Picture of Jason Wilson
A few thoughts from an outsider looking in
by Jason Wilson - Friday, 18 October 2013, 3:17 AM

First of all, well done on setting up this project - I am very keen to see how it plays out over the coming months. I am an e-learning developer for Ricoh Asia Pacific, and I thought I would throw my 2-cents in as to what we find users - and developers – would like in our courses/build process:

  • CSS styling on course elements - great when out-of-the-box styling just doesn't cut it.
  • IE7 support - i know, i know! We have clients in the backwoods of Thailand, India, Indonesia, China etc and we find a tendency for them to have older browser versions. Cross-browser compatibility would be awesome, as well. I understand older browsers do not support media queries, so perhaps a media query/html5 shim to help there
  • Course tracking – for users to be able to see where they have been and what they have to view in order to complete course. I have currently manually built this into our course as a ”course progress” popup (TOC with icons next to pages viewed), but something “out-of-the-box” would be awesome
  • Variable actions – the ability to do stuff by using variables (cannot start quiz until all pages viewed, etc.)
  • Various quiz options (hotspot, drag and drop, true/false, multi-choice, etc)
  • I know you guys are all for the continuous scrolling webpage type of course, but hopefully you’ll also add the option for familiar “previous page, “next page” transitions – we have to deal with Japanese managers who are very traditional when it comes to certain ways of doing things
  • Bookmarking interaction with the lms
  • Perhaps the ability for experienced developers to be able to go “behind the scenes” to add additional html/css/jquery as needed.
  • Integration with Bootstrap 3 – could make it easier to build elements such as tabs, accordion, etc
  • A personal wish – integration with grunt to minify css/js/etc, compress images, live reload, etc.

We use Lectora 11 for our course builds, and I find it to be a good tool overall, but would love for it to spit out clean HTML5/jQuery/etc instead of horrible JS, and obviously the need for responsive templates.

I’m not sure if I am setting the bar too high, but I thought it might be good to get some ideas from someone outside the loop, who perhaps builds e-learning courses for a different type of customer.

Keep up the good work!

Picture of Daryl Hedley
Re: A few thoughts from an outsider looking in
by Daryl Hedley - Friday, 18 October 2013, 8:41 AM

Hey Jason,

I'll go through your list and try to point out our views on them.

1 - We have a themes folder for each course. This means each course can have a variety of themes. Not only that but we have a preset bespoke Less file for anything that doesn't fit in the theme folder. The theme folder allows you to customise the main layout templates so we expect themes to be extremely powerful.

2 - IE7 seems to be very much in our scope at the moment and a previous discussion takes this into account. We would like to see this as a plugin that can be put in or out based upon the clients needs. Adapt works in IE7 but it's mainly styling issues that have stopped us from making it a default supported browser.

3 - Course completion is very much in our minds. We have a few plugins that will do this for you and we will be building on this in the future.

4 - Variable actions - we have plugins that manage/tap into our course models and are able to disable or unlock features. We use these kinds of features quite a lot so this is something that can be added as a plugin.

5 - We have quite a lot of quiz question types already - core will be bundled with a multiple choice, graphical multiple choice, matching and text input. We see more components being added all the time.

6 - We have continuous scrolling and that is at the heart of HTML design as content flows vertically. However we have a plugin called blockSlider that enables locking and the familiar next/previous navigation. The great thing about blockSlider is that it can be used with a scrolling page so some learning can be both horizontal and vertical.

7 - Bookmarking shall be included too - but we see this as a plugin - possibly with many settings attributes.

8 - Similar to number 1 - Bespoke folder enables overrides but we would suggest building plugins. Our architecture will be built upon an events based system where plugins can "tap" in.

9 - We won't be using bootstrap as it can be quite heavy and we need a lighter, more manageable framework that will enable us to change. We have our own break points in core that are based upon content and not devices. - Brad Frost talks about this alot here.

10 - All of this will be included. Less is used as a CSS preprocessor, grunt to minify and create a live server too.

Just to add, as we control all of our output and need to work in it we make it really clean and there will even be a developers package to help you get started. The package will include a src folder with uncompressed files whilst the build folder is minified through our grunt process. I work extremely close with the core code all the time and see the benefits of something like Adapt that has clean output code.

Hope this helps,


Re: A few thoughts from an outsider looking in
by Sven Laux - Friday, 18 October 2013, 2:05 PM

Hi Jason, thanks for the encouragement and insightful comments.

In addition to item number 6 in Daryl's post, I wanted to point out that you can find out more about 'block slider' on this page, fairly towards the bottom. 

This diagram shows how you could implement regular back/next functionality with the block slider

Picture of Jason Wilson
Re: A few thoughts from an outsider looking in
by Jason Wilson - Sunday, 20 October 2013, 10:45 PM

Thanks Sven and Daryl, good to get some clarification on certain things - will be keeping my eye on this over the coming months, and if you need any help please let me know!