FasterCourse Template Tips and Tricks

With the release of Lectora Inspire and Publisher 18, the Getting Started page now includes a variety of templates, made in partnership with FasterCourse®. These templates are designed to provide new users with a quick and easy way to get started on projects. This article has been created to help supplement your use and customization.

If you are completely new to Lectora please reference our Lectora Training Plan: Everything You Need to Know article on the Trivantis Community. The series of videos and articles will give you a brief introduction to the product. If you’d like to take a self-paced course regarding the basic principles of course design please visit our Click & Learn title. Please consider reading the eLearning 101: A Practical Guide to eLearning ebook. This ebook discusses general principles of eLearning and Instructional Design. Or consider purchasing synchronous training to fully understand the product.

The first thing you’ll want to do is select from one of the six options. Each one has a specific purpose. These templates include:

  • Basic Linear – This basic linear template allows learners to access chapters and pages by moving forward and backward only, in sequential order. An audio file placeholder is included on each page that you can replace with narration if desired.
  • Basic Non-Linear – This non-linear template allows learners to access chapters in any order. At the end of each chapter, the navigation returns to the Menu page. Once all chapters have been completed, a button to access the Test will appear. An audio file placeholder is included on each page that you can replace with narration if desired.
  • Audio/Video – This audio and video template illustrates several screen layouts and pages with audio and video, including synchronized event actions. In some cases, a controller bar is used, while in others use separate play, pause, and stop buttons to control the media. An audio file placeholder is included on some pages that you can replace with narration if desired.
  • Pre-Test/Final Exam – This pre-test and final exam template illustrate how to create a course where required topics are determined by pre-test success. Using the Test Section scores, the learner is directed to take chapters that fall below passing criteria.
  • Accessibility – Each page in this template discusses and models a feature of Section 508 or WCAG compliant course. Over-type the pages with your content. Replicate them as needed. Delete pages that do not apply to your course. It is not intended to include everything you need to know about accessibility. Please see Trivantis.com/Accessibility for more information.
  • Construction – This construction-themed title contains several interactive and instructional page samples. Use these samples to model pages for your titles.

All Templates

All templates include some similar features that should be noted. If you do not need a specific type of functionality in your template simply delete it. Otherwise, you can customize the content to your specifications. For each individual template please review the following general topics and then navigate to the specific template section for additional details. This way you have an understanding of how the template was built and why it contains particular functionality.

Title Level

As a Trivantis best practice all course wide navigation and design elements can be found at the title level of your course. These objects can be edited, swapped, or removed as needed. The Header group (except Construction which contains three groups and miscellaneous objects at the title level) contains your navigational buttons as well as the FC_Logo placeholder which can be removed or swapped for your own company logo.

For more information on title level elements please visit this Trivantis Community article: Title Explorer, Visibility, and Inheritance

Additional information can be found in the Help: Using the Title Explorer

Design Ribbon

All title level setup and appearance are dictated on the Design ribbon. From here you can change the title type, background color/image, text style, and other defaults. Each template is set to be AICC and SCORM compliant, responsive enabled, the default size (1009 X 662), contain a background color (HEX #FFFAF5), hyperlinks have been set to purple (HEX #0000FF), 1.2 line spacing, and with Arial 12 black font. In the Accessibility template, the option to Use Web Accessibility Settings has also been turned on. This can all be changed on the Design ribbon if needed.

For more information on the Design ribbon please visit this Trivantis Community article: Designing Your Title

Additional information can be found in the Help: Navigating the Design Ribbon

Responsive Course Design

Lectora’s Responsive Course Design, or RCD, is an approach to creating content that allows for an optimal user experience across a wide variety of devices, including phones, tablets, and desktops. The content should be usable across these devices with a minimum of zooming or panning, allowing the user to get the best content experience available on each device.

The header group (with the exception of Construction) has been anchored. Which allows you to specify whether the object will maintain its location on the page within the view, even when the view is scrolled.

All buttons have been made 40 pixels by 40 pixels which is a recommended size for optimal tapping on a mobile device.

For more information on Responsive Course Design please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Responsive Course Design (RCD)

What is Responsive Course Design?

