E-Learning Content Collaboration

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in Articulate Presenter

Collaboration is often the name of the game where content creation and e-learning are concerned. In fact, in this world of powerful Web 2.0 apps, collaborative resources like the Wikipedia, an ever-expanding sea of blogs on any topic you can imagine, and RSS and Atom feeds and feed readers, community-created content is rapidly becoming the norm.

The Articulate Community Forums are a living and breathing example of the power of collaboration — the exchanging of ideas and problem solving to create knowledge via a few (hundred) people coming together to create content that benefits many.

Creating effective e-learning is rarely a solo task. You probably have a team of subject matter experts, designers, voiceover talents, writers, and editors. You may even have a handful of folks who are working on building the same course via Articulate Presenter. So what happens when it’s time to pass the project over to your colleague? You just email the PowerPoint file and you’re good to go, right? Not quite.

Along with your PowerPoint file, there are all kinds of good files that reside in your project folder — audio, images, inserted Flash movies, Web Objects, etc. — all of which are necessary to hand your project off to your colleague to continue working on your e-learning masterpiece. So how do you get these files to your collaborators in learning creation?

Always use the Publish to Project Files feature:


Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to Articulate -> Publish -> Project Files.
  2. Optionally, uncheck the box to Include .WAV files (not recommended if your colleague is going to do any work with audio).
  3. Designate a Publish Location and click Publish.
  4. When prompted, choose whether you want to view the zip file you’ve just created.

Fair enough, but now that you’ve published your project files to a nice ‘n tidy zip file, what do you do with it?

Odds are that your file’s going to be a pretty sizable archive, especially if you’ve chosen to include your source .WAV files for your colleagues. Many email providers and corporate Exchange servers (where all your Outlook email lives) put limits on the size of attachments you can send (even the hugely popular Gmail from Google has a 10mb per attachment limit). Maybe you have a network drive or FTP server you and your colleagues can all access, but in this age of international collaboration, maybe you’re not so lucky. But fear not.

ysi_logo.jpg There’s a great (free!) service called YouSendIt that will allow you to send any file up to 1 GB in size — yes, a full gigabyte 100 MB (yousendit has decreased its size limit), which should be more than enough for any e-learning course you’re creating; if it’s not, you might want to consider scaling back your course into more manageable chunks! — to anyone you’d like. Simply upload your file and a secure and private link will be sent to anyone you specify. Once your colleague receives notification of the file, she simply downloads and extracts the zip file containing your shared project, and she’s ready to make it even better.

When your colleague is done with her additions and content revisions? She simply repeats the above process, beginning with the publish to project files, to send the file back to you.

Welcome to the wonderful world of virtual collaboration!

See also: Publish to Project Files Overview (AP presentation launches in new window) | Articulate Presenter 5 Documentation: Publishing: Project Files.

15 responses to “E-Learning Content Collaboration”


Instead of YouSendit (which I use) I prefer the box.net account. You get a free 1 GB online storage. I use netvibes as my homepage. I can upload a file to the folder via my homepage (with a box.net add-in) and allow others to access it. As a matter of fact, I saw a pdf for fixing my TabletPC screen the other day, and it was just a link from a box.net acct. Pretty slick. A lot better than sending. Demo link: http://www.box.net/public/xoubp2dhe7

doofdaddy // Posted at 12:08 pm on August 4th, 2006

Thanks for the box.net pointer, doofdaddy! I recently started using Netvibes, too, and love it.

Similar to box.net, though not really appropriate for file-sharing, is Mozy, which I recently mentioned on the forums and is excellent for free online file backup.

Another tool worth looking into for file/folder synchronization between machines is FolderShare.

Gabe Anderson // Posted at 12:12 pm on August 4th, 2006

I must be missing something. I’ve read several articles and looked at the documentation on how to share files. I tried the publish to project files and I’ve never gotten a file that maintains a connection to the pieces of the project (where swf files were, there are xes). I get a project folder with the files , but how is someone else supposed to pick up on a project if it comes disassembled? Surely that can’t be how you intended for this to work.

In the long run, the better way is to figure out how we can save work to a central drive. In the mean time, please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong. Thanks.

Tim Schultz // Posted at 4:23 pm on November 27th, 2007

Tim- If you haven’t already figured this out, I’d suggest that you submit a support case and we can help you out.

Your collaborator should simply need to extract the zip you create and open the PowerPoint file to continue working on the project.

gabe // Posted at 5:40 pm on December 6th, 2007

I’m interested to know how Tim Schultz came out in the posting before me. I’m in the same boat. Here’s my situation. Let me know if you want me to put in a support case ticket.

I work for a bank. I create the courses on my desktop using Presenter 5.2.131 Pro & Quizbuilder. I import audio or record the audio from my desktop and synch to the animations. Then I publish the course output using the option “for LMS” to our X drive (which is for LMS files only and not for project files) and we link the course to our Saba LMS and students have no problem. Things are sweet to this point.

