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Welcome to AContent

Use the Search field to find learning content in the AContent Repository, or choose from the Categories to browse the list of lessons available in each category. In the lessons that appear in Search Results or by browsing, click on a lesson title to view the lesson, or click on the download icon to export the lesson as a standard IMS Content Package.

Unzip Content Packages then click on the index.html file to view the content on your local computer.

Content packages, in their zipped state, can be imported into systems that support the IMS Content Packaging standard.


In order for a user to login to AContent and create content, manage translations, or administer the system, a unique account needs to be created. Use the Register link to access the registration form. If email-confirmation has been enabled by the system administrator, a message will be sent to the email address entered containing a link that must be followed to confirm the new account. Once this has been done, the login name or email address, and the password entered during registration can be used to Login.

In addition to searching, downloading, and viewing content, available to non-registered users, a basic account allows users to add lessons to their account, and store them as bookmarks for future reference.

When registering, you can also request authoring privileges by choosing I would like to author content. Additional personal information is required when registering as an author, so content is properly attributed to an author. When the system's administrator has approved your author request, the Create Lesson tab will appear, which leads to the AContent authoring tools.


A user may login to AContent with their Login Name or Email address, and the Password created during registration. Logging in gives users access to the bookmark feature for Regular users, and to the authoring tools for Author users.

Password Reminder

If you have forgotten your password, follow the Forgot your password? link on the Login screen. The form will email the login name to you, along with a link you must follow to change your password.


Once you have registered an account on the system, a Profile is created. You may modify the information associated with your profile, though you may not change your Login name, or the generated Web Service ID. If you are requesting a content authoring account, you must provide additional information about who you are so content is properly attributed to an author.

Web Service ID

The Web Service ID is a unique identifier that can be used to link other systems with AContent through its Web Services. This ID will be useful for developers creating systems that access AContent Web Services, or to administrators of learning management systems who wish to link AContent into their LMS. ATutor administrators can enter the Web Service ID of any user in the AContent system, into the AContent Setup screen to link the repository into their ATutor system. See the Web Service API, linked from the footer area of AContent for more about developing an interface to the system.

Change Password

This page allows users to change passwords. The form authenticates users by checking their old password first, and then setting a new password and typing it again.

Change Email

This page allows users to change email addresses.

Create Lesson

There are two ways to create a lesson, manually by defining course properties, and automatically by importing an existing IMS Content Package or IMS Common Cartridge.

Manual Create Lesson

Follow the "Create Lesson" link on the Create Lesson screen. Fill out the Lesson Properties screen then save. You will be directed into the lesson, after which you can add folders and content pages to the lesson.

Import Lesson

If you have an existing lesson, either created in ATutor, or created in another system that generates content packages or common cartridges, you can either upload the zipped file, or you can enter the URL to its location on the Web to import it. Once imported, use the content editing tools to modify the content.

Hide Lesson

While developing content it is advisable to select the "Hide lesson from other users" checkbox. Once the lesson is ready for public viewing, change the setting in the lesson properties.

Lesson Properties

While viewing any folder of page in a lesson, click on the Lesson Properties icon () to modify the following:

Manage Tests & Surveys

AContent provides tools for developing assessments to accompany content. Tests can also be created in a lesson space, then exported out in IMS QTI 1.2 format for importing into other systems that support the QTI standard. Question banks can also be created, authoring questions and exporting them as a batch of questions independent of any test.

Tests and questions can also be imported from other systems that produce QTI conformant tests or question banks, then associated with lesson content, later to be exported as part of a common cartridge.

Test Manager Tools

When tests exist for a lesson, they will be listed on the opening screen of Tests & surveys, along with tools for managing the test. If no test appear, use Create Tests/Surveys to add one.

Create Tests/Surveys

Creating a test begins by assigning a title to the test, and an optional description, which may include test instructions. Once these are written, save the test before adding questions to it. See Tests & Surveys for more about adding questions to a test, previewing, and editing tests.

Edit Tests/Surveys

Editing a test is much the same as Creating a test. See Create Tests/ Surveys for more about editing tests.

