Convert #Articulate Web output to LMS output without republishing

by Dave Mozealous on January 19, 2010

This post is written in response to Deepak Saini’s questions in a comment on one of my posts.

So here is the problem: You have a bunch of Articulate presentations that you have published and uploaded to your website, and now it is your job to take all those presentations and upload them to your new LMS, but the problem is you no longer have the source presentations. How can you convert your Web published content to LMS content without republishing from Articulate Presenter?

Whenever possible, you should republish your content, doing this method ain’t going to be easy.

A couple notes:

  • Make a backup of any project that you are going to modify so that you can undo anything that breaks.
  • These instructions aren’t supported by Articulate.
  • I am assuming your are going to use SCORM 1.2. You can do the same thing for SCORM 2004, or AICC but the instructions need to be tweaked a bit.

Convert your Articulate Web content to LMS without republishing

1. Install Beyond Comapre

Using Beyond Compare will make this process a whole lot easier to understand. You can download a trial of it from the good folks at Scooter Software here.

Why do you need Beyond Compare?  We are going to publish a presentation to LMS output, and then compare those files with the files that you already have published to Web. We will then either copy over files as needed, or modify existing files to make the Web output into LMS output.

Once you have downloaded Beyond Compare install it, choosing all the default options.

2. Download your Web output

Download the entire folder of web presentation from your website to your local machine.

Note: Make sure if you are downloading via FTP that you choose “binary mode” in your FTP program.

Once you have downloaded your presentation make sure that the content plays fine before modifying anything. Then make a backup of it. If it doesn’t play after downloading likely you didn’t download in “binary mode”.

3. Publish a sample presentation for LMS

Like I mentioned earlier, we need some sample LMS content to compare to our Web content to make this work.

Note: It is important that you use the same version of Articulate Presenter to publish your sample LMS presentation as your Web presentation. Things will likely break if you follow this article using LMS output from Articulate Presenter ’09 and Web output from Articulate Presenter 5.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Create a blank PowerPoint presentation
  2. Select Articulate>Publish
  3. Select the LMS tab
  4. Set your Publish title to match your the Published title of your Web presentation
  5. Select your LMS type (SCORM 1.2, 2004, AICC)
  6. Publish

4. Compare your Web output to your LMS output

Now we are going to use Beyond Compare to compare the output and replace files as necessary.

Ok, this section is very difficult to explain, but very easy to show. So I created a Screenr Screencast that walks you through it.

View on Screenr

In the screencast above I neglected to show changing another line in the player.html. In the Web version of the player.html find a line that says this:
var g_bLMS = false;
set it to this:
var g_bLMS = true;
and save the file.

5. Modify the imsmanifest.xml

You are going to have to make some changes to the imsmanifest.xml file that is in your published output folder to make sure that it is valid SCORM content.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open the imsmanifest.xml in the Web published folder in a text editing program like notepad
  2. Navigate to the <resources> section
  3. The section should list all files that are contained in the package. So you need to list a reference for each file that is contained in the output folder. If you followed the instructions above correctly, the only files you should need to add will be in the /data/swf folder. The references should look something like this:
    <file href=”data/swf/slide7.swf”/>
    <file href=”data/swf/tb1.swf”/>
  4. After you are done adding references for all the files, Save the imsmanifest.xml

Now it is time to upload and test it in your LMS.

6. Zip up the contents of the folder and upload to your LMS

Zip up the contents (but not the folder itself) of your Web folder, and upload it to your LMS. You should be all set.

That’s it. I know this isn’t super easy, but if you don’t have any way of republishing it might be your only option.

Remember to test your content thoroughly before sending out the content to everyone.  There is a good chance things could break when following these instructions, so testing is important.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Deepak Saini January 20, 2010 at 4:16 am

Hi Dave,
Thank You, so much for providing all the information in easy steps. I was pleasantly surprised to see this detailed post and I really appreciate all your efforts and sharing this knowledge. I have learnt something new, I will try this and let you know my progress with this.

The other thing which I had tried with moodle to work around this problem was to upload all this into a course (Topic Format) and then used the “Link to a file or website” and uploaded the folder conatining the published articulate file for web. Then I unzipped the folder and used player.html to Launch the course. The course does launch but ofcourse the tracking would not take place. The only option with me is to add an Articulate quiz as a seperate part of this course so that we could track them seperately (haven’t yet done this part though).

One more thing I would like to mention is I loved the way you have used Screenr.

Thanks again,
Deepak

Dave Mozealous January 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

Great Deepak, thanks for the feedback, and I am glad you liked the Screenr. I know the question of how to do this has come up before, so hopefully it will be of use to others as well.

-Dave

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