Engage '13: Publishing a Standalone Interaction for LMS

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This article applies to:

If you're using a learning management system (LMS) to deploy e-learning content, you'll want to use the LMS option when publishing standalone Articulate Engage interactions. (If you need to incorporate your interaction into an Articulate Presenter course, click here.)

Step 1: Enter Title, Description, and Folder Location

  1. On the Engage ribbon, click the Publish button. (Or, click the small triangle under the Preview button and select Publish.)
  2. When the Publish window appears, click the LMS tab. 
  3. Check the text that appears in the Title field, and customize it if you'd like. This text defaults to the type of interaction you're building. If you change it, it'll change the title text that Engage uses in the following places (but it won't change your actual file name):
    • The folder that Engage creates to contain your published output. For example, if the Title field contains the words MSDS Interaction, Engage creates a new folder on your hard drive called MSDS Interaction—Engage output when you publish.
    • The browser title bar, when learners view your published interaction in a browser window.
    • The top bar of your interaction player, if you've opted to include the title as one of the player features.
    • Any screen in your LMS interface that contains titles of content items.
    • If you publish your content for the Articulate Mobile Player app, the interaction title is also used on the HTML launch page and the list of content names in the mobile player library.
  4. In the Description field, you can enter some descriptive text about your interaction if you'd like. Depending on your LMS, this descriptive text may appear along with the interaction name in certain screens within your LMS environment.
  5. In the Folder field, indicate the place on your computer where you want Engage to create your published output. Click the ellipsis button (...) to browse to a specific location. Engage will create a new folder in that spot with all the files needed to play your interaction.
    • Important! Always publish to your local hard drive. Publishing to a network drive or a USB drive can create problems with your published output. After you publish your interaction to a local folder, upload the output to your LMS to test it.

Step 2: Enter Additional Project Info for the Articulate Mobile Player (Optional)

If learners use the Articulate Mobile Player, you can add more information by clicking the ellipsis button (...) next to the Title field on the Publish window. The following Project Info window appears.

  1. The Title and Description are the same as what you entered on the Publish window; you can change the text here if you'd like.
  2. The thumbnail below the Title field is what will appear for this interaction when learners browse content in their mobile player library. By default, Engage uses an image representing the type of interaction you built, but you can use a different image for the thumbnail. Simply click the blue text below the image. Then click Picture from File and choose an image.
  3. AuthorEmailWebsiteDurationDate, and Version appear on the content information cards in the Articulate Mobile Player library.
  4. The Identifier field is a unique string of characters assigned by Engage. Your LMS uses it to identify your content. If you're republishing an interaction that's already in your LMS, don't change the value in this field.
  5. Keywords aren't currently used. They'll be used in a future version of the Articulate Mobile Player app.

When you're finished customizing the fields on this window, click OK to return to the Publish window.

Note these important facts about mobile output:

  • Tracking in the Articulate Mobile Player is only supported in learning management systems that support the Tin Can API specification.
  • If your LMS doesn't yet support the Tin Can API and you need to track and report on learners’ results, don't include the Articulate Mobile Player option when publishing (see the next section for details). Learners will need to view your interaction in a browser that supports Flash or HTML5, so that the interaction can communicate results to your LMS.
  • If your LMS doesn’t support the Tin Can API but you don’t need tracking, you might still be able to deploy your Engage content via your LMS for viewing on the Articulate Mobile Player. However, not all LMSs allow content to be viewed on a mobile app, so you’ll need to test this with your own LMS to confirm.

Step 3: Choose HTML5 and/or Mobile Publishing (Optional)

If learners use mobile devices that don't support Flash, mark the following options to make your interaction viewable in HTML5, the Articulate Mobile Player, or both.

  • Include HTML5 output: This prepares your interaction so that it's viewable as HTML5 content if a learner doesn't have the Flash Player and they view your interaction in an HTML5-compatible browser. Keep in mind that not all browsers handle HTML5 content equally. This article identifies which browsers your learners should use if they need to view your interaction as HTML5 content.
  • Use Articulate Mobile Player for iOS or Android: This prepares your interaction so learners have the best viewing experience on iPads and Android devices. If you mark this option, learners will view your content in the free Articulate Mobile Player app, which they'll be prompted to install when they launch the interaction if they don't already have it. (IMPORTANT: Tracking in the Articulate Mobile Player is only supported in learning management systems that support the Tin Can API specification. If tracking and reporting is crucial for your interaction but your LMS doesn't support Tin Can API, don't mark this option. If your LMS doesn't support the Tin Can API but you don’t need tracking, you might still be able to deploy your Engage content via your LMS for viewing in the Articulate Mobile Player. You’ll need to test this with your own LMS to confirm, since not all LMSs allow content to be viewed in a mobile app.)
  • Allow downloading for offline viewing: This option lets learners download your content to their Articulate Mobile Player app, so they can view it offline later. However, offline viewing isn't currently supported for LMS content. An internet connection is required to view track content in an LMS.

Step 4: Check Player Properties and Quality Settings

The Properties section of the Publish window allows you to make any last-minute changes to your interaction player or the compression settings Engage uses when publishing. 

