Why its important to get your eLearning source files
In the time that we’ve been working in the eLearning industry, we have noticed one truth from the clients side and that is content vendors come and content vendors go. This is not a bad thing of course, unless you’re a content vendor on the ‘going’ side of the equation, but it can cause a big problem. Especially if the vendor takes the source files with them.
Which brings us to our point, whenever you enter into an agreement with a content vendor, ensure the vendor hands over all source files once the project is signed off. It could be an expensive lesson in time and cost if you have to re-build all your content again. B Online Learning pioneered sharing eLearning source files many years ago, today its a standard expectation for development contracts for many vendors.
When you receive the files, make sure they are the actual source files and not just the published output which is typically a .zip file. If your content has been developed in Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate you can look for specific file extensions (the bit at the end of the saved title).
- Storyline Files will have the extension of .story
- Captivate will have the extension .cptx (or similar)
So a Storyline source file will looks like this:
These files can simply be opened by anyone with a licenced copy of the software, much like a Word document. So you have the power to either update the content yourself or give it to a content vendor to update for you without any problems.
With all the recent developments and improvements in learning technology we see many companies upgrading to new Learning Platforms. Its worth mentioning that you should consider if using an LMS authoring tool is the right approach if you have a large volume of content to build. If you want to move in the future you can’t take that content to another LMS. Yes you can take the published SCORM packages but you don’t have access to the source files which can only be editable in that particular LMS, so you will not be able to make changes and update the content in the future.
Selecting a tool like Articulate with 770000+ users in their community means you have the security that your content will remain up to date and you will always control your IP. Articulate content will work in any SCORM or xAPI compliant learning system. So you simply take your content with you when you want to change your LMS. Call us if you want to look at getting your content built of and we can offer some solutions to get your eLearn on track soon.