Best Practices for Responsive Course Design (RCD)

Responsive Course Design: What You Need to Know

Responsive Course Design Storyboard Kit

Customizing Views in RCD

Cross-Device Move and Resize

Anchor Position & Lectora

Trigger: Device Rotation and Variable: Current View

You may also want to consider reading the A Mobile World Needs Responsive Course Design ebook.

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Working with Responsive Content

Changing the position and size of an object

SCORM

Shareable Content Object Reference Model or SCORM is a common technical specification used to help to author tools and learning management systems pass information back and forth. These templates have been SCORM enabled. Changing to the AICC/SCORM-type automatically adds an assignable unit to your title and provides the option of later adding multiple assignable units.

For more information on meeting SCORM compliance please visit this Trivantis blog: SCORM 101

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Creating an AICC/SCORM title for a LMS

Working with Assignable Units

Reserved Variables

Publishing to SCORM

Template Instructions

Each template contains a page called Template Instructions. This page is designed for developers only to share the high-level details of the template that you may find most interesting. For example details on questions, test, variables, SCORM, and other. Once you have reviewed the information please delete the page before publishing your title.

Text

The text within the course is built inside of text blocks and shapes. To edit the text simply double-click inside the text block and replace the content. When using the copy and paste method be sure to paste unformatted using the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + V. Stylization of text can be done on the Home ribbon or within the objects contextual Style ribbon.

For more information on text please visit this Trivantis Community article: Text and Links

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Text

Images

Images within a course provide visual interest and a purpose to your training. If the images provided do not work with your content’s purpose you can easily swap it out for additional content. Lectora Inspire user’s don’t forget you have access to the eLearning Brothers Stock Asset Library. To make stylized changes to the image or even crop, don’t forget to visit the images contextual Style ribbon. Lectora Inspire also has access to Snagit to assist in all of your screen capture and image needs.

For more information on images please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Images

eLearning Brothers

Snagit

Here’s a forum conversation about favorite resources including images, audio, and video: Favorite Resources

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Images

Shapes

Shapes are a great way to bring your content to life. You can use them to create flowcharts or draw attention to a piece of content. But did you know you can also fill them with an image or apply stylized changes? Some of the shapes within the template include shapes filled with an image and including a customized shadow. Be sure to check out the Properties and Style ribbons of shapes to see how they were customized.

For more information on shapes please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Shapes and Lines

Shape Effects

Flip and Rotate

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Shapes, Lines, and Arrows

Buttons

Buttons are used to prompt learner interaction such as navigation, resources, and interactivity. To make stylized changes to a button, don’t forget to visit the buttons contextual Style ribbon. Also on the Style ribbon, you can set the states of your buttons. Button states refer to the multiple ways (four in Lectora) a button can appear depending on how the learner interacts with it.

All (with the exception of Construction) back and next buttons are set to disable on the first and last pages (respectively).

For more information on buttons please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Buttons

Button Effects

Buttons for mLearning

Button States

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Buttons

Menu

A menu within Lectora is a great way to give navigation control to the learner. All templates (with the exception of Accessibility, Basic Linear, and Construction) include a menu object at the title level. This menu icon toggles the visibility of the menu group. Within the menu group is a menu object that has been created from the title’s table of contents. To change what is being seen within the menu or the style of the menu visit the menus contextual ribbon.

For more information on menus please visit this Trivantis Community article: Menu

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Menus

Audio & Video

You can add existing video or audio or create new audio or video inside Lectora. The templates include sample video files. To use, simply swap out the resource of the video. This can be done on the video’s Properties ribbon in the Video group using the Video drop-down. A customized skin which can be changed along with other points of customization on the audio or video Properties ribbons in the Playback Options using the Controller drop-down.

All templates (with the exception of Construction) include title level objects and actions (OnShowMute_or_Unmute_media, OnShowShow_soundOn_or_soundOff, Button_SoundOn, Button_SoundOff) which toggle title while audio on and off when prompted. When the learner chooses to mute title wide audio the variable (sound_enabled) is set to 0. When the learner choose to unmute title wide audio the variable (sound_enabled) is set to 1.

For more information on videos please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Audio & Video

Here’s a Trivantis blog article about working with Lectora’s HTML5 player skins.

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Working with Audio

Working with Video

Lectora Inspire user’s don’t forget you have access to Camtasia to assist in all of your audio and video needs.

