Mar 17, 2011

Saba Player Templates and Best Practices

The question is “what is the best way to create a video based training course in Saba?” When first answering a question like this, I like to look around for best practices. I have a lot of video based content.  The videos are 3 to 5 minutes long and I have 40 to 50 videos in a course. In this case, I was unable to find a best practice when it comes to packaging as SCORM to deliver in an LMS.

Key Issues to be Addressed

The two issues I’m wrangling with are usability versus cost to deliver.  I want my learners to have a consistent look and feel for video based courses.  I want them to easily navigate the course files.  To lower the cost of delivery I want a faster turn-a-round on development time, I want it simple to test, and I want to reuse my work as a template for other projects.

My Approach

I’ve decided to use Lectora for this project because it has a good frame work for handling video based content.  This is the approach I’ve decided on:

  • Turn each video into a SCO
  • Each SCO has two pages
    • A launcher page - this page will not be shown to the learner, this page is only used to launch the second page
    • A video page - this is the page that shows the video to be displayed to the learner
  • Use a player template in saba that will serve as the table of contents for the course

Challenges

I want to launch the video in a window that is sized for that video.  In Saba I do not have the ability to specify the size of a SCO window that is “popped up” from the table of contents.  I also want the menus disabled and specific sizing and scroll bar options.  So in Saba I am only loading the SCO, when the SCO is loaded, the video window pops up based on the code I wrote using Lectora.  I would prefer to let Saba handle the popup and sizing of the code to save on my development time.  It seems uncommon for LMS vendors to provide this functionality.

Another issue I have yet to resolve is that Saba is automatically launching the first SCO when the project is started.  I would prefer the learner to choose the SCO they would like to launch.  It seems there would be a toggle in Saba for this but I don’t see it as an option in my player template.  I’m left wondering if there is a configuration issue with the deployment of Saba I’m working on or Saba requires that at least one SCO be open at all times.

Is this the best practice? I don’t know. Is this the only way to do it, no.  Regardless, it seems to work well for me and the result is easy and consistent usability with minimal development effort since Saba is handling the table of contents and consolidating the scoring.

1 comment:

Candace said...

I wonder how you ended up resolving this. We just purchased Saba & I'm going to have to learn a LOT about the Player templates apparently.

Thanks for taking time to write down your plan/thinking process.