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Chapter 4. Creating Relevant Site Content > Including e‐learning materials

Including e‐learning materials

If your client is creating a Web site that instructs end users on how to use a particular application or accomplish a specific task, include material that can accomplish this task. There are many methods of accomplishing this. In fact, specific software packages are available to create content for e‐learning Web sites. The following is a list of some of the items currently used on e‐learning Web sites:

  • Instructional video: Nothing gets the point across like video. If the site is showing users how to master a software application, a video capture of the application in action is the ideal teaching tool. In conjunction with the teacher's audio instructions, video is a powerful e‐learning tool. You can capture a video of an application using Camtasia or HyperCam software. The video you post online can vary depending on the type of Internet connection used by your client's intended audience. You can post streaming video using the Windows Media Format, Apple's QuickTime format, or Flash video.

  • Flash interactive content: Flash is a wonderful tool for creating animations. You can also use Flash to create content such as quizzes, interactive learning exercises, and so on. If you're adept at ActionScript, you can get Flash to do some wonderful things, such as tally the score of a quiz, or direct a user to a different part of the Flash movie based on the response to a question.

  • PDF documents: Adobe Acrobat is another wonderful tool that you can use to create tutorials. Many people think that PDF documents can be used to show only text and images. This is not true. In the hands of an experienced Acrobat user, a PDF document can include multimedia content such as audio and video. Acrobat PDF documents can also be interactive. Acrobat has built‐in actions that you can use to link to open other documents, play video or audio, and so on. An Acrobat document can also use JavaScript to perform tasks.

You include links to your e‐learning materials in your HTML documents. You can set the learning material to open in the same browser window or a new window. You can embed e‐learning material such as video in the document, complete with a player. This is the preferred method, as some people rely on the Back button to recall previously viewed content. When a document is opened in a new window, this luxury is not available.


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