Camtasia

Variables

Variables are containers which can hold information from a variety of sources. These sources include Lectora itself, your computer, browser, and learning management system. The information can be displayed, modified, and/or shared with other programs. There are two types of variables within Lectora: Reserved and User-Defined. Variables are used for various purposes in the provided templates such as showing the page name, date, learners name, and modifying AICC/SCORM variables.

For more information on variables please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Variables

What is a Variable?

Inline Variable Replacement

About Question Variables

Using User-Defined Variables

Using the Variable Manager

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Variables

Actions

Actions are what creates the interactivity within Lectora. It consists of three parts: On, Action, Target. Actions may be placed on any structural item or object within a title. Actions can be conditional. This means they are actions that will only execute when a logical variable statement is true.

For more information on actions please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Actions

Action Groups

Tracking Status Actions

Custom Progress Bars

Additional information can be found in the Help: Working with Actions

Test

All templates (with the exception of the Construction and Audio and Video templates) include a test. This test is a “standard” test. This refers to a test without randomization and does not include the elements of your course located at your title level i.e. your theme or template. In standard tests you need to include the Process Test/Survey action, typically on the last page attached to a Done or Submit button. You can easily switch a standard test to one that is randomized. Specific settings have been enabled or disabled on the test’s contextual ribbons; Behavior and Results. Be sure to review this information before publishing to ensure the test performs as expected. When passed, navigation goes to the Test Success page. When failed or canceled, navigation goes to the Test Fail page. Remember to set the appropriate passing score for your title, or un-check Grade the test on the Test Results tab. Show Test Results is selected providing a results page. A certificate is also included. The tests have been set to passing at or above 75%.

For more information on tests please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Tests

Randomizing Tests

Additional information can be found in the Help: Tests, Surveys, and Questions

Questions

Three question types have been added to all templates (with the exception of the Construction); Single Course, Multiple Choice, Drag and Drop. There are a total of 12 question types within Lectora. Nine of those question types will be automatically graded when placed within a test. Questions outside of the test are considered “knowledge checks” and are not considered in the final score. Instead, you can use the question as a chance to practice, reflect, or provide guidance while learning the content. Feedback is enabled on the Question Creator. You can change the feedback text in the Feedback_correct and Feedback_wrong groups. Each question is set to equal 1 point. You can make direct textual changes to the text blocks. To change the settings associated with the question access the Question Creator from the question’s Properties ribbon.

For more information on questions please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Questions

Building a Drag and Drop Question

Working with CSVs

Additional information can be found in the Help: Adding Questions

Test Result

In all templates (except for Construction) the custom test results have been turned on. This feature gives you the ability to customize what results you want to share with your learner. All customization is done on result’s contextual Properties ribbon using the Results Designer.

For more information on the test results please visit this Trivantis Community article:

Test Results

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Customizing the Test Results

Certificate

In all templates (except for Construction) a certificate is included at the end of the title. The certificate is printable proof that the learner has completed the course material. The page can be customized or a new certificate can be created using the Certificate Wizard.

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Working with Certificates

Basic Linear

This template only includes the basic elements of a course. Please refer to the All Templates section for assistance on various elements within the course.

Basic Non-Linear

In addition to creating a majority of the basic elements mentioned in All Templates, the Basic Non-Linear course also includes a Menu page. A menu within Lectora is a great way to give navigation control to the learner. The menu also includes status indicators which give you the ability to visually show the learner what they have or have not complete. On the Menu page, learners will not see the testing feature until all pages have been viewed first. This is using something in Lectora known as Status Tracking.

For more information on the features of this menu please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Menu

Actions

Variables

Status Indicators

Status Conditions

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Working with Menus

Working with Tracking

Working with Status Indicators

Audio & Video

In addition to the features of All Templates and a Basic Non-Linear template, this template includes enhanced features of audio and video. This includes closed captioning, synchronizing events, streaming video, narration, and a custom HTML skin. For example:

In Chapter 3, on the page Audio Background, the page Properties have been updated to include an audio file (Kalimba.mp3) to play as soon as the page is loaded. To replace or remove the media visit the page’s Properties ribbon then from the Background group select the Sound drop-down.

