Monday, April 30, 2007

The Other Resources tab

In addition to the News, Enrolled Learning Modules, Pending Enrollments and Records/Transcript tabs, EKP 4.6 provides an option to include a tab labeled Other Resources on learners' Home Pages.

However, until now this tab was pretty much reserved for Books24x7.

As of EKP 4.6 build 102, it's possible to target any enrollable learning module (but not programs) to the Other Resources tab instead of the Enrolled Learning Modules tab. This is done on the Define Module Properties page of the Catalog Editor—simply check the check box labeled Show on Other Resources tab instead of Enrolled Learning Modules tab (tabbed interface only), then click the Save button in the top frame.

This would typically be appropriate for modules that function as reference resources, rather than as activities or tasks that the learner would be expected to complete.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Multiple GlobalEnglish accounts on a single EKP site

About three years ago, we added to EKP the ability to integrate with GlobalEnglish, which provides online English language instruction to global companies. An administrator can create a module in EKP that acts as a gateway to the GlobalEnglish portal, and can then control access to GlobalEnglish in using EKP's standard enrollment mechanisms.

Prior to EKP 5, the GlobalEnglish account details were specified as part of the system configuration. Consequently, only a single GlobalEnglish account could be used with each EKP instance.

However, in large global companies, separate departments sometimes have distinct GlobalEnglish accounts. In EKP 5, we've made it possible to specify GlobalEnglish account details as part of the module configuration, making it possible to use multiple accounts with a single EKP installation.

Here's how to create a module for GlobalEnglish access in EKP 5.

  • Go to Manage > Catalog Manager > Module Editor.
  • Click the Create Learning Object button in the top frame.
  • Enter a Learning ID for the module, and ensure Online is selected as the Learning Type, then click Create.
  • On the Define Module Properties page, enter a Title and Description for the module.
  • Go the the Define Launch Properties page.
  • In the Launch Interface drop-down list, choose GlobalEnglish.
  • In the Keycode field, enter the account keycode as provided by your GlobalEnglish representative.
  • Click the Save button in the top frame.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quick Start buttons in Knowledge Centers

EKP's Knowledge Centers provide convenient access to all resources associated with a learning activity. Knowledge Centers are available for both modules and programs.

A Knowledge Center for a module can contain a single Quick Start buttons that is used to launch any associated course. A Knowledge Center for a program can contain Quick Start buttons for each of its constituent modules.

As with most other Knowledge Center items, a system-wide configuration options enables administrators to control whether these Quick Start buttons appear. In EKP 4.6 and earlier, Quick Start buttons could be enabled for both module and program Knowledge Centers, or disabled for both module and program Knowledge Centers.

In EKP 4.7, there is a third option—it is now possible to enable Quick Start buttons for module Knowledge Centers, but disable them for program Knowledge Centers. This can be used to simplify program Knowledge Centers, while enforcing the use of module Knowledge Centers as a single point-of-access for launching courses. (Note that the Knowledge Centers for the individual modules in a program will be accessible from the program's Knowledge Center.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Automatic enrollments and prerequisites

EKP makes it possible to define auto-enroll rules for module and program sessions. These ensure that specified groups of learners will automatically be enrolled in the session the first time they log into EKP, even if those learners don't yet have accounts in the system.

In EKP 4.6 and earlier, auto-enroll rules would always override any prerequisites that had been defined for the module. In EKP 4.7, this behavior is configurable using the Ignore prerequisites for automatic enrollments property under Manage > System Administration Manager > System Configuration > System Configuration.

If this property is disabled, auto-enroll rules won't take effect until all prerequisites for the module are satisfied. This makes it possible to establish paths of learning. For example, an administrator could create an Advanced Project Management program or module, with an Introduction to Project Management program or module as a prerequisite, and define auto-enroll rules for the appropriate learner groups. Once a learner in one of the appropriate groups has completed the introductory program or module, she will automatically be enrolled in the advanced program or module the next time she logs into the system.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Batch importer for SCORM courses

EKP has long featured a batch importer for AICC-conformant courseware. Starting with EKP 4.7, the importer also supports SCORM-conformant courseware.

To use the batch importer, you'll need to create a new zip file that contains the individual SCORM content packages. (IMS content packages will work too.) Since these content packages are themselves zip files, you'll have a zip file that contains multiple individual zip files as entries. Then, go to Manage > Catalog Manager > Import Content Package, select the zip file you created, and click the Next > button.

EKP will display a summary of the courses that will be imported, and will walk you through the various import options. Just follow the on-screen instructions. (The process is pretty much identical to the AICC batch import process.) And, if you make a mistake, there's also a batch delete function that you can use to undo your changes.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

More on elective program modules

In a previous post, I described how program sessions can contain both required and elective modules in EKP 4.7.

But what happens if a session contains a large number of elective modules? How does a learner keep track of which ones she is working on?

In EKP 4.7, an administrator can specify which elective modules are automatically assigned to learners who enroll in the program session. Learners can then add more elective modules to their list of active modules, or remove elective modules that they do not intend to complete, via the program's Knowledge Center. (Required modules are always assigned automatically.)

Selecting which elective modules are automatically assigned to learners who enroll in a program session

EKP displays a list of available elective modules at the bottom of the Knowledge Center's Main tab. The learner can click the appropriate Enroll button to add a module to her list of active modules for the program.

List of available elective modules at the bottom of a Knowledge Center's Main tab

The list of active and completed modules indicates whether each module is required. The learner can remove incomplete elective modules from the list of active modules by clicking the appropriate Withdraw Enrollment button. The module is returned to the list of available modules. Required modules cannot be removed from the list of active modules.

Withdraw Enrollment button