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RE: Pop-Ups

From: Peacock, Kimberly <peacockk@ctcgsc.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 14:14:50 -0500
Message-ID: <5A69399A2BB6504B9193F0A1660A5CF9032919@pefl-mail1.pefl.ctcgsc.org>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Alot of the problem has to do with the Learning Management System (LMS)
software, and the rest of it has to do with the military client and
developers.  The goal of the LMS software is to track student completion and
interactivity throughout their eLearning experience.  I'm not sure if you
are familiar with SCORM (www.adlnet.org) or not, but I will just proceed as
though you are and you can write me back with additional questions if
needed.  Currently LMS systems are built to the SCORM 1.2 standard.  SCORM
1.3 is expected to be made available as a public draft within the next few
months.  The difference between the two primarily has to do with the
sequencing of the learning objects.  At the moment under SCORM 1.2 this
sequencing is not possible, and as a result MOST (not all) of the LMSs
function like this:

- the main window (LMS GUI window) remains open
- the user selects a topic of instruction
- that topic opens in a new window
- user finishes the training object and closes it
- then selects another topic

Additionally, the topic's themselves contain pop-ups/new windows.  This
occurs for various reasons:  separate testing sections, special
interactivity that calls some kind of plug-in, special document formats, and
sometimes just bad developer design that reflects a lack of sensitivity for
accessibility.  Keep in mind also that a wide variety of tools are usually
implemented in these types of products:  all of Macromedia's products
(Authorware, Director, Flash, etc.), Photoshop, 3-D graphics programs,
video, audio, embedded screen readers, PDF and Word document formats, as
well as PowerPoint presentations.  Often times these are embedded within the
training, linked to and embedded in various ways, etc.  Most of these
products are not coded strictly in HTML!  I think that the importance here
is that on-line training is becoming a huge industry, with Universities and
the government expanding these services at an incredible rate, and these are
among the primary tools they use.  

My hope is that once the LMS developers incorporate SCORM 1.3 into their
products this will be improved, however I expect the need for the pop-up/new
window to be around in the training arena for quite a long time.  So, my
personal opinion is that if you can't beat them join them, but improve them
while your with them.  I would like to see pop-up/new window code that
allowed for accessibility.  I would then like to see browsers then give
users the option of disabling any pop-up/new window that did not meet those

Or at least those are my thoughts on the subject at the moment.  I see far
too many of my colleagues choosing to ignore accessibility entirely just
because they can only partially implement it.  I would like to see that
practice stopped.

Kimberly Peacock
Multimedia Programmer

Pensacola, Florida

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Hanna [mailto:jon@spin.ie]
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 1:18 PM
To: Peacock, Kimberly
Subject: RE: Pop-Ups

it is an
> unfortunate fact of
> our lives that due to Learning Management System constrictions, etc. a new
> window is often required.

Received on Thursday, 17 October 2002 15:15:01 UTC

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