Authoring with eXe/Lesson 1 - Understanding eXe

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At the completion of this module you will be able to:
  • Describe the benefits of using the eXe authoring application.
  • Describe the main features of the eXe authoring application.

What is eXe?

The eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) is a web-based authoring environment designed to assist teachers 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.

A DIY editor

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. eXe has been developed to overcome a number of identified limitations of other web editing tools:

  • Traditionally web-authoring software usually entail a steep learning curve; they lack the ability to be intuitive and are not designed specifically for publishing learning content. Consequently, teachers have not been inclined to adopt 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 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.

Other sources of information about eXe

User Stories

(If you have used eXe please share your story. Tell us why you chose eXe and what type of project you used it for.)

Assessment Questions

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Consider some of the barriers you might be currently experiencing with creating and distributing learning resources via the web. Do these barriers make you less inclined to produce web resources?

We are keen to get your feedback. You can talk to us directly on our IRC chat channel at #exe (just remember we live at GMT+12) or via our survey instrument or you can share your comments with other eXe users and teachers on the eXe wiki pages in WikiEducator a website created by the Commonwealth of Learning for the purpose of making learning resources freely available to everyone.


1. Can you define your own learning content structure using eXe?


2. Instruction in eXe is created using iDevices. iDevices are elements that describe the content. True or False?


3. Can you make your own iDevices in eXe?


4. There are a variety of ways to package and distribute eXe learning content?


5. eXe has been designed to work off-line.