LM-Light: A New E-Learning Standard
About LM-Light Courses Learning Management Systems More Info


The LM-Light Standard
 - Course Structure
 - LM-Light Tags
 - Starting a Course
 - On Each Page
 - Exiting a Course
 - Starting a Test
 - Saving a Test Score
 - Course Completion
 - Configuration File

Course Development
 - Development Environment
 - Using a Text Editor
 - Including Tests
 - Using PowerPoint
    - Option 1 - PDF
    - Option 2 - GIF/JPG
    - Option 3 - HTML
 - Using Lectora
 - Download Tools
 - Diagnosing Problems

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Course Development : Using PowerPoint : Option 3 - HTML Page

Note: If you'd like to look at the files as you follow through this technical note, you can download them all as a 0.5MB zip file from [this link].


Microsoft PowerPoint can be used to create simple LM-Light compatible courses using the 'Save as Web Page' feature. You should note that PowerPoint is only a partial solution to creating web-based training since you can't use it to develop a mastery test for your course. However, recognizing just how widely PowerPoint is used in business and education, it's still a tremendous way to create many forms of educational content.

The following example uses Microsoft Office 2000, so the instructions might not exactly match the version that you have. But the principle is the same for all versions that support the 'Save as Web Page' option. We're going to take an existing presentation - in this case, a short extract from a training class developed by Cosaint Inc. - and convert it to an LM-Light compatible web-based training module. We're going to take advantage of the LM-Light tags so that all of the slides are bookmarked, and flag the course as complete when the final slide has been viewed.

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Step 1: Creating the HTML Files

Creating the HTML Files - Step 1

We start by opening the existing presentation in PowerPoint. Then, from the 'File' menu, we select 'Save as Web Page'.

Creating the HTML Files - Step 2

When the 'Save As' window opens up, you can either click on 'Save' or enter the 'Publish ...' menu and play around with some of the options. These options may be important if you have to support older browsers. We won't go into these in detail since they're outside the scope of this note. But you should note that 'Save As' may require you to rename the file that you're saving to comply with the 8+3 Microsoft convention.

The HTML Files

Once the file has been saved, you'll find that you have a .htm file and a folder with the name of the presentation - in this case PPTDemo. We'll refer to the .htm file (PPTDemo.htm in our example) as the 'default start page' - you'll need to know this filename for the next stage.

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Step 2: Adding the 'index.htm' File

You'll find that PowerPoint doesn't create an index.htm file. So you'll need to add one in order to comply with the LM-Light standard. Open your favorite text editor (e.g. WordPad) and enter the following:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=[your default start page]">

The key here is the 4th line which starts <meta http-equiv= ... When this index.html file is read by the student's browser, this line instruct the browser to redirect itself immediately to the file that you specify - in our case, the start page for the course. Here's how it would look for our example course:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=PPTDemo.htm">

Save this file into the same folder as your default start page.

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Step 3: Editing the Slides

Note: This step is optional.

Editing the Slides - Opening WordPad

Now take a look inside the folder that PowerPoint created. You'll find that PowerPoint creates a series of files called s0001.htm, s0002.htm, s0003.htm ... (although there may be gaps in the numbering sequence). These are the slides. Generally - but not always - the lowest number is the first slide, and the highest number is the last slide.

We're now going to edit the slides so that they include the necessary LM-Light tags. For each slide .htm file, right click on the file, click 'Open With' and choose your favorite text editor (e.g. WordPad).

Editing the Slides - Using WordPad

When it opens up, add the following to the top of the file before any Microsoft-generated content:

<?php require "LM-Light.php"; ?>
<?php LMsetBookMark(); ?>

These tags authenticate the user to make sure that he/she has the right to view the course, and then bookmarks the page. Do this for all of the slides.

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Step 4: The Final Slide

Note: This step is optional.

Editing the Last Slide - Using WordPad

When you edit the final slide, you're going to insert an additional LM-Light tag that will tell the LMS that the course is complete. So, start by locating the final slide. This is usually - but not always - the slide with the highest numerical value (see above). Edit the file and add the LMsetCourseComplete() tag so that it looks like this:

<?php require "LM-Light.php"; ?>
<?php LMsetBookMark(); ?>
<?php LMsetCourseComplete(); ?>

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Step 5: The Course Configuration File

Note: This step is optional.

Finally, open up your text editor and create a course configuration file like this:

title: Using PowerPoint to Create a LM-Light Course
author: Steve Addison, Cosaint Inc.
version: Rev 1.0 - August 08, 2006
width: 800
height: 600
description: <p>A demo created for the LM-Light website.

Save this in the same place as you saved the 'index.htm' file in Step 2 (see above).

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Step 6: Transferring the Course to the LMS

Congratulations, you've created an LM-Light compatible course from a PowerPoint presentation. All that's left is to transfer the course to the LMS adminstrator. You do this by sending the folder containing the slides, images, configuration file and start page (index.htm) - typically as a zip file.

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Production Checklist

Use this checklist as you convert a PowerPoint presentation to LM-Light format:

  1. Within PowerPoint, create the HTML Files using 'Save as Web Page'. [instructions]
  2. Add an 'index.htm' file pointing to the default start page. [instructions]
  3. Edit the slides to include LM-Light tags. [instructions]
  4. Edit the final slide to include an LM-Light 'Course Complete' tag. [instructions]
  5. Create a course configuration file. [instructions]
  6. Transfer the course to the LMS administrator - typically as a zip archive. [instructions]

Note that only steps 1, 2 and 6 are required. Steps 3, 4 and 5 are optional.

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