I'm currently seeking full time employment. These pages are in the process of being updated, but feel free to contact me with questions. — Rich

Rich Tatum's Career Page

Web Site Manager / CTCourses Interface Design
[return to career home]

Rich Tatum

Explore the CTCourses online training Interface

Here is the streaming media Web interface I helped design for CTCourses.com, Christianity Today International's first foray into online multimedia delivery and online training. I built this GUI demo to help users see what the actual course interface looked like and how it worked before we had a free course online for users to experiment with. This page is entirely CSS-driven: no javascript.

Move your mouse on the image to highlight and explore the interface.

The Video Window

This is the video window with all the player controls enabled. You can pause, fast forward, rewind, and even zoom in.

You need at least Media Player version 9 installed on your computer to access the video.

[Click Video Window for more information.]
Course Info

The Course Info window contains a hyperlinked table-of-contents--use it to jump around within the video to the most useful sections. Behind the TOC is a complete course transcript.

[Click, the Course Info window for more information.]

The sideshow is timed to change slides while the video is playing and should always be in sync. If you click on a shortcut in Course Info window's table of contents, the slide show will stay in sync with the video.

[Click, the Slideshow window for more information.]
My Info area

This window is the most feature-rich portion of the screen. You can take notes here, review the scripture references mentioned in the video, interact with others taking the course, complete each session's online quiz, and more!

[Click, the My Info window for more information.]
User ID

The User ID window confirms that you're logged in and that the system recognizes who you are. It also shows you how much longer you will have access to this course.

[Click, the User ID window for more information.]


The Video Window

return to top

Online training where you want it and when you want is it makes our training tool so useful. But we understand that it's not convenient—or easy—to sit at your computer for 2-3 hours while working through course material. For that reason, our courses are broken down into smaller, easy-to-digest "sessions" lasting about 10-to-15 minutes each.

If you want to move around the room a bit, go sit on the couch, or if you simply want to see the presentation without the slide show or any note-taking, you can "zoom" in on the video by right-clicking and choosing the "Full Screen" shortcut menu option (see image at right).

(Note: this works best with high-bandwidth connections because the quality of the video allows for full screen presentation.)

We create all of our courses using Windows Media Player technology. That means that both Macintosh and Windows users will be able to enjoy our courseware. Unfortunately, you may experience difficulties if you use any browser other than Internet Explorer (Including FireFox and Safari).

The Course Info Window

return to top

The Course Info window contains a high-level outline of the material covered in each session, and it's clickable! Each line in the table-of-contents is linked to and synchronized with the video and slide show so you can skip sections you've already covered, or review past segments. Just like the other text windows in our interface, the TOC information can be copied-and-pasted into your favorite word-processor, or you can print the information directly from this screen by clicking on the printer icon.

Behind the Contents tab is the Video Text tab—a full-text transcript of everything covered in the video, ready to be pasted into your notes files, or you can just read along with the video.

The Slide Show Window

return to top

The Side Show Window contains a resized version of a synchronized PowerPoint slide show. These slides will add to, illustrate, and summarize the contents of the video window and assist you when taking notes.

Like an Olympic synchronized swim team, everything in the slide show window is timed to coincide with the video window. Also, you can jump around from topic-to-topic within each session by clicking on the hyperlinked table-of-contents in the Course Info window. When you do that, the video and slide show will still stay perfectly synchronized.

The User Information Window

return to top

'You might be sharing access to your computer with another family member or church staff member, in order to prevent anyone else from accidentally accessing your coursework, we provide a "logout" button to protect your work. But, just to be sure, whenever you access a course, you can easily tell exactly who is logged in with this window. As an extra convenience, the User Information window also shows you exactly how much time you have left before the current course expires.

Once a course expires, you no longer have access to it.

The My Info Window

return to top

The most useful and powerful of the course interface windows, the My Info window allows you to take notes, review scripture references, test your knowledge, interact with others taking the same course, and review application material suggesting the "next steps" for you to take after each session is completed.


The note-taking interface is a simple, bare-bones HTML editor that you can use to take notes and jot down ideas while the video is playing. You can bold and italicize your text by using CTRL-B and CTRL-I, just like in a traditional word-processor. You can create bulleted lists, indent, outdent, and insert horizontal rules (lines) to visually separate portions of your notes.

''Don't forget to save your work!

Be sure to save your notes before using any of the other "My Info" tabs. If you leave the notes window to check out some verse references or to view the forum, you may wind up losing everything you typed. Just be sure to save your notes, and you won't lose a thing.

The screenshot at the right shows you the dialog box you'll get whenever you save your notes.

When you come back to the note-taking interface, you'll find a list of previously saved notes. The notes will be listed according to date-time. (We cannot, yet, provide a way for you to save your notes under a custom "name" or "comment.") You can get to this list of notes any time by clicking on the "List Notes" button in the notes editor.


Every verse mentioned in the session will be listed here, as well as some additional references related to the course presentation.

Unless otherwise indicated, the text we use is from the New International Version (NIV).


Each session in the course will give you a handful of questions testing your familiarity of the video presentation. The questions aren't graduate-level examinations—they're simply designed to help prod your memory right after viewing a session so you won't forget it as easily. (In most courses, you need to answer 70% of the questions correctly.)

There is a course certificate available after you answer the last question of the last quiz in the last session of each course. Take all the quizzes, and we'll hand over the certificate!


If you're interested in seeing who else might be taking this same course at the same time as you are, head on over to our QuickTopics forum. You can view the messages in our interface, or you can click on the link to "open in a separate window" and you can break the message board out of its tiny confines.

The forum has been created as a sort of "peer" group of students taking the same course. Please feel free to ask questions of each other and dialog regarding the course material. Tip: The "Next Steps" tab might provide some good fodder for online discussion. We also ask that you attempt to keep discussions on-topic and polite.

Christianity Today reserves the right to restrict the access of users who abuse the message board system, and to remove access to the message boards altogether, if deemed necessary.


We designed the "Next Steps" content to help you reflect on the material in each session, and to help you apply it to your own life situation.

Every course we offer is different, and everyone experiencing the course is unique. Because "one-size" can never "fit all," we hope you'll explore the "Next Steps" page to personalize and apply each course to your unique situation.

Every element of this course interface has been designed to help you experience growth in your walk with Christ, but none more so than the Next Steps questions. We hope, more than anything, that whatever is good and enduring about each and every course finds its way to the rich soil of your life. Please, take some time in each course we offer to reflect and apply the lessons from the presentation.

return to top






Who's Among Us? What are they reading?