  1. The Player field shows the name of the player that Engage will use when you publish. (The player is the interface that users see when they view your interaction.) Click the player name if you'd like to make some final adjustments to your player or switch to a different player. If you need help choosing your player settings, see Customizing the Engage Player.
  2. The Quality field allows you to control the compression settings Engage uses for audio, video, and pictures you've added to your interaction. The settings here default to whatever you used the last time you published an Engage project. To change the quality settings, click the blue text and change any of the fields as noted below, then click OK.
    • Choose Standard if you want to use the default settings. If you mark this option, the values on the window revert back to their defaults (video quality of 5, audio bitrate of 48kbps, and image quality of 80%).
    • Choose Custom if you want to define your own quality settings. Then click and drag the slider on any of the three values to change the compression. Using higher values means higher-quality output but also larger file sizes (which means longer download times). Lower values mean smaller file sizes and faster download times, but the visual and audio quality will be lower.
  3. The Theme Colors field indicates the colors you've applied to your interaction. Click the link if you want to switch to a different theme or make any other last-minute adjustments to the colors and effects in your interaction. (More about theme colors.)
  4. The Playback Mode field allows you to control how learners navigate through your published interaction. To change the playback mode, click the blue text and select any of the following options:
    • Choose Interactive if you want to give learners the freedom to view steps in any order. If you mark this option, you can also mark the box to Show preview/next buttons to provide navigation buttons in the lower right corner of the player. Unmark this box if you'd prefer not to include previous and next buttons.
    • Choose Linear if you want to make sure learners view all the steps in order.
    • Choose Presentation if you want the interaction to advance by itself. If you choose this option, learners won't be able to interact with your published output (i.e., they won't be able to jump to different steps in the interaction, rewind videos, or launch hyperlinks). When you choose presentation mode, you can also control the default duration for steps that don't contain any audio or video by typing the desired number of seconds into the field provided.
    • Some interaction types also include Segment Order options. Use these options to specify where the interaction should start and in which direction the segments should proceed.

Step 5: Choose Your Tracking and Reporting Preferences

In the Properties section of the Publish window, click the Tracking field to open the following window, where you can choose options for the way your LMS tracks and reports learners' progress.

  1. Use the LMS selector to choose the standard to which you'd like to publish (ask your LMS administrator if you're not sure). Engage supports Tin Can API, SCORM 2004, SCORM 1.2, and AICC.
  2. Complete the fields in the section called LMS Course Information and the section called LMS Lesson SCORM Information (only appears if you're publishing for SCORM). Ask your LMS administrator if you need help. Some important notes about the fields on this window:
    • If you've chosen Tin Can API as your reporting specification, you'll see a field called Launch URL. Use this to enter the full URL of the interaction.html file if you plan to host the content on a server that's separate from your LMS. Typically, you'd host your content on a server separate from your LMS if your LMS supports the Tin Can API but hasn't yet allowed private content authorization for mobile apps. Find out more here and here.
    • The Identifier field is a unique string of characters assigned by Engage, and your LMS uses it to identify your content. If you're republishing an interaction that's already in your LMS, be sure not to change the value in this field.
  3. If the window includes a section called LMS Reporting, use the selector to choose the wording you'd like to use when expressing learners' status with regard to this interaction.
  4. In the Tracking section at the bottom of the window, select the minimum number of steps learners must view in order to register course completion in your LMS.
  5. Click OK when you're finished setting up your tracking and reporting preferences.

Step 6: Publish

When you're finished choosing your options on the Publish window, click the Publish button.

Engage creates your published output in the location you specified. When publishing is complete, you'll see the following Publish Successful dialog.

  • View Interaction: This launches your interaction in your web browser so you can take a look at your output. If you want to test your published interaction, it's best not to do it this way. Since your published output was created specifically for use with an LMS, you should instead upload the published output to your LMS, and test it from there to make sure it behaves as expected in the environment where you plan to use it.
  • Email: This opens up a new email message with a zipped file of your published output attached. This might be helpful if your LMS administrator will upload the published output for you, and you need to send him the published output for upload.
  • FTP: This opens a window where you can enter your FTP credentials and transfer the published output to a website (which isn't something you'd typically do if you've published for LMS).
  • ZIP: This creates a zipped file of the published output in the location you specified on the Publish window. For LMS users, this is the most common choice. Then you can easily upload your entire zipped interaction to your LMS.
  • Open Folder: This opens a file viewer where you can see the files Engage just created. There will be several folders and files which are needed to play your interaction. If your LMS requires that you identify a single launch file once you've uploaded your content, the file to point to is index_lms.html for SCORM/AICC content or interaction.html for Tin Can API content.

Step 7: Distribute Your Published Interaction

Now that you've published, it's time to upload the interaction to your LMS. The steps for this are slightly different for each LMS. Ask your LMS administrator if you need help uploading, launching, or tracking content.

When learners launch your interaction, they'll see the right type of content based on the device and browser they're using.

  1. Learners will see the Flash version of your interaction if their browsers support it.
  2. If learners are using iPads or Android devices and you selected the Articulate Mobile Player option when you published, the interaction will launch in the app. (If they don't have the app installed, they'll be prompted to install it.)
  3. If learners are using iPads and you didn't select the Articulate Mobile Player option when you published, but you did select HTML5, the HTML5 output will launch in mobile Safari.
  4. If learners are using a browser without Flash and you marked the HTML5 option, they'll see the HTML5 output. (Click here for a list of supported HTML5 browsers.)