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Planning an Ali Project

For the most part, courses using the Ali Framework function as they have in previous versions:

  • All courses must have a defined audience that includes:
    • The LMS it is being launched in
    • The platforms and browsers to be targeted. This is primarily concerned with mobile users.
  • Courses have a main title and optional sub-title.
  • Courses should have an overarching theme that tells a story.
  • Content should be broken into modules of at least 2 pages but no more than 99 pages. Smaller is better.
  • Each module must have:
    • A human readable title; This can be multiple words or a short phrase.
    • A title to be used in the menu; This can only be a word or two and will be clipped by the system if too long.
  • Modules can have required modules — that is an initial module that must be completed before the given module is enabled for the user.
  • Pages can have longer titles (sometimes called topic titles) of reasonable length.
  • When possible, pages should be divided by sub-titles (h2, h3, h4, h5) to aid users skimming for information.

Using the newer features (badges, detours, etc.) require additional planning and information:

  • Courses can have up to 5 detours
    • Each detour has a single topic
    • Detours can have a variable number of pages, with a 9 being initially considered optimum.
    • Detours can have multiple launch points (can be triggered from multiple different frames) but must have a fixed exit point (must return to a specific module/page).
  • Courses can have up to 5 badges
    • Each badge must have a specific, user-focused trigger that awards the badge
    • Badges must have a short name.
    • Badges must have a short description of what they are and how they’re achieved.
    • Badges must have an SVG image with a solid backing (typically white).
    • While not a strict requirement, badges should probably be funny or elicit some reaction when awarded.

Both badges and detours are covered in detail in this guide. Additionally, some content (complex graphics, custom interactions, animation) have additional requirements and considerations.

On Single-Module Courses

Single module courses rob the user of the ability to navigate sections. Seriously consider breaking up any single-module course over 15 pages into 2-3 sections. For modules under 5 pages, consider placing the content in Totara only.

Kicking off a Project

All courses need a kick-off meeting. Without a kick-off meeting, courses are assumed to have:

  • No badges
  • No detours
  • No theme
  • No custom interactions
  • No drag & drop Interactions
  • No animation
  • …and no deadline.

If these elements are not at least roughly planned before development begins, they may be difficult and time-consuming to add later. At the minimum, the project will be removed from the development queue to re-plan and re-scaffold the framework to allow these features.

Information Needed for Kick-Off

When preparing for a kick-off meeting, authors should have as much of the above elements in the previous section (Planning a Course) as possible, even if the details are light. At a minimum, authors should have:

  • The title
  • The LMS platform
  • The audience
  • Potential theme ideas
  • Expected number of modules
  • Estimated number of pages
  • Whether the course will have badges and ideas
  • Whether the course will have detours
  • The client’s desired deadline

It is not critical that these features be completely decided before kick-off, but the production team will need something to start with. Authors should plan on having weekly meetings to discuss these details as they solidify, allowing art and development to prepare mockups or prototypes and allow authors to provide feedback before development begins.

When to have the kick-off meeting is a matter of some discussion. The current recommendation is after outline approval, once the author begins to form some ideas of how the content will be structured, have the beginnings of an idea for a theme and some interactions.

Video or complex animation must be planned and completed/prototyped before development of the course will begin.