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Student Log Management System User's Guide

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About the SLMS

Developed for: 

Click2Learn ToolBook Instructor version 8.9 (2004) and 9.0+

Works in: 

Native ToolBook Projects

Type of Tool: 

ToolBook Program

What is the SLMS

The Student Log Management System is a simple Learning Management System that can be used to manage and track Native ToolBook Courses. It includes a logon system that requires a username and password, tracking of quiz scores, and administrative functionality that provides a great deal of customization in the way that courses and users are managed. The data is maintained in an MS Access database format which gives administrators to create a number of useful reports. The SLMS can also be easily localized to any language needed.

Installation

When you download the program, it will self extract into a sub-directory (NirvanaBound\SLMS##) of your Program Files directory where ## is either 89 or 90 representing the version of ToolBook Instructor.
At the end of the extraction process it will run a utility (written in ToolBook :-) to find your Instructor file and will install the Widgets into your Catalog folder. The next time you open ToolBook use the Customize Catalog feature to import this new SLMS Category.
In the installation folder you will find the SLMS.sbk and an Admin folder containing SLMS.mdb, SLMS.inf and the standard ToolBook log reader files.
Copy the SLMS.sbk and the Admin folder to your ToolBook project folder and you are now ready to incorporate the SLMS into your application.
The SLMS.mdb file is an MS Access file so you will also need a copy of MS Access (version 2000 or higher) installed on your computer to be able to maintain this file.

How to Use the SLMS

The SLMS is designed to make it very easy for you, the ToolBook developer, to implement a simple way for your customers of your ToolBook applications to manage student training. It consists of three modules that you will need to include along with your application:
SLMS.sbk The system book that controls and manages students.
SLMS.mdb An MS Access database that stores all of the student data.
SLMS.inf An information file that stores your preferences, your customers options and database options

The SLMS also includes a ToolBook Catalog Category which contains a number of Widgets that, when added to your ToolBook applications, provide all of the functionality contained in the SLMS. To assist with Multi-Lingual conversion there is SLMS_Messages.tbk book which contains the text of all messages used within the SLMS, this file is supplied on request.

The SLMS can be implemented in a single ToolBook or across several books. Maybe your entire training is contained in one ToolBook, or perhaps several . You may prefer to separate lesson and quiz books. You might have more than one course and each could consist of multiple books. The SLMS has been designed to handle all of these scenarios and it will make it very easy for your customers to navigate around your offerings.

Students

Administrators are created from existing students so a student within the SLMS can also be an administrator if they are given that permission setting. Administrators can access the Administration dialog which provides various admin functions. See below for details on the Administration dialog. Access to this dialog is via an Administration button and this button is only enabled when a student with administrative privileges logs in. See below for further details about this button.

Student Login Preference

The SLMS will allow you to control when, where and how students' log into your application. Using the Extended Properties Editor (EPE) you can force students to login via a single menu or Front End book. The Login dialog can be the very first screen students see or you could have a delayed login after a splash or introduction screen has been displayed. If you choose to delay the student login then there is a “Student Login” button that can be added to the appropriate page of each of your ToolBook programs. You can even trigger the student logon process by invoking the inbuilt OpenScript function SLMS_LoginStudent.

Bookmarks

The SLMS will allow Students to set bookmarks for any page in any of your ToolBook applications. As the developer you have the option of allowing bookmarks to be set within a given book or background or individual pages. The default within the SLMS is to be able to set a bookmark on every page.
The SLMS will allow students to set up to 10 bookmarks total for all of your courses. After the 10th bookmark the oldest bookmark is removed. Bookmarks are maintained in order of newest to oldest from top to bottom respectively. The system will maintain only one bookmark for a given page, so when a page is bookmarked and if that page has already been bookmarked then the page detail is simply moved to the top of the list of bookmarks.
Note that an administrator has an overriding option to turn bookmarking off.
There will be pages within your application that you will not want students to be able set bookmarks for such as pages in a quiz, or an entire quiz book, popup pages and pages that can only be displayed conditionally. There may also be pages where you don’t want students to be able to navigate away from as it could skip past important information. There are two bookmarking widgets that you can use in your application to control the student’s ability to set bookmarks. These are used to either set a bookmark (on the current page) or to open the Goto Bookmark dialog. These two widgets are buttons and typically will be added to the background of your application. You should format these to suit your interface by assigning appropriate images for the buttons. etc. Using the bookmark widgets and whilst authoring you can set the level at which bookmarks can be set and/or open the Goto Bookmark dialog. See below for details about each of the Bookmark widgets

