Types of files

There are five types of course files for PEOI courses. (We are talking about files pertaining only to courses and which are other than all operating and administrative files which, for instance, contain faculty and student records for different courses.) The five types are
1- text course material files which include chapters, chapter sections and subsections, bibliographies, appendixes, review questions, assignments and comments
2- content files that identify and link all other files
3- cases
4- lists of courses, chapters, tables or terms, and indexes
5- questions files

Each type is described further, and methods of accessing the files are explained below. The first three groups are html files, and the last two are mostly text files. Review courses may contain less than one hundred files. Professional courses have more than one thousand files. The minimum number of files a course under construction would have is as few as three (one chapter file, one content file and one questions or assignments file).

In addition, course material files may contain images, sound or video clips, or other supporting material, all of which are highly desirable. Efforts are made to keep the size of all files small enough so that they load quickly. This also allows users to find and access wanted information rapidly. In turn, that explains the presence of a large number of files, and the need to keep track of file contents with the contents files.

With a few exceptions, most files are smaller than 24 KB and shorter than 10 pages (including all html tags and scripts, but excluding images, sound or video clips). Consequently, chapters of professional courses are split into sections and sub-sections. Files containing tables with data can be especially large as a result of html required lay-out. Insertion of images, graphs, tables, audio and video clips is strongly recommended to bring the material to life and retain reader's attention. They obviously need a lot of space. However, they are not physically present in text files, and are accessed as attachments. Anyone familiar with html must know that an image format should preferably be PGN or GIF, and that graphs and tables can be imported (by copy and paste) directly from a spreadsheet. However, such work is best left to PEOI staff.


 Next: Authoring methods