShpesCourseLab has a number of built in AutoShapes similar to Microsoft products.This is inserted via the insert menu (no button) and produces a side menu with aselection of shapes.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 9


Using objectsAll graphic and text items are classed as objects and, as we will see later, can haveactions applied to them. In addition there are a number of other complex objects that areavailable by clicking on the insert object button.InsertObjectComplex ObjectsCourseLab is a very powerful and very feature rich application. As a result there are anumber of very useful objects that have been included into the package to help developlessons.A summary of these are as follows.External ElementsPopup WindowsBalloonsDesign ElementsRich Media ObjectsNavigation ObjectsThe ability to open documents, links and a browserwithin a lesson.This includes “External File” Objects such as Word,Excel etc, external URLs which open in a sepeartebrowser and the use of iFrame. This allows a browserwindow to be opened within the CourseLab environment.Use to display ‘help’ or other comments that can beoverlaid onto a lessonSpeech and though bubbles that can be applied topictures or other objects.These are objects that help with decoration and/orfunctionality. They include a colour gradient to be usedin the background of a module and click areas, to beused when constructing menus.This allows you to import various media objectsincluding Flash-Movies, Shockwave-animations, javaapplets and video clips. The latter should allow standardWindows Media and Quicktime formats.A series of extra navigation objects that allow pop uphelp screensCourseLab Quick Start Guide 10


CharactersListsText BoxesForm ControlsSimulationsQuestionsTestsScenariosCursorsFlash based characters including “Agent” characters and“Talking Head” characters. These can be animated by aseries of actions that allow some complex moves to bemade.Allow list of items to be displayed in various formats.Good to uncover items step by stepText boxes that offer a higher level of complexity thansimple text boxes. Various means of displaying text andborder size/styles are available.Allows the input of data into variables for latercalculation and displayAllows a range of question types to be used and resultscalculatedAllows a series of questions to be displayed in one goand the results calculatedAllows you to build complex scenarios using agents andan online catalogueAllows you to move cursors and other objects around thescreen using framesFormatting ObjectsEach object allows formatting via a format box similar to that used in Word andPowerPoint.Right clicking the object will allow access to the menu as follows:CourseLab Quick Start Guide 11


The format Colors, size and position options are identical to Microsoft Word.The Display option allows you to decide if an object is to be displayed (or called via anAction), shown for a specified time or shown after a period of time.In addition options are available for the way an object is displayed or erased from theslide.The Sound tab allows you to bind a sound to an object. This can then be playedautomatically or called later via an ActionCourseLab Quick Start Guide 12


Question PropertiesTo open the question properties double click the question. The following tabs areavailable:QuestionThis area is where the question text is entered.Click to enter the questiontext – opens the text editorClick to add or removequestionsLimitationsLimits the number of attempts that can be made to answer a question. Also allows atime limit to be set to any question.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 14


ScoringAllows an objective to be set to hold the score for a question or series of questionsFeedbackSets the text and position of the message delivered to the user on answering aquestion. Can be turned off if required.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 15


CourseLab Quick Start Guide 16


DisplayAllows you to change the look and feel of the questions being created.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 17


MessagesThese are the default feedback messages that will appear on the question text.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 18


Using ActionsOne of the most powerful elements of CourseLab is the ability to assignactions to objects.For example, when a user clicks on a button, it moves it to anotherscreen, plays a sound or displays a message.These actions can be accessed by right clicking on any object andselecting Actions from the menu.This will open an Actions box as follows:Notice that there are a list of options that can be used to initiate an action on the leftof the box. The Actions that can be initiated are on the right.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 19


A series of Actions can carried out, if necessary using logic commands (eg: IF, ELSEand FOR). For example:Notice that indentation is required to allow the logic to work.The options for actions are wide and allow Mouse Overs, left and right button clicksand the ability to assign actions to whole slides before they are displayed.The most useful Actions are as follows:DisplayThis Action allows any object to be displayed and hidden.This is useful for popup boxes on mouseovers, displaying correct/incorrect answers orhelp text.For example:This would need to have a Display=Hide for the same object attached to theonmouseout command.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 20


GotoThis allows navigation to another frame or slide. It is useful to allow quick navigationaround a module. It can be used with the click area Object.For example the following menu has click objects over each area.Each ‘onclick’ has a Goto command to move to a different part of the module.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 21


If and ElseThe logical Actions allow certain Actions to happen if specific conditions to be met.There are a number of IF statements, includingIFIF COMPLETION STATUSIF SCOREIF SUCCESS STATUSThe last three will be dependent on the outcome of questions. For example if a questionis answer correctly then the success started will be set to completed. On this basisactions can be taken.IF on its own can be combined with variables are set as a separate Action.For example, if a section of a module has been completed a variable can be set to 1. Ifthis is set then another section can be completed, allowing control of the order that amodule is worked through.The Actions for this scenario could look like this:NavigationNavigation is simply the forward and back arrows and the drop down menu. These canbe turned on and off to stop users jumping forward when they need to answerquestions etc.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 22


Publishing a moduleAfter completing a Course it needs to be published. This process makes it available foruse and ready for review.Having saved the course, select Publish Course from the File menu:This will then produce a wizard to work through.You will be asked for course and lesson parameters which should be entered beforepressing ‘Next’CourseLab Quick Start Guide 23


The type of course will then be requested. All courses running via the portal arepublished as ‘Run from CD’ Courses for the Moodle LMS will need to be formatted asSCORM 2004 LMS.Finally select the destination for the published course and then click next to confirm.CourseLab Quick Start Guide 24


About the AuthorBob Price has been involved with learning and development for nearly 20 years. He livesand works in South Wales where he uses CourseLab to develop module for use in callcentres.For more details and to see some pictures of some of Bobs training in action, go to:http://homepage.ntlworld.com/bob.price1/Home.htmlIf you use this manual, please drop me a line via the websiteCourseLab Quick Start Guide 25

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