| 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
(If you have used eXe please share your story. Tell us why you chose eXe and what type of project you used it for.)
|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.
We have tried to ensure that eXe has a relatively simple and intuitive interface to work with. Along with this, eXe works offline so you can work on your content anywhere, you don't need to be online all the time.
Another advantage to having eXe in your teachers toolkit is that it is being designed to play nicely with a number of other applications and we are constantly assessing how eXe might work with other elearning technologies.
1. Can you define your own learning content structure using eXe?
With 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.
2. Instruction in eXe is created using iDevices. iDevices are elements that describe the content. True or False?
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 complete 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 ideas for additional iDevices are always welcomed from the wider learning community.
3. Can you make your own iDevices in eXe?
Along with the iDevices that come packaged in eXe there is also an iDevice Editor
. This allows users to create their own custom iDevices. Taking this customisation a step further, with eXe users can also customise their published content by selecting from a range of graphical style sheets.
4. There are a variety of ways to package and distribute eXe learning content?
eXe’s Export facility allows content to be packaged in a variety of ways. Learning resources can be packaged as a self contained web site or a zipped file for publishing to a web server, as a SCORM Content Package which will enable the resource to be imported into any SCORM enabled learning management system (LMS), as a single page or text file suitable for printing or as an iPod notes file for loading to an iPod.
5. eXe has been designed to work off-line.
One of the major design features of eXe was that teachers with limited access to internet connectivity are able to create learning content for the web without having to be connected at the time.