= EXE User Manual =

== Chapter 1 Introducing eXe ==

=== Backgrounding eXe ===

The eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) is a web-based authoring environment designed to assist teachers and academics in the design, development and publishing of web-based learning and teaching materials without the need to become proficient in HTML, XML or complicated web-publishing applications.

The Web is a revolutionary educational tool because it presents teachers and learners with a technology that simultaneously provides something to talk about (content) and the means to hold the conversation (interaction). Unfortunately, the power of this hypertext medium is constrained in educational settings because the vast majority of teachers and academics do not have the technical skills to build their own web pages, and must therefore rely on the availability of web developers to generate professional looking online content. The eXe is being developed to overcome a number of identified limitations:

    * Traditionally web-authoring software entails a steep learning curve; it is not intuitive and the applications were not designed for publishing learning content. Consequently teachers and academics have not adopted these technologies for publishing online learning content. eXe aims to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that will enable teachers to publish professional web pages for learning;

    * Currently, learning management systems do not offer sophisticated authoring tools for web content (when compared to the capabilities of web-authoring software or the skills of an experienced web developer). eXe is a tool that provides professional web-publishing capabilities that will be easily referenced or imported by standards compliant learning management systems;

    * Most content management and learning management systems utilize a centralized web server model thus requiring connectivity for authoring. This is limiting for authors with low bandwidth connectivity or no connectivity at all. eXe will be
      developed as an offline authoring tool without the requirement for connectivity.

    * Many content management and learning management systems do not provide an intuitive wysiwyg environment where authors can see what their content will look like in a browser when published, especially when working offline. eXe will mimic wysiwig functionality enabling users to see what the content will look like when published online.

=== Overview of eXe tools ===

With the eXe, users can develop a learning structure that suits their content delivery needs and build a resource that is flexible and easily updated. The Outline pane of the eXe Control Panel enables users to design an outline that reflects their own preferred hierarchical structure and taxonomy, i.e. topics-sections-units, or books-chapters-verses, etc. This can be established at the outset or can develop as the resource is built.

The iDevice (instructional device) pane consists of a collection of structural elements that describe learning content. Some of these include, objectives, pre-knowledge, case studies, free text. Learning content is compiled by selecting iDevices from the iDevice menu and entering your learning content. A learning resource may consist of as few or as many iDevices as required to deliver the learning content effectively. New iDevices are in development and recommendations for additional iDevices are being sought from the wider learning community. An iDevice editor enabling users to design their own iDevices and templates has been released in an experimental format as work continues on its development.

eXe offers the ability for users to customise their published content by selecting from a range of graphical style sheets.
eXe’s Export facility allows content to be packaged in two ways. Learning resources can be packaged as a a self contained web site for publishing to a web server, or as a SCORM Content Package which will enable the resource to be imported into any SCORM enabled learning management system (LMS). 

== Chapter 2 Starting exe ==

=== Windows ===

To start the eXe, double-click the eXe icon that should have appeared on your desktop after installation. If you don't have an eXe icon on your desktop you will need to find the application's icon in your Windows start menu under Programs.  You should probably maximise the eXe window to utilise all the space you have available to work in.

=== Linux ===

Type (all lower case) from the command line. This will launch eXe.

== Chapter 3 - Building a resource ==

This chapter is designed to guide you through using the tools in this application to produce your own learning resources.

=== Objectives ===

At the conclusion of this tutorial you will be able to:

    * Use the outline tool set to structure a resource
    * Select iDevices and add content to a resource
    * Apply a new style to a resource.

=== Section 1 - Defining Properties ===

The Properties tab allows you to record general details about your project e.g. Title, Author, and Description. It also allows you to define the taxonomy you may prefer to use to describe the different components or levels within the resource.

==== Activity ====

To begin this activity with eXe open (see Chapter 3- Starting eXe).

   1. Select the Properties tab (at the top of the authoring workspace)
   2. Type a title for this resource in the Title field e.g. eXe Tutorial.
   3. Type in the author details and a brief description of the resource in the space provided
   4. Change the taxonomy to Module, Section, Map. (The taxonomy determines the naming convention for the different levels in the outline.)
   5. Click <Done>
   6. Return to the Authoring tab.

=== Section 2 - Defining an outline ===

==== Preknowledge ====

You should have completed Section 1 - Defining Properties and set the properties for your package.

The Outline tool set allows you to define the structure your project will take. This is particularly useful for large or complex projects that contain many parts or topics. On startup the authoring pane displays to the right of the eXe sidebar. The outline pane displays two defaultdnodes, draft and home.

===== Home =====

The Home node is the first page displayed when the project is exported to the web or an LMS. This is a parent node and additional child level nodes can be added under this node.

===== Adding nodes =====

To add additional nodes select the parent node by highlighting the parent level and click the Add Child button.

===== Delete nodes =====

To delete a node select the node you want to delete and click the delete button. A dialogue message displays to check this action. Click OK to continue.

