When you were adding the Graphic component, you may have noticed (because I pointed it out) there were quite a few components in that list. 31 components at the time of writing this guide. Each of these components has their own editor and their own set of properties. Some even have additional dialogs.
It’s beyond the scope of this guide to walk through adding each component, but they bear talking about if only to point out the pain points. Don’t worry, every component has a detail page, uh, detailing all of the properties in gory detail.
All components can be divided into Presentation components and Evaluation components.
As the name suggests, Presentation components present information either statically or dynamically. The components in the system at the time of this writing are:
- Form Detail
- Go To Menu
- Go To Page
- Graphic Accordion
- Hot Graphic
- Lottie Animation
- Question Card
- Tab Control
- Thinking Question
- Thinking MCQ
“Thinking Question” might give you pause: It’s a question isn’t it? Well, kinda. Thinking Questions solicit large, paragraph responses which are impossible to evaluate. Feedback isn’t based on the user’s response, so it’s really just information, with the added bonus of asking the user to enter a response.
Nothing like having obvious names! Evaluation components evaluate a learner’s response often providing feedback (Correct, Partially Correct, Incorrect), and can provide the learner multiple attempts, show them what answer(s) are correct and/or provide a model answer. All evaluation components can also report the results back to the LMS in the form of SCORM
These components are:
- Drag & Drop Categories
- Graphic Multiple Choice
- Multiple Choice
- Order Items
- Text Input
All of these components can interact with the Assessment Extension, allowing you to turn a Page into an assessment. Which accounts for the odd-man-out in the components Assessment Results, which is only used in Assessments to output the results and allow the user to re-launch the assessment again.
All components have a completed state. Some components, like the Text and Graphic component, are marked complete once the entire element has appeared on screen. Others, like Cards, only complete once the user has interacted with them. Still others, like Carousel or Narrative, can require that they’re completed when they appear on screen or require a learner to view all slides.
Evaluation components are completed once the user has supplied an answer or exhausted their attempts, even if they didn’t answer the question correctly.
Displaying Completion State 4.5
One of the challenges our help desk has discovered is that it can be difficult to determine whether a component is complete or not especially for new users.
To combat this, all components have a setting within the Page Level Progress item of the Extensions section.
Checking the box labeled Show component completion indicator displays a small badge to the right of the title of the component, indicating whether the component is complete or incomplete.
On any interactive component, ensure this checkbox is checked.
The Media component bears special mention here. This component is used to display audio or video content and has a ton of great features.
However, this component gave us the most trouble configuring. To add to the problem, there are some special considerations for media that can cause some frustration, exhaust your data quota with a single click, or create inaccessible content. We’ll touch on these here briefly, and again in the component detail.
First up: Video/Audio uploading. Adapt allows you to upload your video to the system and store it in the media library. Unfortunately, videos (even small cat videos) are large. Users of Adapt have a 5GB storage limit which can be exhausted by a single video/audio file.
Adapt Authoring doesn’t host nor stream videos. When you upload a video then download your course, the video is bundled into the course itself. So the zip file you download could be huge as well. That means that your LMS will not accept the SCORM package (most only allow uploads of 4 – 8MB or so).
Finally, if you manage to include a video file into your course and somehow get the LMS to accept the large SCORM package, the video file has to be downloaded completely before it can be played — it’s how browsers work.
The moral is: Don’t upload video. Evar.
The good news is that Adapt has options for this. The first one is Video Embeds. Any video that you upload to one of the supported video services can be embedded into the course very easily.
Be careful with embedding YouTube videos. You have to have a release from the owner to use the video in your course. Worse, even if you do get the release, many clients block YouTube at the firewall.
The next option (and our favorite) is that Adapt accepts a streaming URL. When you use a streaming URL, Adapt consumes the URL, wraps it in the accessible Adapt Video player, combines it with your WebVTT captions and a text transcript and outputs an awesome learner experience. This option also allows you to require that the user watches the entire video before the component is marked complete.
This does mean that you need a 3rd party service to host and stream your video. We can’t recommend Vimeo PRO enough. It’s solid, with very large weekly upload and no download caps. It’s also the only service that lets us host videos without showing them in the site’s pages.
CPM has a Vimeo Pro account that can be used for nearly all of our contracts. If you have a need to have video in your course, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they can upload your video and return to you a streaming URL.
Adapt isn’t magic. I know. I’ll keep saying it while it’s still true.
At a bare minimum, a video is accessible when it has a transcript, closed-captions and audio descriptions when there is action on screen that cannot be conveyed via the spoken video content.
Captions can be a difficult nut to crack. First, the captions need to use WebVTT format. Open captions are not acceptable (according to 508 and FCC guidelines), so embedding the captions into the video itself can’t be done.
Again, there are solutions to this. If you don’t have a script and don’t want to transcribe your video, Rev.com is one transcription service that can take your video and send you back a transcript within 24 hours for a small fee.
If the DIY route isn’t something you can do, let one of the developers know. CPM eBusiness does captioning.
The WCAG says that audio descriptions are required when the spoken audio does not cover the action in the visual portion of the video. Neither Adapt nor CPM handle audio descriptions—in fact, we don’t know of any video player that does them well.
Audio descriptions are hard. The way to deal with this is to ensure your video doesn’t need them. Make sure there is no text content or actions that happen in the video that are not spoken aloud.
We’ve got a creative group of developers working on Adapt and we consider 31 components, 12 extensions, 29 themes and 7 menus a fairly solid product.
That said, we’re still building new themes, extensions and components. Check the Asana project for the current list.
We’ve got a creative bunch of developers, but we won’t think of every interaction, menu or extension. If you have an idea for a feature that everyone can use and want to see it show up in Adapt, let the development team know.
Of course, if you need a component that’s a special case or on a deadline, we want to help with that, too. Keep in mind that we estimate that we can build one component a month at our present capacity.
We’re about ready to wrap up this introductory course. Let’s get back into Adapt Authoring and add some more pages!