So you decided to create a portfolio of your work and even created a website to host it. Congratulations, this is a huge accomplishment! There is only one technical problem left to deal with. At this point, you need to find a way to make your e-learning courses visible online.
This is easily managed by publishing your course and hosting it in an LMS. But in this situation, you are hosting your personal learning deliverables for public consumption, so you will need another method of hosting course.
Before explaining how to do this, let’s first understand why it is necessary to do it. If you’re already familiar with this information, feel free to skip to the part of the article where we’ll cover how to host your Storyline and Captivate files online.
What is online hosting?
The information hosted online lives on a server, which is a computer hard drive that contains the files and makes them accessible to the public whenever a specific URL is entered into the address bar of a web browser.
For those who want more details on server history, here’s a little note from Wikipedia:
Originally used as “servers serve users” (and “users use servers”), in the sense of “obey”, it is often said today that “servers serve data”, in the same meaning as “to give”. For example, web servers “serve [up] Web pages to users ”or“ respond to their requests ”.
If you want to know more, here’s a link to the full Wikipedia article.
For everyone else, suffice to say that even your portfolio, if it takes the form of a website, it is hosted on a server somewhere in the world. The same goes for files on your website. However, to host your e-learning content, you will need to host your content on a separate server.
It is important to note that there are some limitations to this method of hosting. Hosting your courses online only allows your courses to be accessible to viewers and allows them to experience the interactivity you’ve built in, as opposed to showing static screenshots. Hosting online courses, outside of an LMS, does not include the ability to track learner progress. So if this is ultimately your goal, then you will need to host your course in an LMS.
If hosting online courses seems intimidating to you, don’t worry, this blog post will help you get started.
Hosting of your e-learning courses online
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what online hosting entails and why it’s necessary for viewing your courses, let’s cover a basic overview of how to do it. To do this, we’ll use an Articulate Storyline course as an example in the steps below.
- Create a web server account.
- Publish your course.
- Upload the files to the host server.
- Link to HTML output.
Now let’s explore the process step by step.
1. Create a web server account
As discussed earlier, if you are reading this article then an LMS is not an option for you. Plus, it’s fair to assume that you don’t have access to your own web server. This means that you will need to use a third-party service like Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 or Google Cloud Platform. While these services may require you to enter your credit card information to get started, they are both easy to use and affordable (if not completely free) for personal use.
2. Publish your course
Articulate, like other authoring tools, offers several options for publishing your courses. Since you do not have an LMS available and your course will be hosted online, you will need to publish for the web.
3. Upload the files to the host server
Your published output will contain multiple file folders. You will need to include them all for your course to function properly. While you are at it, you will need to make sure that the compartments and folders containing your course materials are open to the public.
4. Link to HTML output
Now that you’ve configured everything, you need to find the link to the file that contains the words HTML output. This is the link you will need to link to the course from your website. Copy this link to your website and verify that the link works.
Again, this article is just a high-level overview of what is required to host an online e-learning course without using an LMS. For more information on using AWS S3 or Google Cloud, read these articles:
How to Share Online Learning Courses Using Amazon S3
How to share e-learning courses using Google Cloud Platform