In Chapter 3, on the page Audio Narration, the Tips and Tricks for Sync Final audio file has been enabled to autostart. There may be limitations on certain mobile devices. The file also includes a WebVTT closed captioning file (Tips and Tricks for Sync CC). This object can easily be swapped, modified, or deleted from the audio’s Properties ribbon.

In Chapter 3, on the page Audio Events, the Tips and Tricks for Sync Final audio file has been given synchronized events. These events happen at 5 and 10 seconds to show various images. To remove, add, or modify the events simply visit the audio’s Properties ribbon then from the Playback Options group select Sync Events. The audio file is also programmed to reset once the audio is done using hide actions.

In Chapter 3, on the page Audio Buttons, the Tips and Tricks for Sync Final audio file has been set to None (Invisible) and to autostart. The buttons at the bottom of the screen include basic commands to play, pause, or stop the audio when selected. To change how an audio file is being displayed you can visit the audio’s Properties ribbon then navigate to the Playback Options group and select the Display drop-down.

In Chapter 4, on the page Video, a sample video file (Countdown) has been placed on the screen. To use, simply swap out the resource of the video. This can be done on the video’s Properties ribbon in the Video group using the Video drop-down. Otherwise, the controller is hidden. A customized skin can be applied or changed on the video’s Properties ribbon in the Playback Options using the Controller drop-down.

In Chapter 4, on the page Video Youtube, a streaming video has been added into the course from YouTube. You can easily swap out the URL on the video’s Properties ribbon in the video group from the URL: field.

In Chapter 5 an audio file (Audio_Placeholder) has been placed at the chapter level. This means whenever a structural level underneath has been accessed the audio file can be called upon. In this templates example, the audio file has been set to Auto Start when either page is loaded. An action has been placed on each page to change the placeholder for a different audio file. To edit simply swap out the Resource.

Since this template does not include a test an action has been added on the last page of the course to pass over completion o a learning management system (LMS). This is done by modifying the variable AICC_Lesson Status at the page level.

For more information on the features of audio and video please visit these Trivantis Community articles:

Audio & Video

Synchronize Events

Closed Captioning

Here is a Trivantis blog article about working with Lectora’s HTML5 player skins.

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Working with Audio

Working with Video

Automatically starting media on a mobile devices

Displaying the controller when users roll-over a video object

Changing background properties of chapters, sections and pages

Adding and managing the synchronized events of an audio object

Adding and managing the synchronized events of a video object

Pre-Test and Final Exam

In addition to the features of All Templates and a Basic Non-Linear template, this template includes a pre-test. The Pre-Test contains a section for each chapter. If the Pre-Test is passed, the learner navigates to the Test Success page and has completed the course. If the Pre-Test is not passed, the learner navigates to the chapter related to the first failed Pre-test section.

For more information on pre-tests please visit this Trivantis Community article:

Utilizing Pre-Tests

This template also includes a Menu page. A menu within Lectora is a great way to give navigation control to the learner. The menu includes status indicators which give you the ability to visually show the learner what they have or have not complete. This menu includes access to the Final Exam.  However, learners can only take the Final Exam once all other chapters are completed. This is accomplished by including an action in the Final Exam which navigates learners to a Test Not Available page if all other chapters are not completed. The Test Not Available page then sends learners back to the menu, and as it is exited, resets the test to Not Started.

Accessibility

In addition to the features of All Templates and a Basic Linear template, this template tackles the principles of making an accessible course. Each page in this template discusses and models a feature of Section 508 or WCAG compliant course. Over-type the pages with your content. Replicate them as needed. Delete pages that do not apply to your course. It is not intended to include everything you need to know about accessibility.

For more information on accessibility please visit this Trivantis Community article:

Tips and Tricks for Developing a 508 / WCAG Compliant Course

Please review the Trivantis Accessibility webpage for VPAT information, a guide, frequently asked questions, a list of community resources, and a list of external resources.

In addition, you may want to consider reading the Making eLearning Accessible ebook.

Additional information can be found in the Help:

Creating Web-based, accessible content (Section 508/WCAG)

Construction

In addition to the features of All Templates and a Basic Non-Linear template, this construction-themed title contains several interactive and instructional page samples. Use these samples to model pages for your titles. This course is visual and text-based so most changes would be done to images and text blocks.

Preview image

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