Tools & Aids
|What is Course Builder?||
Course Builder is software for custom packaging of the
e-Handbook material for teaching specialized courses. That is,
you can extract selected pages out of the e-Handbook and bundle
them into a single course. This course takes the form of a
set of HTML pages.
Course Builder runs as a Perl-based CGI script.
It is assumed that you have already sucessfully
Course Builder and have activated the appropriate link on
the main Course Builder web page.
The first step is to click on this Course Builder link.
|Initial Screen||When you activate the Course Builder, you should see something like the following:|
The Course Builder brings up two browsers consisting of three
|Creating the Course|
The basic idea in using the Course Builder is as follows:
The image below shows a typical screen after adding a number of pages to the course. You can click on one of the entries in the lower left frame to go to that page in the e-Handbook. For example, if you want to delete one of the added pages, click on the link for that page and then click on the "Remove Page" button in the upper frame.
|Saving the Course|
|Click "Next>>" to Initiate Save||
After you have completed adding all desired pages from the
e-Handbook, click on the "Next>>" button in the upper
The first browser reverts to a single frame that will look like the following image.
|Page to Assemble the Course||
There are a number of features in this assembly page.
|Creation of a tar File or a WinZip File||
After you click the "Assemble" button, Course Builder initiates
the creation of the custom course.
The following image shows the save for a Unix/Linux platform. The Course Builder automatically generates a tar file. Tar files are the standard archive format for Unix/Linux platforms. For Windows platforms, Course Builder can be configured to generate a WinZip file instead.
A file menu is presented which allows you to specify where you want to save the file. For the sake of discussion below, we will assume that we have saved the file to "/home/heckert/mycourse.tar".
|Extracting the Course to a Web Page|
|Extracting the Assembled Course||
The next step is to extract the course on your local platform.
We recommend that you extract the files to an empty directory.
In this example, we could do something like
mv mycourse.tar mycourse
tar -xvf mycourse.tar
For Windows platforms, you will typically use WinZip to extract the file. Note that WinZip can extract Unix tar files as well as "*.zip" files (if Course Builder is installed on a Windows platform, it will typically be configured to create a "*.zip" file, if it is installed on a Unix/Linux platform it will typically be configured to create a tar file). If you have a program other than WinZip that can extract zip or tar files, then this program can be used in place of WinZip.
|Viewing the Assembled Course||
Once you have extracted the files, you can simply use your
browser to point to the desired page. The default initial
page is "esh0000.htm". So for the example here, you would
use the following URL:
The pages in the assembled course will include "Next" and "Back" buttons on each page for navigation.
The following image shows the initial page of the assembled course for our example.
|Some Additional Issues||
After you have extracted the course, there are a few issues
that need to be addressed.
The following is a list of currently known problems with
the Course Builder.
If you discover additional bugs or have any comments regarding the Course Builder, these can be directed to the e-Handbook team.