Notes

Notes are similar to Bookmarks in that Students may view/update their Notes from any page within your application. And, also like bookmarks, there maybe pages that you as the developer do not want students to be able to open their notes on, for example within a quiz book. Using the View Notes widget (see below) you may set a book, background or page property to enable (default) or disable the notes button. As with the two Bookmark widgets, you would typically add the Notes button to the background and format/apply images to suit your interface.

Student Help

The Student and Administrator help is contained in the SLMS.sbk (system book) and can be customized to suit your needs. The help system consists of simple ToolBook pages and you can change the text of these pages to suit your own needs. For example, you may prefer to change the terminology or convert the text to another language (see Multi-Lingual below). A ToolBook system book is really no different than any other book and can be opened and maintained just the same way as you would maintain a regular ToolBook. The main reason for embedding the help within the system book is to make it very easy for you to modify. Also, if the SLMS used an external help file then you would need a copy of that help application to make any changes to the help documentation for your users. IMPORTANT: Keep track of any changes the you make to the student help system so you can implement these changes into future updates of the SLMS. Also be sure to keep back-up copies of this file if you do any customization of the help system.
Click here to view the End User SLMS Help

Multi-Lingual

All text that is displayed within the SLMS is contained in the SLMS.sbk (system book). A ToolBook system book is really no different than any other book and can be opened and maintained just the same way as you would maintain a regular ToolBook. This enables you to change all of the text in fields/recordFields and the caption of buttons to the desired language. The SLMS is supplied with OpenScript intact. i.e. The scripts have not been removed. IMPORTANT: DO NOT modify any of the scripts in the SLMS or it could break the functionality of the SLMS. All of the text displayed via popup messages uses the standard ToolBook ASYM_GetString() function which will get the text from a property in the SLMS.sbk book. All you need to do is change the text of the property and you now have different language. To assist you with this conversion I have created SLMS_Messages.tbk which includes detailed instructions, this file is supplied on request.

Please note that the following images show the complete setup for the SLMS.

1.

Be sure that you have properly installed the SLMS and confirm that it has been imported into your catalog.  It should be listed as the SLMS.
2. Administrator button
After a student logs in and if they are an administrator, the Administrator button will be enabled and if you have chosen to show this button then it will be visible. Because administrators may not actually be students, they could be IT staff or supervisors, it is a good idea to limit the use of this button to say the first page of your main or first ToolBook, in this way you do not need to adjust your interface to accommodate this button. The EPE for this button will allow you to hide the button if the student is not an administrator, further reducing the need to incorporate the button in your main interface design.

3. Student Login button
The SLMS allows you to delay the login process if you want to show a splash screen or would prefer to display an introduction page before the student logs in. The Student Login button provides a method for you to log students into your application. Note that the SLMS can restrict students from opening (directly) any of your books so it is a good idea to limit the use of this button to the first page of your main menu or Front End ToolBook. This way you do not need to adjust your interface to accommodate this button. The EPE for this button will allow you to hide the button if the student is already logged in, further reducing the need to incorporate the button in your main interface design.

