Authoring

Lesson organization

CyberCourse does not impose any particular course organization. Often courses consist of pages organized in a tree, like the one to the left of this screen. Authors can organize things differently, if they want.

Pages can have sections, each starting with a heading. There are six heading levels (heading, subheading, subsubheading…), but usually only two or three are used.

Authors can add a table of contents to a page by checking a box:

Table of contents

Text, images, math formulas, video…

Authors can use text, images, math formulas, and video in any combination. Cyco supports object embedding, so authors can add pretty much any type of content to their pages.

The editor

Most Web applications use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. They work more-or-less like familiar word processors. Here is an example:

WYSIWYG editor

You can see the usual buttons for bold, font, etc. You type your content, and the application saves it to a database.

The problem is that there is no single standard for representing all of the formatting. Different WYSIWYG editors store the same content differently. Authors are locked in to the editor, unless they want to reformat all their work.

Here is the Cyco editor:

CyberCourse editor

Authors use standard text to show formatting. For example, a # on the left of a line indicates a first-level heading. The markup language is a version of Markdown, that is becoming more common across they Web.

Markdown display software is available for many different platforms. Authors can move their content out of Cyco, and into a different system. They can do the reverse as well, taking Markdown from another system into Cyco.

Cyco does have extra tags that are not in standard Markdown. For example, the button with the person on it adds a pseudent to the content. There are tags for exercises and patterns as well.

Look-and-feel

“Look-and-feel” refers to color, fonts, button shape, etc. By default, Cyco uses Bootstrap, one of the most popular display frameworks on the Web.

Cyco supplies about a dozen premade styles, from Bootswatch. Here are some:

Cerulean

Amelia

Superhero

Authors don’t have to use the built-in styles, though. They can customize any aspect of the look-and-feel, or use one of the hundreds of Drupal themes that are available.