My issue starts here…Now I need to move the files off my desktop, to the Y drive where we store all our course project files. This is a different drive from the X drive with the output. The Y drive is our permanent drive for courses so other developers can make updates in the future. (Say I move on to another company…or my coworker gets assigned the maintenance update as I’m on a different project now).

I have tried both of the methods above, and checked the directory structures, and have not renamed any files to begin with so I see nothing to rename. The only thing that changed is the location from my desktop to a network drive.

I have tried to 1) Copy the ppt & the accompanying project folder with all the narration, quiz, etc., from my desk top to the y drive but when you open the ppt file, the timeline audio editor cannot find the audio. “File not found”. When that didn’t work I’ve also tried 2) using the “Publish Project” files including the .wavs to the Y drive, but when you unzip and open the ppt, the same thing happens. The audio files are not reconnecting even though you can see them in the project folder/narration folder.

I have never been successful in keeping the audio linked. This is very disturbing as I have produced over 10 courses in the last year…and if I don’t figure this out, all these courses are going to have to have the audio reimported and all the animations resynched.

Can you think of anything I am missing or doing wrong? Do you want me to open a ticket?

Amy Keating // Posted at 2:06 pm on May 2nd, 2008

Hi Amy-

I’ve submitted your question as a case on your behalf so that we can better assist you. It sounds like part of the issue may be working on your network drive (any drive that’s not local), which, depending on network permissions, can cause issues when working on Articulate projects.

gabe // Posted at 4:51 pm on May 2nd, 2008

[…] or to another machine. As I’ve previously outlined on this blog, the key with this method of elearning content collaboration is to use the Publish to Project Files option in […]


I want my content developers to post their Presenter ’09 project files to a SharePoint 2003 server for revision control. I have read quite a few great posts about doing that with Presenter 5, but not with the new version of Presenter. I have attempted to save both the Articulate project and Microsoft Powerpoint files to the server, but it does not allow someone without the raw Engage or Quizmaker files to edit the lesson. Which files need to be stored in one place to edit and how do you get them there from Articulate Presenter?

Dale // Posted at 2:51 am on October 27th, 2008

How do you share the project files with STudio 09? There is no publish to project files option?


kim Stockwell // Posted at 2:11 pm on May 27th, 2009

I am sending my articulate project to articulate package and when I open the zip files most of the project files are missing. The PPTA file is there however and when I open it and preview all the slides it works as if all files are there. I am trying to save the project to a network drive to share and I think this will be a problem. Have you encountered such a problem in the past? What solution do you recommend?

Avronia // Posted at 12:42 am on March 24th, 2010

Hi Avronia,

Are you trying to create an Articulate package that includes the .quiz and .intr files as well? If so, those files are typically included in the package by default. If they’re not in the zip file, then the link between your presentation and the source files are broken. Here’s what I would recommend:

1. Open your presentation
2. Scroll to each slide that contains a quiz or interaction
3. Click on the Edit in Quizmaker or Edit in Engage button
4. Make a small change to the file in Engage or Quizmaker
5. Click the Save & Return button
6. Repeat for each applicable slide
7. Save your presentation
8. Publish the presentation
9. Exit PowerPoint
10. Reopen your file in PowerPoint (steps 8 and 9 help to regenerate the PPTA file)
11. Package your presentation using the Send to Articulate Presenter Package

After you have completed step 11, you should have a ZIP file that contains your PowerPoint file, the PPTA file, and all of your quizzes / Engage interactions. If you do not, be sure to create the package on your local hard drive instead of directly to your network drive. It’s possible that the link is being lost when you create the package directly on your network drive.

Brian Batt // Posted at 9:46 am on March 24th, 2010


Thanks for your response. I was extracting the zip file to a network drive and then copying the files from there to save it to my desktop so I think this may have been the root to the problem. I followed your suggestions going into each Engage and Quizmaker slide within the PowerPoint and all the subsequent steps. This time after publishing and packaging the project, I extracted the zip file to my desktop and then copied the files to the network drive. I am taking care to only work with the project from a local drive, namely my desktop. The problem seems to be resolved. I thought I was going to basically have to start over. That was quite a scare!


Avonia // Posted at 1:42 pm on March 25th, 2010

Thanks for the valued responses above. When trying to upload my module to SharePoint and run the player.html file from SharePoint I do not see the full polished published module. Is there something else I need to do? I only have the podcast button on the bottom. Thanks.

Rachel // Posted at 3:12 pm on February 14th, 2011

How we can publish the project Files on Articulate presenter 09 in order to share the source file with our collgues.
Because in Articulate presenter 09 there is not any option to publish the file projects.

Hassan Raza // Posted at 6:01 am on March 10th, 2011

Hi Hassan- actually, yes, there is a way to publish the project files – take a look at the Send to Articulate Presenter Package feature.

gabe // Posted at 10:12 am on March 10th, 2011

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