How to communicate data out of a DHTML course when no LMS is present

SCORM/AICC ››

question

How to communicate data out of a DHTML course when no LMS (Learning Management System) is present?


ANSWER

When you Publish your lesson to DHTML format for SCORM or AICC communication with an LMS, all the necessary data that the LMS needs is automatically compiled and communicated to the LMS by ToolBook's DHTML engine.


You don't have to know anything about SCORM or AICC for this to work, the underlying code takes care of this all by itself.


If you decide to not use an LMS, but would still like to communicate some useful data to a location outside of the course (to a database for example), there are a few options:

Scoring/Logging

ToolBook has the means of sending the Scoring and Logging data to an email address via SMTP email as raw text in the body of an email. To enable this feature, enabled the Record Score and/or Record Log feature in the Web tab of the Properties for Lesson dialog, accessible from the Object menu.


When you turn on either of these options, the user will be prompted for their email address as the course closes (in DHTML) and that email address is used to send the results to the user (if your logging and scoring options indicated that you'd like the user to receive this data) and that email address is also included in the resulting email (in the body of the email) to identify who the user is.



Determining what types of data get included in this emailed log.

 


We have some troubleshooting tips for determining why this email feature may not be working correctly for you.

 

HTTP Post

ToolBook offers the ability to POST information (via the HTTP Post action available in the Actions Editor) to a Server Side script. Most commonly this would be a .ASP page located on a Web Server. The .ASP page would then be in charge of processing the data in your desired manner (examples: putting the data into a database, emailing the information, writing out log files on the server with the posted data in it).


The usefulness of what your Server Side Script can do is only limited by the programming language used to create the server side script and the skill of your programmer writing the server side script.


As powerful as the HTTP Post action is, it is simply the mechanism for sending the Data somewhere...the tricky part is collecting the data you wish to send. When using an LMS, ToolBook auto-collects all the relevant course data so that the data can be sent to the LMS (this is done automatically for you). However since you are not using an LMS, this data is not automatically sent anywhere.


This auto-collected data is collected only under the hood and is not exposed in any accessible way to you (the programmer), thus you have no direct access to the data-pool of information that ToolBook would normally send to an LMS.


The result of this is that you will need to collect your own data while the course is being utilized, and then send this collected data to your .ASP page via the HTTP Post action. You can choose to just send the Score (which you can calculate using the SCORE action in the Actions Editor), or you can choose to send more data, collected using the Actions Editor (typically stored in a variety of variables as the course progresses).

See also

Basics of how to use the Actions Editor HTTP Post command in ToolBook



KEYWORDS: P759




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