4. Mark As Complete button
Use this button to mark the current book as complete. For a lesson that does not include a quiz you could add this to the last page and set it to be triggered on enter page. This way the student does not need to do anything yet the book will be marked as complete when the student hits the last page.
If the book is a quiz book then you would add this button to the score page and set it to be triggered by the standard ToolBook “Score Quiz” Widget (see below). When used in this way you may optionally enter a minimum score percentage value so when it is triggered by the Score Quiz Widget, the minimum score is used to check if the student has passed the quiz. If the minimum score has been achieved then the quiz will be marked as complete and if the minimum score has not been achieved it will NOT be marked as complete. Note that it does not matter how many times a given book is completed by a student, only the first time is recorded.

5. Score Quiz button
This function uses the the standard ToolBook “Score Quiz” widget although it has been added to the SLMS category for convenience only. Please refer to the standard ToolBook help for details on how to configure this widget.
The SLMS includes code to listen for a special message that is sent from this button when the student clicks it or if you have code that triggers this button. The SLMS will update the student’s score in the database for the given quiz when this button is clicked/triggered. See “Mark As Complete” above for details on how to mark a quiz as complete based on a score percentage. Also note, when a quiz is scored using this widget, the SLMS will first check for an existing score (AKA last score) and if the new score is more than the last score then the new score is saved.
6. Set Bookmark button
Please refer to the above details about bookmarking within your application.

In the above image we can see that the ability to set bookmarks for all pages in the book and all pages on the given background have been disabled. However, the current page can be bookmarked.

7. Goto Bookmark button
Please refer to the above details about bookmarking within your application.

In the above we can see that a student will be able to open the bookmarks dialog on the current page and all pages that share the current background. However, they will not be able to open the bookmarks dialog on other pages that do not share the current background.

8. View Notes button
Please refer to the above details about notes within your application.

9. SLMS Widget
Add this widget to the first page of each of your ToolBook applications and using the EPE (Extended Properties Editor) enable the Student Log Management System. You will not need the SLMS Widget in Glossary style books, these are separate books whose pages are displayed in a separate popup modal viewer.
10. General Tab

Enable SLMS In ToolBook Author Mode
When checked, the next time you open your application the SLMS will be activated. This allows you to fully test your application while you are still developing your application.
IMPORTANT NOTE – After checking the Enable SLMS option, you MUST SAVE your application. In addition, you must ensure that this option is checked in every book before you package and distribute your application!

SLMS System Book:
Select the SLMS System book using the browse function.
The SLMS System Book must be either in the same folder as your main book or in the parent folder of your main book. Please note that the SLMS database needs to be in the Admin folder within the same folder as the SLMS System Book. e.g.
          c:\TB_Projects\FirstAid\FA01.tbk or
          c:\TB_Projects\FirstAid\FA01\FA01.tbk
          c:\TB_Projects\FirstAid\SLMS.sbk therefore:
          c:\TB_Projects\FirstAid\Admin\SLMS.mdb
The SLMS system book does not need to be named “SLMS.sbk”, you may make changes to the system book, like adding your own company logo to pages, changing some of the terms, modifying the help, also see Multi-Lingual above. It’s important to ensure that you keep track of any changes so you can implement the changes into any future updates of the SLMS.

Open Login When Initialized
When checked and your application is launched the student will be required to Login. If the student does not login then your application will exit. If this option is unchecked then you will need to provide an alternative method to allow students to login. As an example your application may include a splash popup page and/or an “Introduction to {this application}” page and you would prefer that this/these page(s) be displayed before a student logs in. Please refer to the Student Login Preference above for more details on this subject.

This Book May Not Be Launched Directly
If your application consists of more than one ToolBook, then you may want students to enter your application from a single Front End or Menu book. For example, perhaps your application consists of Lessons and Quizzes and access to the Quiz books is via the Lesson books. In this case, maybe you do not want students to access the quiz books without first completing the associated lessons. When this option is checked and the given book is launched directly (the first ToolBook instance or session) then the SLMS will display the text in the field “Message when launched” (below) and then exit your application.