Add Question to a Test

After selecting a test from the main Test & Survey screen and pressing the Questions button to list the questions associated with that test, click on the Add Questions tab above to open the Question Bank. Either choose a category of questions to add to the test, or choose individual questions, then press Add to Test/Survey to add the questions. You will be redirected back to the question list for that test, at which time you must assign mark values to each question (unless you are creating a survey in which case questions have no mark value).

Question Bank

The Question Bank is where questions are created or imported before being associated with a test. You may want to create Question Categories to add questions to before creating questions. Each question includes a space for defining optional feedback. Feedback appears with a marked test explaining the correct answers. Question types supported include:

Question Categories

Before creating questions it may be helpful to create a number of categories into which questions can be grouped. Categories might be as simple as "questions for test 1" so when the questions are to be added to the test, you may choose the category to have all the question added, instead of choosing questions one by one. Categories might also be used to define difficulty level, or perhaps topic area. Categories can define any type of grouping for questions.

Create and Edit Content

There are many ways content might be assembled into a lesson. Generally, content is created by adding folders to contain the content, and adding pages to folders on which the content is displayed. There are a variety of tools available to add folders and pages to a lesson. These tools are described below. The tools that appear at any given time, depend on context.

Editor Icons

The Content Editor

The Content Editor is use the create content for a lesson. It include a number of tabs across the top, and a number of tools for working with your content.

Editor Tabs

Content Editor Tools

Edit Content Folder

To create or edit a content folder, click on the edit icon () or add folder icon(), then simply edit a title for the folder. Keep folder titles as short as possible.

Arrange Content

While viewing content in a lesson, click on the Arrange Content icon () to move pages and folders around within that lesson. To move an item, select the radio button next to it, then use the before icon () to move the selected item before another item, use the after icon () to move an item after another item, or use the child of icon () to move an item into a folder.

Import/Export Content

All the import and export content tools can be found in one place by following the Import/Export Content icon () while viewing any page or folder in a lesson.

Export Content

  1. In the Export section in the upper area of the screen select the portion of the lesson the export from the What to export menu. By default the entire lesson is exported.
  2. Select the format to export, either an IMS Content Package, or an IMS Common Cartridge. The format you want to export will depend on the formats supported by the system you'll be importing the content into. Content packages include only the folders and content pages within a lesson. Common cartridges include that same content, but will also include tests and forum activities if they have been created for the content.
  3. Choose to export the AccessForAll (AFA) adapted content with either the content package or common cartridge you export. AFA content will often include alternative formats for original content that gets presented to learners based on their personal preferences set in the system the content is imported into. For example, a blind person might chose to have text alternatives displayed instead of images, and a deaf person might choose to have sign language replace audio content.

Import Content

  1. Use the Import Into to select the position within the existing content of a lesson to place the imported package or cartridge.
  2. Choose to import available tests and AFA content by selecting the checkboxes by each.
  3. Upload the zipped package or cartridge to import it. Note, that you may choose to import packages or cartridge that do not validate (vary from the standard). In some cases this is fine, but be aware that importing invalid content can create problems, such as introducing damaging files that have been included with content by malicious users, or content that is not recorded in the package or cartridge manifest may become orphaned when the content is delete, left behind as files no longer used but taking up space.
  4. or, type the URL to a package or cartridge to import it directly from its location on the Web.

Edit Content Folder/Page

Click on the delete folder/page icon () to remove a folder and all its sub folders and pages. Click "yes" to confirm the deletion.

File Manager

The File Manager is where all the files associated with a lesson are uploaded and stored. It can be accessed from various places throughout the authoring environment so files can be added or associated with content or tests where needed. Main access to the File Manager is through the tab across the top of the screen while inside the authoring area. Popup file managers are available through the test question editors, and from the main content editor screen.

Use the Create Folder text field to create folders into which you can sort files for the lesson.

Use Create a New File to open the visual editor and create a new HTML file.

Use Upload Files to select files from your local computer to add to a lesson. You may prefer to zip the files together before uploading, upload the zip file, then unzip that file once it is on the server. Note that illegal files will not be unzipped, nor can you upload such files. Illegal files are those that can potentially create security problems. These file types are defined by the system's administrator and can be adjusted if you need to upload one of these file types. Most content file types can be added to lessons, and most executable files are restricted.