While many people choose Educator for personal study because of their need for one or another of its advanced features, the program was originally developed with the professional educator or corporate trainer in mind. For individuals planning to use their files in support of their own studies, we recommend a different approach to file organization as discussed in Organizing Your Study Files.
For professional educators and corporate trainers, the core concept behind Educator's design was to enable a common set of materials to produce both study aids and tests, including the capability to auto-grade the test results.
This leads to using .FLU files as the main repository of the course content; .FLZ files for distributable study aids, .FLT files for testing and .FLR files for storing the test results.
It will be very helpful to set up an organized directory structure to facilitate the creation and management of the various files that will be involved. Here's an example structure for using WinFlash/Educator for supporting a French language class:
Other Class' Directories
This will produce paths such as C:\Program Files\WFEducator\French\Source. If you'd prefer shorter paths to work with you can put the structure under something like C:\WinFlash, yielding C:\WinFlash\French\Source, etc. The shorter paths are also advantageous when working with the Subject Outline view - which allows you to see your entire library of WinFlash files in a single window - along with useful info about each file. If you're not using this tool, give it a try!
Assuming you have .WAV audio files and .GIF graphics that you'll be using with your study materials, you'd put these in the AVFiles directory. Set the Options|Directories paths for Graphics and Audio/Video in Educator to point to this directory. Remember you'll need to change these settings if you work in multiple classes, each with a different set of AV and Graphics directories. You may also elect to have only ONE set of AV and Graphics directories, containing the files for ALL of your projects, thus saving switching the settings when moving back and forth. See Directories.
The .FLU source files would be kept in the Source directory. Perhaps you've decided to create one .FLU file for each chapter in the course's textbook. You'd then produce a Compiled Study (.FLZ) File from each .FLU file and make these available to the students while they are studying the corresponding chapter. After their creation, the .FLZ files would be moved to the Study directory. See Creating Compiled Files and the Tutorial segment Create A Compiled Study File.
Tests for each chapter would be created from the same .FLU files, either using the entire file or a subset of the questions derived with the help of the Composite File Creation tool. These files would be stored in the Test directory and copied to the machine(s) used in administering the tests prior to their use by the students. See Creating Compiled Files and the Tutorial segment Create A Compiled Test File.
If possible, setting the test's Result (.FLR) file directory to a common, mapped drive accessible by all of the machines used to administer tests will greatly simplify the test grading operation, since ALL of the results will appear in a single directory, rather than having to collect the result files from each machine (of course this requires that the test machines be networked with the destination machine).
I hope you've found these suggestions for using Educator helpful. If you've developed your own tricks for using Educator, please send them to me via e-mail and I'll add them to the "Users Tips" section below for the next release!
If you are using Educator for creating and grading tests used with entire classes, you'll find the chore MUCH easier if you use the WinFlash Administrator program!
Hmmm... OK, you caught us - we wrote this one <G>... Send us some of your favorites and we'll add them here on the next release!!