Web-based Vs Desktop eLearning for Collaborative Authoring
Web-based eLearning is free from the constraints of typical desktop eLearning solutions and offers many advantages for collaborative authoring. Software is accessed over the internet and a secure, affordable hosted system is provided, with no worries about software set-up, IT configurations, desktop installs, or missing software licences.
The dominKnow platform was designed by dominKnow Learning Systems from the ground up to take full advantage of cloud-based computing, with several built-in features to facilitate collaborative authoring. Features such as working on the same project at the same time, the ability to share learning resources across all projects, and the ability to allow subject matter experts and other stakeholders (an unlimited number) to review and approve content on line, with no special tools or configurations necessary.
As a Web-based eLearning system, everyone logs in on the same safe and secure platform. It doesn't matter if the team is located together or spread out over several time zones. With the dominKnow platform, all stakeholders (even those outside the organisation) can collaborate on eLearning and mLearning content that is ready for consumption online, via the desktop, or on any mobile device or tablet, with no software installs or IT infrastructure necessary.
The Benefits of Collaborative Authoring
Powerful Web-based eLearning Authoring
The dominKnow Platform is a major breakthrough in ease-of-use authoring without giving up flexibility and power. The platform was designed to take full advantage of new and emerging capabilities of the modern browser – delivering a desktop performance over the Web while capitalising on the advantages inherent in cloud-based computing.
Creating content using the dominKnow Platform is simple. Anyone who knows how to use PowerPoint can quickly create HTML5-compliant content using its programming-free platform. It does not use a form-based approach, like some systems. Authors work in a WYSIWYG environment that is familiar and fast.
dominKnow's Claro and Flow tools facilitate collaborative authoring, uniting the entire content creation team (authors, subject matter experts, graphic designers, reviewers, project manager, etc.) allowing them to work together as productively and naturally as if they worked in the same physical office. This gives an organisation the opportunity to get things done more quickly and effectively by having people work together in ways that reflect their best skill sets.
The tools make it easy for several people to contribute to the same content in real time. Different authors can be working on different topics and a quick refresh allows them to see each other´s changes and updates instantly. No more transfering source files back and forth (and wondering who has the latest version). In addition, the check in/check out feature makes sure that no one accidentally overwrites someone else´s work whilst everyone works together on a course project.
The Reviewer Notes tool allows authors to invite people to log in and run a course just like a student would, whether that´s on a laptop, desktop browser, or on a smartphone or tablet. They can enter comments on anything they see as part of the review. All comments can be compiled into a report that tracks who said what, when – and ties those comments to each page of content. Priorities can be assigned to any issues and issues can be tracked as they are resolved.
In addition to these features, authors can create and share fully interactive page templates across projects. Libraries of templates can be created to speed up the development process and share course design expertise across and organisation.
Everything that happens in both dominKnow Claro and Flow is tracked, so it´s easy to pull up activity reports if needed. History reporting tracks activity on specific courses, so administrators and authors can always find out who worked on what parts of a given course.
Not everyone on a content creation team needs to (or should) do the same things. Claro provides a set of roles for different team members depending on what they need to do. For example, Administrators are full authors but also have access to many of the administrative features such as setting up authors and assigning permissions. Authors can log in and make their own courses or work on courses they have been given permission to work on. Reviewers can only log in and provide review comments on a project and don´t have access to edit or change any content.
All content is stored on a password protected, central server which means that all work is backed up and protected against accidental loss of data, such as hard drive crashes or misplaced files.
The dominKnow Platform is built around a re-usable learning object model that makes it easy to re-use completed content in new courses without having to re-do any work. Even test questions can be re-used. All instances of use are tracked so you can quickly chose to update content (or not) when changes are made to the original instance.
Similarly, the media library allows re-use of any asset across different projects including media files, glossary terms, citations/references, and attached resources (PDFs, PowerPoint slides, Word and Excel documents, etc.). You can also keep track of asset use so when an image is updated, for example, it can be done easily and quickly in one process rather than having to search through dozens or hundreds of content pages hoping nothing gets missed.
Authors also have the ability to create shareable libraries of themes and templates. Course styles and page layouts can be easily re-used across any number of courses, with the same ability to update and make changes across all instances.
Content design and consistency are critical for both quality and efficiency. With the dominKnow Platform the availability of numerous Themes and Templates ensures you can achieve this. Themes provide a consistent look and feel throughout the course, driving elements such as font, colours, button styles, page backgrounds and overall navigation options. Once themes have been developed authors can re-use them and content look and feel is automatically updated when the Theme is changed. This can be tremendously helpful when reusing content across courses.
Authors can also speed up development by using one of several hundred templates available and ready to use, or by creating their own.
Authors are not only able to share and re-use themes and templates but all learning objects, media elements, course resources, etc. This approach to collaborative content development saves an incredible amount of time and ensures consistency across development.