===== Renaming nodes =====

Select the node you want to rename and double click. A dialogue message prompts you to enter the new name. Enter the name and click OK. This action can also be done using the Rename button at the top of the panel.

===== Promote/Demote arrows =====

The promote/demote arrows are located beneath the outline pane. Selecting a node and clicking on one of the arrows will change the position of that node with the outline structure.

==== Activity ====

Now try adding a new Module to your project. To do this click on the parent node you want the new "child" module to be associated with and click the <Add Child> button. Select the new module and double click or click <Rename>. Add a title, in this case call it eXe Tutorial.

=== Section 3 - Selecting iDevices ===

==== Preknowledge ====

You should have completed Section 2 - Defining an outline.

iDevices are instructional elements that provide a framework within which to set your content.

|| Activity || An activity can be defined as a task or set of tasks a learner must complete. Provide a clear statement of the task and consider any conditions that may help or hinder the learner in the performance of the task. ||
|| Attachment || The Attachment iDevice allows you to place files, e.g. pdf, ppt, etc., within your content that you want learners to be able to access. ||
|| Case Study || A case study is a story that conveys an educational message. A case study can be used to present a realistic situation that enables learners to apply their own knowledge and experience to. When designing a case study you might want to consider the following: ||
|| ||    * What educational points are conveyed in the story ||
|| ||    * What preparation will the learners need to do prior to working on the case study ||
|| ||    * Where the case study fits into the rest of the course ||
|| ||    * How the learners will interact with the materials and each other e.g. if run in a classroom situation can teams be setup to work on different aspects of the case and if so how are ideas feed back to the class. ||
|| Free Text Area || The majority of a learning resource will be establishing context, delivering instructions and providing general information. This provides the framework within which the learning activities are built and delivered. ||
|| Image with Text || Graphic representations with explanation can provide emotional (affective) and learning task (cognitive) dimensions to the learning. ||
|| Multichoice Question || Although more often used in formal testing situations MCQ’s can be used as a testing tool to stimulate thought and discussion on topics students may feel a little reticent in responding to. ||
|| || When designing a MCQ test consider the following: ||
|| ||    * What are the learning outcomes are the questions testing ||
|| ||    * What intellectual skills are being tested ||
|| ||    * What are the language skills of the audience ||
|| ||    * Gender and cultural issues ||
|| ||    * Avoid grammar language and question structures that might provide clues ||
|| Objectives || Objectives describe the expected outcomes of the learning and should define what the learners will be able to do when they have completed the learning tasks. ||
|| Preknowledge || Prerequisite knowledge refers to the knowledge learners should already have in order to be able to effectively complete the learning. Examples of pre-knowledge can be: ||
|| ||    * Learners must have level 4 English ||
|| ||    * Learners must be able to assemble standard power tools ||
|| Reading Activity || Provide learners with structure to their reading activity. This helps put the activity in context for the learner. It is also important to correctly reference any reading materials you refer to as this models best practice to the learners. Not always essential if covered in the course content but providing feedback to the learner on some of the main points covered in the reading may also add value to the activity. ||
|| Reflection || Reflection is a teaching method often used to connect theory to practice. Reflection tasks often provide learners with an opportunity to observe and reflect on their observations before presenting these as a piece of academic work. Journals, diaries, profiles and portfolios are useful tools for collecting observation data. Rubrics and guides can be effective feedback tools. ||
|| True-False Question || True-false questions present a statement that requires the learner to make a determine whether or not the statement is true or not. ||
|| Wikipedia Article || Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia being developed by contributions from the web community. The wikipedia article idevice takes a snap shot of an article and embeds it into the content. Changes made to the article will not automatically be updated to Wikipedia so changes made to the wikipedia content in your content should be submitted on wikipedia as well. ||
|| ||    * What educational points are conveyed in the story ||
|| ||    * What preparation will the learners need to do prior to working on the case study ||
|| ||    * Where the case study fits into the rest of the course ||
|| ||    * How the learners will interact with the materials and each other e.g. if run in a classroom situation can teams be setup to work on different aspects of the case and if so how are ideas feed back to the class. ||

To demonstrate iDevices in action take a look through the examples below.

==== Multi-Choice Question ====

Which iDevice would you use to describe the learning outcomes of a learning resource?
 * Reflection
 * Multichoice Question  
 * Objectives 
 * Preknowledge

Move on to Sub-section1 of this section Entering content into the iDevice to enter content.

==== Sub-section1 - Entering content into the iDevice ====

If you have been working through this chapter in sequence, you should have:

    * Defined the properties for your resource
    * Worked with the outline and established a module entitled eXe Tutorial, and
    * Looked at selecting iDevices from the iDevice menu.

===== Activity =====

Use the following steps to create content with an iDevice.

