Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost?

Servers and services cost money to run, and it's true: Course Assembler is a pay-to-use web-based app. But it costs about what most people would pay for a coffee and a donut. It's funny, because you can build a course in the time it takes you to eat the donut and drink that coffee.

$10 USD buys you a 10 day licence. If you buy longer access, the discount gets much better. An app licence just lets you get in to the app. If you want to share it around with the folks in your office that's up to you. A licence only works for a set number of days and then can't be used any more. Content that you produce with the app will still work whenever and wherever you put it (it's not licenced), and you buy more access later on and re-import the packages again later on. So buy what you need, just for when you need it.

To see more pricing, click the Launch App button and explore the Pricing dropdown.

Do you support ___ ?

Content (files, documents) come in; packages (zip files) go out.

Getting content IN

We support most common office-type apps such as Microsoft Office, Open Office, Libre, Google Suite and so on. We also support a tonne of common file formats such as PDF, images, mp3 and so on. We have some support for standards-based content package formats such as IMS CP and are working on supporting as many of these as feasible. You can of course re-import any course you have published with Course Assembler (or it's predecessor Document Ninja).

Getting packages OUT

We believe that creating a reusable package is the best way forward for your content: the last thing you want is for your content is for the platform that hosts it to go out of business taking your content with it, or change its content ownership policies leaving you without your intellectual property.

We support publishing to SCORM version 1.2 and 2004 (SCORM might be an ageing format but it's very widely supported and designed with reusability and portability in mind). We also have some support for IMS CP exporting, and you can also publish without choosing a format which gives you a package you can reuse on any web site.

We are considering support for CMI5-based formats such as xAPI.

What do I need to run this app?

You need a Desktop browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. Safari and Edge may work, but are not supported.

Internet Explorer 11 or below will probably catch fire!

If in doubt, use Chrome.

Browser requirements

Web-based app requires a modern Desktop browser

Develop on

Desktop

Chrome

Firefox

Deliver on

All devices

IE11/Edge

Safari

Chrome

Firefox

Opera

Mobile Devices

Mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) generally do not have the memory or file system to run the app - they may work for you, but are not supported.

Content that you export should be fine in most cases and is often dependant on the capabilities of the system you import your package in to.

Who owns the content?

You do.

We don't store it. In fact, it's never even uploaded to our servers. It's temporarily sent to the cloud for document conversion, but is deleted immediately afterwards. Your content is stored by your own browser, which is permanent until you reset the app. So after you are finished, remember to reset (especially if you are using a shared computer).

We do keep your email address on file, and we track some details about how you use our software (which settings are most popular so we can keep improving), and some analytics data if you're not using an adblocker, but that's all we know about you or your data.

What file formats are supported?

If a file format can convert to HTML5, it’s a safe bet we support it. Formats with functionality, transitions and effects or embedded resources are typically included in the converted content (e.g. spreadsheets, powerpoint files with embedded video, slide transitions, etc). A list of common formats is below:

ppt
pptm
pptx
doc
docm
docx
pdf
png
pps
ppsx
jpg
youtube
google slides
google docs
vimeo
imgur
gif
slideshare
bmp
odp
odt
ods
soundcloud
txt
xls
xlsm
xlsx
rtf
any website (url to screenshot)

How do I load a course I have previously built?

You can drop packages you have made back onto the app. Just press Import and follow the on-screen prompts.

Can I save my quiz and re-use in another course?

You can export a single quiz to a JSON file by editing the Quiz and pressing the Export to JSON button (right next to Save). JSON is a format designed for machines to read, but humans can too. You could edit it in any text file editor such as Notepad or Sublime Text. You can then import the quiz JSON file back in to the app which will make a new copy of that quiz for you to modify. If you're having trouble re-importing your JSON file after you've edited it, make sure that it is "valid" by using a tool such as JSONLint which will tell you if it has any mistakes in it.

If you are planning to re-use a set of common content across multiple packages (for instance an intro video, one or more quizzes, perhaps a standard thankyou page you made in Photoshop, etc) you can build a simple course just containing those elements and export it to a zip file - a template. Then, when you build your next course just drag that exported template back on and its content and quizzes and such will be appended to the course you have loaded. Then just drag the elements into the correct positions or remove the items you don't want, and you are good to go.

Are there any keyboard shortcuts?

You bet. You can drag items up and down on the left index to change the order of items, or indent/outdent items to change how they list in some templates. These actions also have keyboard shortcuts:

(Note: If you are on a Mac, substitute ⌃ Ctrl with ⌘ Command.)

Renaming pages

Selecting pages

Delete functions

To perform any delete function just using the keys, you have to double-press either the Delete or Backspace keys.

How does completion work?

SCORM is the existing standard that lets reusable, platform-agnostic content communicate data to the host LMS. In most cases this boils down to a single question: Has the user completed the content? And in most courses, this is really what you care about.

In many content authoring packages on the market today, SCORM and completion settings seem unnecessarily complicated, but they don't have to be.

In our tool we have made some fundamental assumptions based on years of experience in what customers want.

We keep things simple and assume there's only two ways to progress through a course. Either page-by-page in order (like a book) or any order (you can skip pages if you choose). So there's only two settings.

Plus, you can get a completion for watching some or all of a video, or viewing a SlideShare presentation. You can track how much of the media the user has watched and score the page based on that information.

You can use your LMS's SCORM tracking tool to examine how much of a video a user has watched, plus if they get more than (say) 75%, they get a completion too.

Can I edit my (insert-name-here) ?

Generally no.

Editing is best handled in the application that produces the content in the first place. That might be Google Slides, or a Word document that's on your computer. Get your content ready first, then let this app convert it to its final lms-ready form. Conversion is a cinch anyway.

What format do I choose?

There are various packaging types all designed for specific uses. The outputs include SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 1.4, IMS Content Packaging and No Wrapper (and xAPI is coming soon).

SCORM ouput is ideal for Learning Managment implementation where tracking is required. Most LMS's support SCORM 1.2 so pick that if you don't know what the difference is.

No Wrapper packaging is ideal if you want to include the content somewhere other than in a LMS, such as a WordPress web site (typically within an iframe).

xAPI support is not yet an option but is forthcoming. If you require it you may choose to host your content on Scorm Cloud which can add an xAPI wrapper to SCORM content.

This app seems familiar

We're glad you think so. It used be called the Document Ninja but we had a change of brand and now it's the Course Assembler. Under the hood it's the same thing but with a new more powerful engine.