As an idea of how the original site looked, here's a screenshot of the homepage:
And other showing one of the Learning object pages:
A more in-depth view can be found at Wayback Machine AEO.
Rebuilding the site
Towards the end of 2020, we were tasked with rebuilding the site to bring it more in line with current web technology standards. This was brought about as follows:
Migration of Learning Objects to WordPress
We took the following steps to bring about the conversion to the new platform:
- Audit the site to identify items to be migrated and assets to convert.
- Installation of WordPress on QMUL university server.
- We extracted the core HTML content, CSS and JS from the Learning Objects and rebuilt them into WordPress pages.
- We then converted a small number of Hot Potatoes quizzes to the newer HTML5 compliant version of the tool (see: Hot Potatoes)
- We converted a larger number of items using the H5P WordPress plugin (see: H5P.org)
- We also made use of the Accordions Plugin to build some of the interactive presentation units.
For an idea of how the new site looks, here's a screenshot of the homepage:
The two following images show one of the Learning object pages in desktop and mobile view.
Although the new desktop view is not hugely different from the original design shown, we have modified the CSS to enable responsive viewports, as shown in this image:
CSS: Editing the original CSS by incorporating responsive media queries was the quickest way to implement this design feature without rebuilding each learning object from scratch in a new template framework. The CSS is at the site level with custom classes called where needed in each page.
The new site is available at: Academic English Online.
- We are continuing to work on tweaking the interactive activities and learning objects to bring them to greater adaptive design functionality, particularly for use on very small screens.
- We are also continuing to work on bringing the objects up to full Web accessibility standards.
This development project has been demanding and time-consuming, and some of the Learning Objects are still being worked on to improve user experience and site functionality.