Changing the Structure of a Learning Object

Perhaps you have downloaded a learning object but you only need a part of it.....or there is one page which doesn't apply to your context so you need to remove that page.....or you want to split a learning object into two or more parts? This section explains how this can be achieved.

Moving Things Around

Structure.jpgIt must first be explained that actually changing the structure of a learning object can be a technical process best left to those with web editing experience, however it is quite simple to make it appear that the structure has changed, so this is what will be explained here.:-)
NOTE: There is also a video demonstration at the bottom of this page.

Step 1: Working out what you want to change
The easiest way of working is to actually see your whole learning object while you are working....and one way to do this is to open up the preview mode of your learning object in a separate window, from the National VET Content website where you first downloaded it (as per the diagram below).
Let's assume that you don't want the whole section on Equipment....perhaps because your industry area uses different equipment and you will cover this in class. So you want to remove 'Equipment', plus the sub-sections below it. OR...maybe you do want it, but as a separate learning object on it's own. Or you want to call it something different.
Locating Section in LO.jpg

Minimise this screen so you can refer back to it, then go to.....

Step 2: Getting ready
Open VET Reload (see Tools in the Getting Started section) and click OPEN. Find the folder where you have extracted the files of the learning object)
Opening file in Reload.jpg
STEP 3: Opening up
Double-click on this folder to open it. Inside the folder you will have a file called ‘imsmanifest.xml. Select this file and click Open.
Locating the imsmanifest.jpg

VET Reload will display something that looks similar to below. (It won’t be exactly the same because every learning object is a little bit different)
VETReload Structure.jpg

The window on the left is a list of all the files contained in your learning object. Unless you are very confident and competent technically, it is best to leave the file structure unchanged. This is because everything in a learning object is inter-linked and deleting a file may alter other parts, or result in broken links. The window on the right is your navigation and structure and this is where we will make the changes.

STEP 4: Making the changes

Option 1: Deleting part of a learning object
This is how you would delete 'Equipment' out of this learning object. ‘Open up’ 'Organizations' in the right-hand navigation part of the screen (use the small + signs) and find the section that you don't need. (You may want to refer to your previewed learning object, as explained in Step 1). Click on the section, then click on the X in the toolbar at the top to delete it. Note that the sub-sections below (Learn, See, Apply) will also be deleted as they sit under the main section of 'Equipment'.
Finding section.jpg
(Note that this method merely removes the navigation so students cannot see that part - because the files all still remain, the learning object will still be the same size (in megabytes)).

Option 2: Splitting a learning object
In this example learning object, let's assume you want to split the learning object in two halves so that they can be used separately within the per example below:

Make a copy of your unzipped learning object (give it a different name) so that you have two identical learning objects. Then simply follow the same process as in Option 1 to delete the opposite parts. In other words, you delete 'Equipment' and 'Watch Out' in one learning object, and 'Opportunities' and 'Systems' in the other. (You might want to change the text in 'Introduction' to reflect your changes (see Changing Text)).

Option 3: Altering the navigation text or order
Let's assume you want to change 'Watch Out' to 'Taking Action' because this is terminology that you use in class. If you click on any navigation label you will see the words appear in the box per the diagram below. You can simply type new text into the box to change the navigation label. If you want to change the order of the navigation, click on the section you want to move then use the arrows in the toolbar at the top.

STEP 5: Checking
Click 'Preview Content Package' in the toolbar at the top....your customised learning object will display in a browser window. Check to ensure that the section you deleted is no longer visible in the navigation.
Preview Content Package in Reload.jpg

STEP 6: Repackaging
All good? You’re ready to re-package. Simply click on the ‘Zip Content Package’ icon at the top. You will be asked where you would like to save the zip file. (Iit is suggested that you save it in a different place than your ‘pulled apart’ files, in case you ever want to go back and change something else.)
Zip Content Package in Reload.jpg

Give your new zip file a name which is different than the original file, so that you know that this is the zip folder which contains your customised files. Click Save.
Save as a new folder.jpg

You will be asked which Player you want….select ‘Standard’.
Select Player.jpg

STEP 7: Finished!
That’s it! You now have a new, customised learning object all packaged up into a zip file, and ready to be uploaded into your Learning Management System or used however you prefer.

Demonstration Video

This video demonstrates the above processes:

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