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:
- Go to Articulate -> Publish -> Project Files.
- Optionally, uncheck the box to Include .WAV files (not recommended if your colleague is going to do any work with audio).
- Designate a Publish Location and click Publish.
- 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.
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.