Features available within the toolkit
pixel.gif (807 bytes)

Navigation
Interactivity
Support materials
Pre and post tests
Extending the toolkit

The Online trainers' toolkit contains a wide range of built-in features all of which are available to you without the need for additional programming. You can explore all of these features by experimenting with the sample pages and the various options in front of you, but, in case you miss any, here's a complete list.

Navigation
The course introduction is displayed as the default page. From this page users can be pointed towards the Information page for further instructions.

Modules are accessed by clicking on any of the module titles listed in the sidebar. The current module is automatically highlighted in yellow.

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.

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.

The three main navigational buttons appear with filled in arrows when they are active and as outlines only when inactive.

All buttons have explanatory text which appears when the cursor is held over them for a few seconds.

To exit the course the user clicks on the exit button in the sidebar. From here you can direct the user to any other location on your web site.
top

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, usually with customised feedback on each occasion. You can use these questions inductively - to lead the user towards the learning point - or deductively - to follow up the learning point. In either case, it is not intended that these questions are scored.

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.
top

Support materials
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'.

The user can obtain direct access to help at any time by clicking on the Information button in the sidebar. You can customise this help as you wish. A button is provided on the help page to return the user to their current position in the course.

The toolkit also supports a glossary, which can be accessed from a menu by clicking on the Glossary button in the sidebar or directly, by clicking on hyperlinks within course pages.

Pages in the glossary can themselves be linked to other glossary pages. If this is the case, the user can move back and forwards through the pages using the previous page and next page buttons, returning to their position in the course using the 'up one level' button.
top

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.

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.

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.

You can apply weights to the goals if you feel that some should contribute more than others to the total score.
top

Extending the toolkit
You may wish to extend the features available within the toolkit beyond those listed above. For example:

  • saving scores or other user records to a database on the web server
  • including a course evaluation form
  • different screen layouts to allow for a wider variety of content
  • using JavaScript to add extra intelligence to your responses
  • adding new question templates
  • supporting audio-visual material such as audio and video, using plug-ins

In fact, if it can be done on the web at all, the toolkit can be adapted to do it. However, no-one is promising it's always going to be easy.
top

Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999