Message when launched:
Enter the text you would like the student to see when this book is launched directly and you do not want the book to open. Note that the text that you enter here needs to be the complete message because no additional text is added by the SLMS.

11. Logging Tab

Type of log
Allows you to set the log format as either None (no log), Transcript, or Tab Separated. If None is selected, the remaining options are not available.
Note: The transcript format is more readable than the tab-separated format. The tab-separated format is designed for copying and pasting into applications, such as Microsoft Excel, for analysis. You can also use the ToolBook Log Reader utility to read and analyze log files.

Included data
Question responses
If selected, every user response to each answered question is listed in the log file. Each time a user answers a question (even if a user answers the same question multiple times), the question response and the score is logged.

Visited pages
If selected, each page the user visits is listed in the log file. Each and every time the user visits a page it is logged.

Session summary
If selected, all user events are logged (question responses, pages visited, and so forth). In addition, a summary of question responses and scores is presented in a table at the end of the log.

Time of each entry
Includes the time of each user action in the log file.

12. Bookmarks Tab

Please refer to the section above discussing Bookmarks and Notes. The options in this tab are:
Can Set Bookmarks In This Book - Default is checked.
Can Goto Bookmarked Pages From This Book - Default is checked.
Can View Notes On Pages In This Book - Default is checked.

13. Options Tab

Here you can set the maximum number of students, the default is 1000. You may sell your application on a per user basis and therefore need to set a maximum. Note that the value needs to be 2 to 1000, your customer will need to have one administrator and this would typically be a member of the IT staff and not necessarily a student. You may also set a password and user ID on the database, ensure that the actual SLMS database is updated to reflect these values or you will not be able to access your application.
If you make any changes in the Options tab you MUST click the “Update Options” button or your changes will be lost. The data in the Options tab is actually saved in the SLMS.inf file. This file can be found in the Admin folder, the data is encrypted using the “Key Code” which is also encrypted and stored in the SLMS.inf file.
IMPORTANT – Don’t forget your Key Code. It is recommended that you use a single code for all of your applications. This Key Code is for your protection. If your customer has a copy of ToolBook they will be able to modify the number of students unless you use the Key Code which will make it very difficult for them to change the number of students.

14. Useful functions, handles and system variables:
Name Type / Description
SLMS_CheckCompleted() Function
SLMS_CheckCompleted(<studentID>,<BookName>)
returns true or false
studentID and BookName are optional e.g.
SLMS_CheckCompleted()
is for the current student and current book.
SLMS_CheckCompleted("","LessonBook")
is for current student and another book - can be used to check if it's OK to navigate to a book. e.g. Is it OK to do the quiz before the lesson?
SLMS_StudentName() Function
SLMS_StudentName(<operation>)
operation – Optional, values can be:
Operation Returns
FullName (or null) Jackson, Peter R
LastName Jackson
FirstName Peter
Intial R
or a list:  
"FirstName,LastName" Peter Jackson
"Dear,FirstName" Dear Peter
"Welcome Mr,LastName" Welcome Mr Jackson
SLMS_SetStudentData() Function
SLMS_SetStudentData(studentDataNum, studentData)
studentDataNum can be 1, 2 or 3 - 1 and 2 are text fields with a max of 255 characters, 3 is a memo field only limited by ToolBook variable max length of 64k and text of a field of 32k
If studentDataNum is invalid (not 1 or 2 or 3) then 1 is assumed and used.
This function allows you to store your own student specific data.
SLMS_GetStudentData() Function
SLMS_GetStudentData(studentDataNum)
Use this function to return student specific data that has been stored.
   
   
15. End User Installation
The SLMS consists of a ToolBook system book and it needs to be within the folder structure of your ToolBook application so you can use any good Windows install package. Please read the MS Access minimum install instructions as your customers will need to be able to access the database.

FAQs, Troubleshooting, and Tech Support Tips

Please see the ToolBookDeveloper.com Knowledge Base for additional assistance in using the SLMS.