|eLearning has become a valuable teaching tool. Gone are the days when you could string a few screen captures together and call it "online training". Whether it's training company employees, teaching in the classroom environment or any of the many ways that eLearning is used today, your audience expects personalized, engaging, interactive learning in a simple-to-use package. |
Today, developing courseware has three major challenges and takes a team of creative individuals. One challenge is good communication among team members. The second is a variety of quality content and the third is publishing in a variety of standard-based formats. The new AdobeR eLearning Suite software has all the tools to help you meet these challenges. Adobe has taken their turnkey simplicity to a new level with this suite.
Challenge – Quality Content
When creating courseware, you have several content choices such as PowerPointR presentations, Flash interactive content, video, simulations, screen casts, branching scenarios, randomized quizzes and much more. Creating all of these components for just one project would not be cost-effective. The content must be reusable and interchangeable in a variety of projects or different versions of the same project. For example, a project may begin with demonstrations, move on to practice simulations and end with assessment. The software included in the eLearning Suite makes it possible to easily create, use and reuse content. The suite includes CaptivateR 4, FlashR CS4 Pro, DreamweaverR CS4, PhotoshopR CS4 Extended, AcrobatR 9 Pro, Presenter 7 and SoundboothR CS4. Also included in the suite are special features such as Flash Learning Interactions templates, Dreamweaver CourseBuilder Extention for building interactive, branched quizzes and the new SCORM Packager.
As with all Adobe software suites, integration between the programs is the key to creative flexibility. The eLearning suite has some new enhancements that are designed specifically to ease the workflow. The feature that I like the most is the cross-program support for Photoshop layers. Once imported into Captivate, the layers in your Photoshop file are automatically displayed as layers on the Captivate timeline. You can then use the Captivate tools to control which layer's content is visible along the timeline. For a professional touch, you can add audio and transitional effects.
You can easily import content created in one of the suite's programs into Captivate, the workhorse of the suite. As a simple example, you can import Flash content, audio from Soundbooth, PowerPoint presentations (converted to Flash in Presenter) and quizzes from Dreamweaver. Importing all of this content could become complicated but for the new template-based workflow in Captivate 4. Starting with a template and its placeholders, you simply import your own content into the placeholder locations. Click on the placeholder to open a browse window and browse to your own content own your hard drive. It's as simple as that.
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