Office Mix adds LTI support

In an earlier post, I talked about Office Mix, a new way of converting PowerPoint presentations to SCORM packages. I had some comments of disappointed testers who used the “interactive” features of Office Mix and observed that those were not exported into the SCORM package. Yes, I am afraid that is “by design”…

However, there is a way you can use these features and integrate your Mix in your LMS: Microsoft added support for LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability), and it seems to work very well! You upload your Mix to http://mix.office.com, configure the LTI integration with your LMS (which is not much more than copy/pasting some security keys).

You can find all details on https://mix.office.com/lti

lti_support

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Converting PowerPoint to SCORM is now free…

Update: It seems that this feature has been removed from the latest build !

Microsoft seems to be shaking the world of e-learning authoring tools. After announcing Office Mix, a free plugin for PowerPoint 2013 that adds screen recording, voice-over and cam recording to PowerPoint, it now seems to have added SCORM export functionalities to the Mix add-in.

mix ribbon

This means that you can create your PowerPoint, record your voice and cam, annotate the presentation, and then publish it to your favorite LMS using the SCORM export function. It must be dark times for the competitors, as Microsoft suddenly has an e-learning authoring tool installed on almost every pc…

Below you find an example of the output, by the Master himself.

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What if Captivate 6 or 7 sends zero-scores to your LMS?

Recently, we ran into an issue with a piece of Captivate 6 content in our LMS. Although the content did not contain any quizzes, the content sent a score of 0 to the LMS, messing up the reporting.

We had a look at the reporting settings in Captivate, these were the settings used:

captivate quiz

If you use these settings, the content communicates the following to your LMS:

[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.raw”, “0”)
[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.max”, “0”)
[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.min”, “0”)

Strangely enough, the solution is very simple: under Data to Report, you change the option Quiz Score to Percentage. This stops sending cmi.core.score values to the LMS. You would expect that this setting has no importance because you specified that you do not want to track the Quiz, but it does make a difference.

quiz data

I have noticed exactly the same behaviour in Captivate 7.

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iBooks, the future of course material?

If you are in the training and learning business, you know that course material always has been the subject of many discussions. Some say it is necessary, others say that they are never used, but most students want “a manual”. Entire forests disappeared because of it, the added value of it is uncertain.

What if you could avoid using paper, and make the manual really deliver added value? I spent some time playing with iBooks author, a manual in Word format about an IT application, and Adobe Captivate software demo’s, to see if this could be a valuable alternative.

The workflow to replace all your paper based manuals by this solution would be:

  • Get yourself a Mac :–)
  • Get yourself an iPad if you want to preview your iBooks
  • Download a copy of iBooks author
  • Import your Word document into iBooks author
  • Publish your Captivate demo’s as .mp4 (standard publish function in CP 5 and higher)
  • Convert your .mp4 files to .m4v with QuickTime
  • Insert the demos in your iBook using the Media widget
  • Add some interactivity if necessary, e.g. multiple choice questions
  • Publish your project
  • Distribute your iBook (via the store or as a file)
  • Get an iPad for all your students :–)

I will let you judge for yourself. This is the result:

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How to publish a Captivate project to a SharePoint site

Microsoft SharePoint is an interesting platform if you quickly want to publish your e-learning content. These are the steps to publish an Adobe Captivate project to a SharePoint site:

1. Publish your Captivate project as Flash(SWF), and make sure that you have the option Export to html checked. This will produce a set of files: a .html file, a .swf file and a .js file.

2. Upload these files into a document library on a SharePoint site. You can start your project by clicking on the .html file.
If you are running SharePoint 2010 and the file does not open, you might need to change a security setting in SharePoint. Also, SharePoint has a default file size limit of 50 MB. Your system administrator can increase this limit.

3. Optional, but recommended: to make it easier for your users to start your course, you can include a link to the .html file on the home page of your site.

Watch the demonstration below for more detailed instructions:

 

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