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Navy Information / Application Product Suite

(NIAPS)

Interface Design Document for

Application e-Learning Training Modules Version 1.0

March 2007

NAVSEA 03 NIAPS & Distance Support Program

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................1 1.1 Purpose.................................................................................................................................1

2. GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR DEVELOPING E-LEARNING MODULES FOR NIAPS

TRAINING ................................................................................................................................2 2.1 Overview..............................................................................................................................2 2.2 Web-based Training Components .......................................................................................2 2.3 Level of Interactivity ...........................................................................................................3 2.4 Specific Issues in Application Training...............................................................................3

2.4.1 Screen Real-estate ................................................................................................. 3 2.4.2 Explaining Menu Options...................................................................................... 3 2.4.3 Limitations of Help Button .................................................................................... 4

3. NIAPS 1.0 E-LEARNING MODULE DESIGN GUIDE .......................................................5 3.1 Desktop/Laptop Skins..........................................................................................................5 3.2 Windows ..............................................................................................................................7 3.3 Navigation............................................................................................................................7 3.3.1 Tab Navigation...................................................................................................... 7 3.3.2 Breadcrumb Navigation ........................................................................................ 8 3.3.3 Sequential Navigation ........................................................................................... 9 3.3.4 Chat, Forums, Feedback, and Contact Information ........................................... 10 3.4 Toolbars .............................................................................................................................10 3.5 Keyboard Shortcuts............................................................................................................11 3.6 Scrollbars ...........................................................................................................................11 3.7 Content Presentation ..........................................................................................................11 3.7.1 Colors/Fonts/Text Display .................................................................................. 12 3.7.2 Acronyms............................................................................................................. 12 3.7.3 Display of Graphics and Photographs................................................................ 12 3.7.3.1 Captions ................................................................................................. 13 3.7.3.2 Zoom In/Out Capability ......................................................................... 13 3.8 Availability and Control of Audio Clips............................................................................13 3.9 Semantic Cues and Icons ...................................................................................................13 3.10 Exercises ............................................................................................................................13 3.11 Tests ..................................................................................................................................15 3.11.1 Drag and Drop Test Questions ........................................................................... 15 3.11.2 Submitting Answers ............................................................................................. 15 3.11.3 Remediation......................................................................................................... 15 3.12 The Tab Panels ..................................................................................................................16 3.12.1 Lesson Tree ......................................................................................................... 16 3.12.2 Index .................................................................................................................... 16 3.12.3 Search Tab........................................................................................................... 17

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4. COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 508.................................................................................18 REFERENCES & ASSISTANCE .................................................................................................19 APPENDIX A: LEVELS OF INTERACTIVITY ................................................................... A-1

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1.1 Purpose

1. INTRODUCTION

The NAVSEA Navy Information Application Product Suite (NIAPS) and Distance Support Program requires all e-learning developers to make sure that the application training interfaces of the e-learning modules that they deliver to the program conform to a common interface design specification.

This Interface Design Document (IDD) is intended to serve as a guide for developing the interface 'look and feel' for application training e-learning modules for NIAPS applications. This guide should be used by all persons applying to join the NIAPS program if a requirement exists to provide e-learning training modules.

All application-specific e-learning modules that are delivered to NAVSEA will conform to this design specification. By looking and behaving in the same manner, these e-learning modules will further enhance the user's learning experience.

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2. GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR DEVELOPING E-LEARNING MODULES FOR NIAPS TRAINING

2.1 Overview

This Interface Design Document (IDD) is intended to promote consistency

and usability across e-learning modules for NIAPS applications. The intent

Learn one, know all.

of the IDD is to overcome the inevitable conflicts that arise when users have to employ different human-computer interfaces (HCIs) to learn the different applications. Furthermore, different user interfaces slow down learning,

because users are required to learn a new training interface associated with

the e-learning modules for each application within NIAPS. The IDD

embodies the "learn one, know all" design paradigm. Developers should follow these guidelines

when creating CD-based and ILE-compliant e-learning courseware for NIAPS.

The contents of this document should be treated as general guidance by e-learning module developers. It covers the development of web-based training components, in general, and application-specific training components, in particular. It also presents guidelines relative to delivery environments, screen real estate management, strategies for presenting large amounts of information, and strategies for making training intuitive.

The recommended design paradigm requires separating style from content. Consequently, developers should implement e-learning modules such that the code associated with style is separate from the training content.

2.2 Web-based Training Components

ISTI's design paradigm for web-based training of NIAPS applications includes both structural as well as conceptual components. Structural components include code for desktop or laptop 'skins', as well as text-only delivery. The development of conceptual components follows ISTI's design guidelines based on the Science of Learning. These guidelines pertain to considerations such as presentation of content, navigation structure and behavior, display of graphics and photographs, presentation of audio clips and video clips, semantic cues (e.g., colors, icons and symbols, fonts), levels and types of interactivity, test components (scoring, feedback and remediation), incorporation of chat and forums, and types of feedback.

While there are several methods of delivery that are potentially viable for NIAPS e-learning modules (CD-based, text-only, and ILE-compliant), this document is written assuming the content will be delivered on a CD. However, where other forms of delivery would require a different approach or technique, those guidelines are presented in the appropriate subsections.

The e-learning code created by developers should be written to accommodate all methods of delivery to include CD-based, text-only, and ILE-compliant modules. All modules should be

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developed in Html 4.0 or Xhtml 1.0. By using a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), the developer would be able to supply an ILE version, a standalone CD version (browser-based), and a text-only version for handheld devices and/or for the visually impaired.

2.3 Level of Interactivity The Department of Defense Handbook: Development of Interactive Multimedia Instruction (IMI) MIL-HDBK-29612-3 () provides a single comprehensive resource of definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms related to military training and interactive courseware, including Levels of Interactivity (see Appendix A) This IDD primarily contains guidelines for developers that are creating Level II (or lower) e-learning modules. It also anticipates that some developers may need/want to implement selected Level III features to enhance the learning experience and, therefore, contains the guidelines appropriate for some of those features as well. For example, it includes guidelines for drag and drop capabilities of text or graphics. This is considered to be "manipulation of graphic objects to test the assessment of the information presented," as discussed in the Level III: Complex Interaction section of Appendix A.

2.4 Specific Issues in Application Training

2.4.1 Screen Real-estate

A key challenge in the design of application training systems is the limited "screen real-estate" that is available for incorporating training-related features. In some cases, a screen shot of the software application can be expected to fill the entire screen, leaving no room for the application training interface. This challenge cannot be overcome by shrinking the screen shots and associated graphics because such measures can render them illegible. To effectively overcome the limited screen size problem, the following remedies are suggested:

? allow the training interface to be minimized; ? whenever possible, reduce the software application window to a size smaller then 800 x 600

pixels, before taking screenshots; or ? for large screenshots, create a multimedia presentation capable of zooming in to the specific

area (of the screen) that is being discussed.

These three strategies should be employed by developers to overcome/circumvent the limited screen real estate in designing application training interfaces.

2.4.2 Explaining Menu Options

A common deficiency in software training systems is the failure to provide visual assistance to users searching for a specific menu option. To avoid this problem, references to Menu Options or Buttons should be linked to the appropriate screenshot or partial screenshot, with the menu item highlighted.

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