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Click here to return to TACTIX Online trainers' toolkit
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bullet.gif (880 bytes) The Online trainers toolkit provides you with a wide range of templates for putting together your own web-based training courses. It works with standard web authoring tools to help you produce courses that will run without complication on any intranet or World Wide Web site.
bullet.gif (880 bytes) With the Online trainers toolkit, you can develop highly-interactive and feature-rich courses to tackle a wide variety of training needs. The toolkit's templates provide most of the functionality you're likely to require, leaving you to concentrate on the content and the learning design.
bullet.gif (880 bytes) The toolkit includes built-in navigation, student progress tracking, assessment, help and glossary systems and seven templates for question and answer routines. The toolkit is fully configurable so you can adapt it to your house style and to your particular learning goals.
THE ONLINE TRAINERS'
TOOLKIT: CAN YOU TAKE IT?
What you require to use the toolkit
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The Online trainers' toolkit has been designed to run on standard browsers without the need for plug ins, server extensions or any other add ons.
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Delivery: The toolkit allows you to produce straightforward HTML pages that will run on either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 4 or later. It makes no difference what web server you are using and there is no interaction with the server other than the retrieval of standard web pages and images.
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Development: You can use any tool to edit your HTML pages. Microsoft FrontPage 2000 was used to develop the toolkit, but that doesn't restrict your choice in any way.
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Skills: A lot of thought has gone into making the toolkit easy to use, but it is not foolproof. To customise the templates, you must be capable of making simple edits to HTML and JavaScript code - although there is no reason why you should necessarily understand what these do. The edits are well documented and should not prove difficult to any confident computer user.
THE ONLINE TRAINERS'
TOOLKIT: THE BUILDING
BLOCKS
How courses are structured
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Modules: Modules are the primary subdivision of the course material. As a guideline, a module will contain enough material for a single session - say 20 minutes to an hour of learning. Modules are not course-specific. You can use the same modules in as many courses as you wish.
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Learning points: Modules can be divided into sections or what the toolkit calls 'learning points'. These are, in turn, made up of one or more pages - each a separate HTML file. To complete a learning point, a user moves sequentially through the pages, using the previous and next page buttons, until they reach the end, when they are returned to the module menu.
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Pages: A normal presentational page can contain any mix of text, graphics and animations. There are also seven different question page templates:
  • multi-choice
  • multiple answer
  • text or number input
  • true-false
  • image map
  • ordering and matching
  • drag and drop

Tests: Tests are a special form of module containing an introduction page, a series of question pages, a score page and (for users that pass the test) a certificate. Tests will normally be used to assess mastery of the course material, but can be used to help a user assess their knowledge of the subject matter before starting the course.
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Glossary and 'how to' libraries: The toolkit allows for two libraries of additional pages to be maintained, for access anywhere within a  course:

  • the glossary, containing definitions or explanations of key terms
  • 'how  tos' explaining how something is done

These libraries are not course-specific. You can, if you wish, make use of the same libraries across many courses. Users can access the libraries from hyperlinks within any of the course pages or by clicking on the glossary button in the sidebar.
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Information page: You can provide a full set of instructions for your course on the information page. This is accessed from the information button on the sidebar.

THE ONLINE TRAINERS'
TOOLKIT: WHAT YOU'LL
GET
A review of the toolkit's features
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Navigation: The course introduction is displayed as the default page. From this page users can be pointed towards the Information page for further instructions.
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Modules are accessed by clicking on any of the module titles listed in the sidebar. The current module is automatically highlighted in yellow.
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Each module begins with a module menu, listing the various sections or 'learning points'. If a user has completed a learning point, then a tick will appear alongside it on the menu. This history can be reset by the user at any time.
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Once a user has selected a learning point, they can move backwards and forwards within the section by clicking on the previous page and next page buttons. Page numbers and the number of pages in the learning point are presented automatically. The 'up one level' button returns the user to the module menu or, from this point, back to the course introduction page.
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Interactivity: The toolkit makes available seven different question types, which should, with a little imagination, cover most requirements. In each case, the user can make multiple responses to a question before moving on, receiving customised feedback on each occasion.
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Icons are provided to help you signal to the user when special interactivity is required: questions, tasks and pauses for thought. Other icons are provided to signal special forms of course content: learning points, additional detail, examples and sources of further information.
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Progress tracking: From the course title page, the user can choose at any time to view a report of their progress to date with the course. The report shows whether each module has been 'not started', 'started' or 'completed'. For test modules, it shows whether the test has been 'not started', 'failed' or 'passed'.
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Pre and post tests: The toolkit allows you to prepare formal tests that can be used before or after the user has studied the course materials. The tests can contain a maximum of 128 questions, including any mix of multiple choice, multiple answer, listing, ordering, numeric and text input questions.
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All questions include a 'don't know' option, which users are encouraged to select if they do not know the answer, rather than guessing. As an incentive, don't knows are scored as zero, wrong answers as -1 and correct answers as +1.
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A test can be used to measure the user's progress against up to 32 different learning goals. These may correspond to the modules of the course, although this is entirely up to you. At the end of the test, the user is presented with a graphical representation of their scores against each goal, as well as a grand total. Users that exceed the pass mark are presented with a certificate to print out.
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You can apply weights to the goals if you feel that some should contribute more than others to the total score.
THE ONLINE TRAINERS'
TOOLKIT: DOING IT FOR
YOURSELF
Obtaining your copy of the Online trainers toolkit
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The Online trainers toolkit (version 2.0) is currently only available directly from Fastrak Consulting Ltd. At this point in time the toolkit is completely free.
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Fastrak Consulting Ltd
Phone/fax:
+44 (0)1273 561714
e-mail: info@
fastrak-consulting.co.uk
To obtain a free download of the toolkit, contact Fastrak now. All we ask is that you let us know how you're faring with the toolkit and perhaps even  let other toolkit users see some of your work from time to time.
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                                                     Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999. All rights reserved.                              Last revised 23/9/99