   1. Select the Free Text iDevice from the menu displayed (from the sidebar to the left of the screen).
   2. Type the following phrase in the authoring workspace displayed 'The eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) is a web-based authoring environment designed to assist teachers and academics in the design, development and publishing of web-based learning and teaching materials without the need to become proficient in HTML, XML or complicated web-publishing applications.'
   3. Click the green checkmark. This will display the content you have just entered in view mode.


This action has not saved your content in your project. To save:

   1. Select <file> from the toolbar menu and choose <save>
   2. Enter the filename you wish to give your project
   3. Click <Save>. A confirmation message will be displayed

'''Formatting content using Rich Text Editor'''

Using the iDevice rich text editor you enter your content as you would if you were using standard word processing type applications. Formatting of your content at this stage is relatively simple and the editing toolbar located above each editing frame provides some simple formatting, searching and linking functionality. The toolbar is opened by clicking on the expand toolbar arrow at the top left of the editing frame.

=== Section 4 - Creating an iDevice using the Editor ===

''iDevice Editor''

The iDevice Editor is a new feature from release 0.4 that allows you to design your own simple iDevices. This feature is still under development and improvements to its functionality continue to be made.

==== Activity - Creating an iDevice ====

   1. With eXe running, select Tools from the toolbar menu and select iDevice Editor. The iDevice editor window will open.
   2. Enter the device name, author name, and a description of the iDevice.
   3. Enter any pedagological help you might give to other users on how you see the device being used.
   4. Select the emphasis you want the content to have from the drop down menu.
   5. The next step is to build your iDevice by selecting the elements you want to appear in your iDevice. The Add Text Field provides you with a single line input field, the Add Text Area gives you a multiple line input field and an image input field is now available.
   6. Give each element added a label and provide instructions on usability.
   7. Click Save. The new iDevice will appear in the iDevices Pane. This iDevice now behaves in the same manner as the other iDevices.
   8. To create additional iDevices open the iDevice editing window and click the Reset button at the foot of the window.

==== Activity - Deleting iDevices created with the Editor ====

''NOTE:'' eXe does not currently have a roll back or delete an iDevice feature. If you want to delete iDevices created with the editor this action will delete all the idevices you have created. Content created with a new iDevice however, remains part of your content and is editable.

   1. For Windows users, click 'My documents' or 'Home' for Linux users.
   2. Select the file and press the Delete key.

=== Section 5 - Save, Load and Export functions ===

==== Activity - Saving your project content ====

To save your project:

   1. Select the <file> from the toolbar menu and choose <save>
   2. Enter the filename you wish to give your project
   3. Click <save>. A confirmation message will be displayed

==== Activity - Loading saved packages ====

To load a previously saved package:

   1. Click <file> in the toolbar menu and choose <open>
   2. Select the package you want to open
   3. Click <open>.

Note: The newly selected project will load in this browser view and close the previous project. 

==== Exporting project packages ====

Projects can be exported web packages ready for publishing to the web or as SCORM packages for publishing to SCORM compliant Learning management systems (LMS).

==== Activity - Exporting project packages ====

   1. Select <file> in the toolbar menu
   2. Select the <export> format you wish to use from the dropdown menu
   3. Click <export>. Your project will be exported to your My Documents file. 
   4. To view the web pages you will find a folder labelled with you project title. Open the file and double click on the Index file.
   5. To view SCORM file unzip the files contents. Clicking on a page will enable you to view the contents

=== Section 6 - Navigating eXe ===


Located at the far left of the screen is the eXe sidebar containing the Outline and iDevice panes.
This basic tool set allows users to develop the structure or outline for a project design and produce
learning content using the iDevice tools.


''Menu Bar''


The eXe Menu bar provides a range of global functionality that can be applied to the content as it is being built.

''Outline Pane and title nodes''


The node buttons allow you manage how your learning material will be structured e.g. chapters, sections, sub-sections etc.


These buttons allow you to move nodes.


Each iDevice comes with a standard set of iDevice controls. These controls are described in detail below.

|| Green check mark || Each time you enter content into a field you mustclick on the check mark to record and activate the content in the iDevice. ||
|| Delete bin || By clicking on the bin you will delete the iDevice and any content entered. ||
|| Up and down arrows || The up and down arrows allow you to change the order of the iDevices displayed on your screen. ||
|| Move To dropdown menu || You can move iDevices containing content between and within nodes. This is done by opening the drop down menu and selecting the node you wish to move it to. ||
|| Edit iDevice || The page and pencil icon that appears in preview mode beneath each iDevice enables you to edit that particular iDevice. This is done by clicking on the icon which opens the iDevice in edit mode. ||

==== Section 7 - Tips and Help ====

''Pedagogy tips''

Pedagogy tips are found next to the iDevice controls beneath the authoring workspace. You will find a blue button with a lowercase letter i in the center. Clicking this button will display the a dialogue box with a tip or purpose description.

'' Field Help ''

Field help is accessed for each field by clicking on the yellow button containing a question mark. This icon is located to the right of each field label.

Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on 2009-05-22T06:11:44+09:00