Monday, April 21, 2008

Creating courses that work well on the web

Wouldn't it be great if LMSs and course
developers got away from the print paradigm (fixed, pre-defined size courses)
and evolved to the web paradigm (size based on end-user
preference/needs). Nothing in SCORM or AICC requires fixed screen sizes
- these are just a compromise because so much eLearning is implemented
by graphic artists (rather than subject matter experts or instructional

It is nice that Flash content can resize, however, I believe it still
has serious accessibility and searchability problems. Blind readers
cannot obtain the content nor can search engines without an external
(XML, for example) dump of all the text. Typically this dump does not
contain the content instructional organization that an HTML-based web
course would contain. For fully sighted students, a search engine that
can bring them to content based on keyword search is an enormous
productivity boost. We should really be tapping the power of the web
(just-in-time research/training) rather than trying to hammer presential
training precepts (fixed size content, fixed seat time, test only at the
end, etc.) in order to have successful eLearning.

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