Thursday, January 08, 2009

Articulate '09

If you're not familiar with Articulate, this post will mean little to you. If you haven't yet encountered it, Articulate is a suite of apps that can be used to transform a PowerPoint presentation into an elearning module, complete with interactions and quizzes. It allows non-techies to develop learning resources. It is a very useful tool, although (as I have said before) some organisations are wielding it like the all-purpose hammer that makes every identified learning need suddenly look remarkably like a nail!

One of the greatest frustrations for me when using Articulate in the past was that, unless you had access to the SDK (and the skills to use it!) your Engage interactions stood out like a sore thumb against your Presenter screens. This was because, while the user could format the PowerPoint slides as they wished, the interactions were autoformatted. There were three options:

  1. Create the entire module as a series of Engage screens, with no flat PowerPoint screens in between
  2. Try to fudge your PowerPoint slides to look roughly like the interactions (rather limiting and only partially successful)
  3. Shell out £1200 to a company with the SDK for a customised template
However, this issue has been rather well addressed in the '09 release, in which you now have far greater control over the look and feel of the interaction screens.

I am busy with my first project using '09 and am very pleased with the seamlessness of the transition from slide to interaction and back again.

A definite thumbs up on that point.

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