Extending eXe

Posted on March 10th, 2009 in Learning Resources,Resource Dev Team by Kirsty

eXe (http://exelearning.org/) is a great elearning development tool. It brings to the fore the development of the learning and assessment process, putting the look and feel and technical aspects such as navigation to the side. Templates (called iDevices) suggest pedagogical approaches to developers. By removing the challenge of a totally blank slate, and instead presenting building blocks to the developer (in our organisation this is the teacher 99% of the time) we’ve seen much more interesting and interactive learning materials be developed.

And…

There are some sticking points. As the team which supports eXe amongst other tools for the organisation we have had to learn the workarounds and limitations of the application. We’ve learnt where to push eXe past it’s limits, and where to leave well alone. Some workarounds we only show those people comfortable with html coding.

So, rather than looking for another/ an additional tool, I spent some time thinking about what we could feasibly do to make eXe ‘better’.

Ideas thus far:
- Get new styles rolled out. This is in hand. There are 2 more to come. We commissioned these last year.
- Perhaps develop/ decide on a new default template that is more modern (eg 3d buttons, gradients for header bar, ‘would look at home on an iphone’ :-) look and feel)
- investigate/ develop iDevices that are more VET oriented. See below for one.
- do some documentation about which style in which stylesheet controls the look of a page section (there are 3 that, combined, control the look and feel of an exported exe resource). This should make it easier to make custom styles. We’ve talked about this for a while and never got around to doing it.
- see if we can get an ARED/Captivate embedding iDevice programmed. (We use ARED quite a bit in house as a simple interactivity builder and we like the activities embedded in the page rather than just linking to them but it isn’t a quick & easy process)
- see if we could have a YouTube embedder made to simplify the process.

Initial concept for a new iDevice.

Skills Demonstration iDevice concept

Now I’m off to catch a Python programmer!