Category Archives: Development Tools

Lectora 12 update

Lectora 12 was released in December, 2014…and in a reflection of their commitment to the product, Trivantis has quickly released a patch to address some issues found with that most recent version (which ties nicely to one of our 2015 predictions that Trivantis will re-assert their product. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Adobe respond that quickly…)

See the release notes here for the Lectora 12.0.1 patch. If you are a current Lectora 12 user, you may have noticed the patch availability through the auto-update feature within the product. If not,  you can download the patch directly.

If you’re fairly new to Lectora, or want to get a general insight to the capabilities, visit their demo page for variety of ‘How-To’ and other sample courses.

Lectora is an often-underrated product with a strong history. Lectora 12 seems to have two primary goals: Continue reading Lectora 12 update

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eLearning Tech and Trends for 2015

There are a few articles out there each year predicting what the hot topics will be (for a variety of things) in the New Year…so we’ll jump on that bandwagon.

SCORM, xAPI, LTI, CMI-5

SCORM will continue to be popular, it’s still far too entrenched. xAPI (TinCan) will grow as more vendors integrate the technology into their products and the general understanding grows. LTI *should* continue to grow, especially since academics tend to move slowly, but I’m not sure how much momentum it has. CMI-5 will be an interesting to watch with the move to ADL. I don’t see that moving forward much in the next year (but I’ve not explored their roadmap). One potential issue I’m surprised not to see more concern about is privacy in relation to xAPI. Anything can be tracked? Anytime? Do the users KNOW that? Remember the furor over cookies, which are not even centralized…

Authoring

Captivate and Storyline will continue to dominate. Watch for Lectora to push harder to re-assert their product. Lesser-known tools like iSpring, Brainshark, Claro, SmartBuilder, and even ZebraZapps will grow as more folks look for tools to enable self-production.  With Microsoft Mix, PowerPoint may enjoy even more growth as an eLearning dev tool. Camtasia should retain a solid position as well. Those tools that can really improve upon Responsive Design delivery and significant cross-platform compatibility will have a strong advantage.
Reference sites like eLearning Brothers and online tools like PowToon will also grow and see more demand. Continue reading eLearning Tech and Trends for 2015

ELearning Audio and Narration – sites, notes, suggestions

Since last detailed post about recording narration for your eLearning projects, additional discussions have brought about a few more ideas, notes, and resources.

Here’s a nice post (and a great overall eLearning site) by Connie Malamed. In brief, she lists her suggestions on ‘Best Stock Music for Multimedia Projects’ where “you will find online providers of stock music and sound effects (SFX). These sites offer pricing and tracks suitable for online learning, videos, presentations and other multimedia projects.”

An additional, newer resource is eLearning Brothers, who have recently jumped into stock media offering “over 500,000 stock photos, graphics, vectors, videos and audio files to the training and development community.” One thing they point out, which should always be a concern, is proper licensing. Per the eLearning Brothers post, “One thing that really differentiates this offering is that our customers don’t have to worry about complex licensing models that charge extra if an image is used incorrectly. Once it is part of their course, they keep the asset forever.” Continue reading ELearning Audio and Narration – sites, notes, suggestions

Even more Captivate 8 resources

Working with Captivate 8 more and more, the locked-down workspaces really annoyed me. For example, I have two monitors so prefer to have the timeline panel on one monitor (along with a couple other panels) and the main development view on the other. The ‘default’ workspace in CP8, however, doesn’t allow panels to be undocked!

So quick pointer: do Edit > Preferences, then on the resulting screen select ‘Enable custom workspaces/panel undocking’. Continue reading Even more Captivate 8 resources

Advantages and Disadvantages of SCORM 1.2 vs 2004

Despite the growth and excitement around the xAPI (TinCan) spec, SCORM remains the most popular and supported method of ensuring a standardized communication between an online course and the LMS. While SCORM 2004 is dated by its very name, it has gone through several revisions and absolutely remains (at this time) a viable solution for tracking your courseware.

However, many LMS products still lack in full SCORM 2004 support, various tools interpret the spec differently, and it does add a bit more complexity to the overall setup of the course.

So is there really an advantage to using the ‘newer’ SCORM 2004 spec over the older SCORM 1.2? Continue reading Advantages and Disadvantages of SCORM 1.2 vs 2004

Adobe Max Online, Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe Max starts today and the Keynotes are being webcast!
http://max.adobe.com/sessions/max-online

They’re having some connectivity issues, likely due to heavy traffic, but coming in well here so far…

  • Day One keynote: Creativity on the Cutting Edge: Monday, Oct 6, 9:30–11:30am PT
  • Day Two keynote: Community Inspires Creativity: Tuesday, Oct 7, 10–11:30am PT

Check out the Adobe Max Blog for timely updates. One major topic is the latest Creative Cloud updates. That blog post covers the highlights, including new Adobe Apps:

  • Illustrator Draw: “An all-new app that reinvents the best of Adobe Ideas, letting you work with familiar tools and features in a modern, streamlined interface.”
  • Photoshop Sketch: “Draw with new expressive brushes as well as custom brushes, and send sketch artwork to Photoshop as a PSD file…”
  • Lightroom Mobile: “View comments and favorites in Lightroom mobile that clients, friends, or family leave on the photos you’ve shared online in Lightroom on the web.”
  • Creative Cloud Market: “A collection of high-quality, curated content that’s free to Creative Cloud members.”

Additionally, some new CC Resources:

 

Adobe Captivate News & Resources

Captivate on Google Chrome

There have been many reports of user having playback issues with their HTML5 output from Captivate (i.e. sound and/or video not playing back properly). While those investigations are ongoing, one issue specific to Google Chrome (v.36) has been addressed by Adobe.

Per the Adobe Blog, there are two primary issues:

  • Issue 1: HTML 5 content freezes on launch in Chrome 36 with a JavaScript error.
  • Issue 2: Slide backgrounds with gradients may not appear correctly.

Continue reading Adobe Captivate News & Resources

PowerPoint for Courseware Development

Despite the many naysayers, PowerPoint is a fine place to start with eLearning development – whether the ultimate goal is to just convert those presentations to actual courseware or to use the deck as an initial storyboard for further development with more substantial tools like Storyline or Captivate (or any of the other plethora of eLearning tools).

PowerPoint has a place in eLearning development. I’ve worked with hundreds of PPT files over the years, from standard presentations to pre-production storyboards to ILT conversion. Here are some ideas how to fit PowerPoint in to your eLearning production process.

Continue reading PowerPoint for Courseware Development

Techsmith Repository

Techsmith provides several excellent tools useful in eLearning courseware development. Someday I hope to provide a post with an actual bit of depth regarding my favorite Techsmith tool, Camtasia.

This quickie post, however, could be just be considered more a prominent bookmark.

While I have the latest version (as of this posting) of Camtasia 8 on my primary machine, I recently needed to install version 6 to work with a colleague’s file. How to do that isn’t readily apparent on Techsmith’s site and it took a little searching to find Techsmith’s Previous Release Download Center.

Got the old 6.0.3 installer, dug up my old key, made the needed project edits, and sent the updated source back to my colleague.

Easy-peasy 🙂