Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to bulk import courses that do not have distinct identifiers in their course descriptions

EKP features bulk import utilities for both SCORM and AICC content. Using these utilities, you can package multiple courses into a zip file which you can then upload. EKP will create online modules based on the course descriptions in the zip file. In addition to information on how to launch and track the courses, EKP will extract descriptive information such as course titles, descriptions, objectives and so on. This is extremely handy if you need to import catalogs of hundreds or even thousands of courses.

Previously, the ID fields that EKP would use for the new modules would also be extracted from the course description files. While this usually works well, it fails if the course description files contain duplicate identifiers, since each module in EKP needs to have a distinct ID. This might happen for example if the course description files were created by copying a template and making only minimal changes.

Starting from version, the bulk import utilities provide an option to generate module IDs based on the file names of the imported items instead of the identifiers contained within course descriptions themselves. This provides an easy way to import large numbers of courses even if the identifiers within the course descriptions are not distinct.

How do you want the system to select IDs for the courses in this package? * Use IDs specified in the course descriptions * Use the base file names of the source files

The default is to use the identifiers specified in the course description files, as before. If you choose to generate IDs based on the file names and the items being imported are content packages, the IDs used will be the names of the “inner” zip files, without the .zip extension. If the items being imported are sets of AICC course structure files, the IDs used will be the base file names—for example, if one of the sets uses the file names course1.au, course1.crs, course1.cst and course1.des, then the ID used will be course1.

We know that many of you rely on the bulk import utilities to set up and updates your course catalogs, and we hope that this change makes them even more useful.