My e-learning development set-up.

6 February 2014

Reading time ~4 min | Categories: e-learning  geekery 

I'm currently developing a lot of Adobe Edge Animate (EA) compositions for e-learning modules. They will ultimately be deployed to a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) but I need a way to quickly review content as I develop it. EA lets you preview in the browser but I like to see content in context so I need to be able to step through different pages and topics within a module. I also like to have live-reload as I code ;-)

This post outlines what I use and the steps I go through to set up a really nice workflow.

I use the yeoman.io webapp generator to create a simple false module with navigation.

  • Create a project folder and a module folder within that.
  • Right click on module and open gitbash console at that location.
  • Update webapp generator using
     npm install -g generator-webapp 
    
    (update doesn't always seem to work for me - must post issue on github).
  • Scaffold the project using the generator:

     yo webapp 
    

  • I don't need Bootstrap but select sass/compass and modernizr.

  • Once the scaffolding is finished, I run it:

     grunt serve 
    

  • In the app folder, I add a folder called "topics". Within this I have topic folders; "t1", "t2", etc.

  • I add my custom index page that includes an iframe linking to pages in the topics folder and navigation buttons.

  • Navigation is controlled via a simple JSON model in index.html

  • Now I can add new pages and build the module in context with the benefits of live-reload as I go.

  • Next I set the project up as a git repository so I have version control:

     git init 
    
    on the module folder.

  • I create a repo on github or (more often with projects for clients) a private repo on bitbucket.

  • Then add the remote repo to the local one, add the files, commit and push

     git remote add origin https://patrickgrey@bitbucket.org/patrickgrey/ians2014fam.git
    git add -A
    git commit -m "Scaffolding files created"
    git push -u origin master 
    

  • I customise the Gruntfile.js a little for my own needs e.g. the topics folder needs to be copied to distribution and I comment out HTML compression task as I like to be able to read the output.

  • Finally, I open the module folder in Sublime Text and save it as a project. I add the project files to the .gitignore file.

I'd be happy to send anyone a copy of the navigation files, which you are free to use in any way you like. Just get in touch.