Opening a Course in the Current Browser Window

Can ProForm Courses Be Opened In the Current Browser Window, without Opening a New One?

The basic answer to this question is generally yes, ProForm courses can be opened and run from the currently opened browser window instead of popping up a new window each time. The procedure isn’t as simple as checking a box, however, and this article is a detailed description of exactly how to make a course with this functionality.

Why ProForm Courses Usually Open a New Window

First, an explanation of why ProForm normally does open a new window will be instructive and useful. This is done so that the learner can take the course in a window that does not have the regular browser navigation tools—things like the “back,” “forward,” and “home” buttons—activated within the course. And this is an important feature within a ProForm course, because using those buttons could disrupt their learning experience. Here is why: ProForm courses are completely self-contained in a Flash movie. That means that when they move from page to page within the course, the browser isn’t actually moving forwards or backwards. If they wanted to move back to the previous page, for example, and they clicked on the browser’s “back” button, the browser would take them completely away from the course, and probably take them back to the page with the course link on it. This could end their learning session, and any progress they had made with the course would be lost. So you can see that for most circumstances, opening a new window without the activated navigation tools is the best way for the learner to take a course, because it requires them to use ProForm controls to navigate.

How to Open a Course in the Current Browser Window

Understanding what is explained above, if you still would like to deploy the course in the same browser window (and leave all the browser navigation controls available to the learner), the way to do this depends on your publishing method. If you are deploying the course from a non-LMS server¬, the link that you provide for the learner to begin the course should directly access the “player.html” file for the specific course. Here’s an example. If you have a course in a folder named “Practice,” and your server’s domain is www.myserver.com, you will provide the learner with a URL like this: www.myserver.com/practice/player.html. This will allow them to access the player.html file directly, and will open the Flash course in the regular browser window.

If you are using an LMS server, this functionality may be found inside your LMS settings for the course. Exactly where those settings are located will depend on your specific LMS, and some LMS servers may not allow for this functionality. You should contact someone knowledgeable with your LMS to check for this option.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Rapid Intake’s free support by sending and email to support@rapidintake.helpserve.com.


How to Open a Course in a Chromeless Browser Window

If you would like to open the course in a new browser window, but you would like that to be a “chromeless” window, follow the steps below. (A chromeless browser window is one that completely lacks the navigation pane at the top of the browser, such as is seen when you preview a course in Flashform.)

How to Get the “start.html” File in Your Course

To make this happen you will need a file called “start.html” in your project folder. This file is not added when you publish for SCORM, so in order to have the file placed there you need to publish the course twice. First, publish the course to a “Non-LMS Server” and make sure you have checked the box that says “Include Start File.” This will place the “start.html” file in your folder. Once you have done that, publish the course again, this time using either SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004 depending on your desired format.

How to Make Your Course Access the “start.html” File

Once you have published your course, you need to edit the “imsmanifest.xml” file so that your LMS will launch the “start.html” file. This process is quite simple. Open the “imsmanifest.xml” file in any text editor, and find the section that is pictured below (keep in mind that depending on your text editor, the layout and colors may not be exactly as displayed below):



What you need to do is change the places where it references “player.html” to “start.html.” You will need to make two changes as seen above. Once you have done that, simply proceed to zip up your course and upload it to your LMS. When you launch the course now it should load in a chromeless browser window.

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