Saving a Project

You may save an opened project at any time. There are four ways to save:

  • Option One: Select File > Save from the menu bar.
  • Option Two: Hold down the Control key (CTRL) and press ‘S’.
  • Option Three: Click on the button on the bottom right hand corner that resembles a diskette.
  • Option Four: Simply Preview your project.  The project will be automatically saved.

By default, LodeStar creates a directory titled ‘LodeStar’ in your user directory.  Under the LodeStar directory, you will find a Projects and an Exports directory (once you export a project). You can change this default setting by selecting Tools > Options. If there is more than one tab, select the ‘User Directory’ tab.  Type or paste in the path where you would like to create the LodeStar directory with its sub-directories.

When you save, LodeStar will merge your unique content with data elements that the template needs but you don‟t need to worry about the details because LodeStar takes care of this step automatically. If you were to copy the project directory to a web server and link to index.htm, your project will run on the web.  In other words, everything that is required to run your project on the web is self-contained in your project directory.

When you reopen your project at a later time, by selecting File and then choosing your recent project from the list, LodeStar finds your content automatically and loads it in. If you wish to get a fresh start, create another project from a template.

Exporting to Desire2Learn 9.0 or greater

Desire2Learn has improved its SCORM upload procedure in version 9.x. LodeStar users who have grown accustomed to the upload routine in earlier versions of Desire2Learn will now have to adjust to a new procedure for D2L 9.x. Here are the basic steps for importing a LodeStar resource into Desire2Learn.

Prepare your export to match D2L 9.x according to the following instructions:

Inside of LodeStar, do the following:

1. Open and complete your project

2. Click on the  Export button.

3.  Keep the default ‘SCORM 1.3 (Recommended)’ selected.

4. Pay attention to where LodeStar will save your export.  Typically this will be in [user folder]/LodeStar/Export

5. Click on ‘Create Export’ button.

Inside of D2L, do the following:

1.Go to your course.

2. Select ‘Edit Course’ (on the right hand side of the screen)

3. Select ‘Import/Export/Copy Components’ (on the left hand side of the screen)

4. Select the ‘Import Components’ radio button.  Select the ‘From a File’ radio button.

5. In the ‘What would you like to do?’ screen, click on the ‘Browse’ button and browse to the lodestar zip file in the exports folder.

6. Click Next. (Be patient. The upload process has started. You will see a progress bar at the bottom.)

7. D2L will now display the Preprocessing Progress at it completes reading the zip file (technically, the IMS content package). When you see green check marks, click on the ‘Next’ button.

8. You may leave ‘Do not overwrite the existing file’ selected if you wish. If you are re-uploading, you may want to select, ‘Overwrite the existing file.’ In either case, check ‘Import Metadata’.  Check, ‘Select All Components’. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
9. You will now see the ‘Confirm Import Selections’ screen. You should have ‘Import Metadata’ as selected. You should also have selected ‘Import all Items’.

10. D2L will now complete the import of this course material. When you see all green check marks, you can simply return to your content. Do this by clicking on the word ‘Content’ next to ‘Course Home’ rather than clicking on D2L’s link. Doing the latter causes confusion.

11. You should now see your imported LodeStar resource at the end of your course.

12. You can use the content manager to move the topic to another module.

Export

“Exporting” means that you are ready to convert your project into a format that can be understood by such platforms as Moodle, Desire2Learn,  or Blackboard.

Optionally, you can always move your project folder onto a web server and link to the ‘index.htm’ file.

LodeStar 7.0 supports Export to SCORM 1.3 (SCORM 2004, Version 3), which is the latest standard as of this writing that is prevalent in Learning Management Systems.  If you export to the SCORM 1.3 export type, typically you will look for a complementary import function in your Learning Management System. Consult with your Learning Management System vendor on how to import SCORM conformant content packages.

When you export, you are exporting the current project by default.

To export, click on the ‘Export’ button at the top left of the application.  Then follow these steps:

Step One:  Choose the export type from the combo box.  Most likely, you will see only one export type: SCORM 1.3.  If  SCORM 1.3 is already selected, move on to the next step:

Step Two: Fill in a title for the Module.  Fill in the other fields as well.

Step Three:  Note the location where the export file (a zip file) will be saved.

Step Four: Click on the ‘Create Export’ button.

Nearly instantly, LodeStar will package all of the contents of your project into a zip file with a descriptive manifest that describes the contents to the learning management system.

Your next step is to log in to your learning management system and follow the procedure for importing SCORM learning objects.

Themes

Themes relate to the ‘look’ of your project.  A theme controls html background color, outer background color and inner background color.

The precise meaning of outer and inner color may vary from template to template.  The meaning of html background color is consistent.  This color choice controls the body color of the html page that hosts your project.

If you preview an ActivityMaker project, you will see that the header and footer have a specific color and, optionally, a texture.  If you change the theme by selecting Tools > Themes, you will notice a change when you preview.

Important Note:  If you change a project’s theme and preview, you may not, in fact, see a change.  To see a change, after the project is fully loaded, right click in the preview window and select ‘Reload’.

In the screenshot below you will see a header and footer with a black gradient fill.  The outer background color has no effect.  The html background color is the light gray shown in the screenshot.  The inner background color is the white behind the text.  The inner background color will only display if Show Inner Color is checked.

The best practice is to make a change, preview and then force the page to reload.  If don’t like the change, try again.

LodeStar eLearning Authoring Tool Screenshot

LodeStar eLearning Authoring Tool Screenshot

Workflow

Instructors follow the workflow that is depicted below.  They first choose a template from the template viewer or open an existing file.   If they choose a template, they are prompted to convert the template into a project.  They then fill in their content, depending on the requirements of the template, save, preview and, finally, export their work to a learning management system like Desire2Learn, Moodle or Blackboard.

But how will instructors know the requirements of the template? In most cases, that will be obvious.  In others, specific template help is provided under the Help menu.

workflow

Definitions

Definitions

 

 

 

LodeStar™   Software that helps an instructor create an interactive educational activity. An example:  LodeStar provides the appropriate prompts and forms that enable an instructor to supply the information for a practice quiz.

 

Star Interaction® Template or

Star

  A Star Interaction Template® or Star, for short, helps instructors produce a game, timeline, slide show, quiz, a deck of flash cards, crossword puzzle, web quest and much more.

 

The short form of Star Interaction Template is Star.

 

A template is a file that an instructor finds under File > New or downloads from the LodeStar website.  An instructor will choose the Star Interaction Template that she or he wishes to make into a project.  Generally instructors build and save projects from templates.

 

 

Project   Once an instructor chooses a Star Interaction template (Star) such as a quiz, a wizard prompts the instructor for a project name.

 

A project built from the template is then placed in the LodeStar projects folder.

 

Changes made to the project do not reflect back to the template.  For example, an instructor might use the same Star Interaction template to create a history quiz project or a math quiz project.

     

 

 

 


Technical Requirements for LodeStar 7

System Requirements

Computer
Windows Only (MAC version coming soon)
 
· 1 GHz Intel Pentium processor (recommended)
· Windows 7 or later
· 1 GB of free available system RAM (recommended)
· 85 MB of available disk space
· 1024 x 768, 16-bit (thousands of colors) color display or better

 

 

Browser Instructors:
LodeStar 7 comes with a built in browser.Students:

Students can choose from a variety of modern browsers that support HTML 5 standards

 

 

Internet Internet Connection is a RequirementLodeStar comes pre-loaded with several Star Interactions.  Additional interactions are available to licensed subscribers through the internet. Therefore an internet connection is required.