Jan 21, 2009

Authoring Tool Quandary

I've spent some time over the last couple of months researching authoring tools that fit eLearning development needs. I whittled the list down to a few core tools.
I like Articulate because of its ease of use and integration with PowerPoint. I think more people will be able to participate in the authoring process by using a tool like Articulate. Nice job Articulate.
I like Lectora because it seems designed for advanced eLearning by providing a structure for tracking variables and actions on objects. I'm confident I can do just about any thing using Lectora but there is a bigger learning curve and projects may take longer than using a tool like Articulate. It seems that many of the newer eLearning tools are Flash based whereas Lectora is HTML/JavaScript based. There are advantages and disadvantages to that. I'm wondering where Lectora sees itself in 2 or 3 years. Still, a very pragmatic choice.
I like Captivate 3 because it does a great job of recording simulations and allows for annotations. Simulations will be very important for technology training. I've found Captivate very easy to use for this purpose. I realize Captivate can also be used for creating the entire eLearning package but it does not seem as strong for that purpose as Articulate and Lectora. Great product.
Now that I feel like I've got a good grasp on the tools out there, Captivate 4 has been released. On the surface it looks like a great release that can handle the majority of my needs. I'll be evaluating it soon to see what it can do and how it does things. How good is the Word import? What all can you do with variables and actions? Have the simulation recording tools changed?

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