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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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3.3. SET TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS

WBT depends on technology. As such, WBT designers must take into account their goals and limitations as they lay down some basic rules about what technologies the course will rely on. These are important if the course is being created by separate teams or outside vendors.

3.3.1. Designate target browsers

First decide what browser learners can use to take your course. Limit this list to one or two specific browsers. In this case, each version of a particular brand is a different browser. For example:

Netscape Navigator 4.5 Internet Explorer 5.0

If HTML features are supported by all of your target browsers, use them freely. If features are supported by some of your targeted browsers and ignored cleanly (that is, without causing any error) by the others, use the features for non-essential information, for decorations, and experiments. If features are not cleanly ignored by some of the target browsers, either do not use the feature or prepare two versions of the page.

Consider requiring a late model browser rather than an earlier one that requires multiple plug-ins. For example, the Dynamic HTML supported in Version 4 browsers may be adequate for simple animations that would require a plug-in with Version 3 browsers.

3.3.2. Specify file formats for materials

The choice of allowable file formats has several critical implications for designers. Some file formats will require proprietary plug-ins that learners must download and install. Information in ...

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