Mar 7, 2011

Authoring Tools and Compatibility

When eLearning designers and developers think about using a rapid development tool such as Lectora, they often think about the time savings they get when creating a visual pleasing project and the ability to create reusable components.  A rapid development tool is a great way to quickly breath life into your storyboard.  One advantage that many of these tools bring, but is not always thought about, is that these tools can make complying with browser and system requirements a breeze.

System Compatibility Built In

How many times have you had to think about how to make something look right or work right using javascript or CSS?  You have to test it in a variety of browser configurations to make sure it works properly.  If you use the HTML/javascript based Lectora tool, you know that it meets specific system requirements for viewing.  Lectora Publisher specs say the viewing system requirements are "cross-platform compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher,  Firefox 1.0 and higher, Safari 1.2 and higher, and Google Chrome."  So by using Lectora, you remove some of the browser compatibility worries from the development process. The same goes for Captivate.  When you've created your project, you can export to the version of Flash and ActionScript you want to support.


Caveats

There are a couple of caveats to pay attention to:
  • If you use any special coding, flash, video, or widgets with your authoring tool, you can introduce browser compatibility issues.
  • If you do have a browser compatibility problem, then you are often reliant on the tool vendor to fix it.

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