Picking an Authoring Tool for HTML eLearning Development

HTML eLearning
Picking an Authoring Tool for HTML eLearning Development

The easy availability of various types of e-learning tools that facilitate the formulation of innovative and effective e-learning courses is beneficial to all instructional designers. Articulate Storyline, Captivate, and Lectora are some of such versatile e-learning authoring tools that have influenced the present-day HTML e-learning arena considerably. All of these are resourceful authoring tools and have ready templates and all other related resources that assist the creation of top class e-learning documentations. However, it is good to know a few basic details about them, before picking up one from the bunch for your specific project requirement.

File Size and Functioning Methods are Crucial

In the present world, the bulk of the online consumer activities are happening via mobile gadgets, because of the advent of Smartphones and Tabs. E-learning field is also not an exception. Hence, the overall functioning methods of e-learning courses including the file size and the transfer speed matters a lot.

Though Articulate Storyline and Captivate are akin in loading the framework files just only one time and after that the related content files page after page, there is a slight difference in the ensuing action. Articulate Storyline is a better bet for animation works and heavy media. Captivate publishes the content as images, and this causes the enlargement of the file size which consequently will influence the performance. However, Lectora has a different reloading mode; here, the framework files are loaded as new page loads and due to this functionality, a bit more time is needed to load the file. Moreover, there can be interruptions in the visual flow.

Comparison Regarding Graphics and Animations

Instructional designers can easily create the basic shapes by using any of these three authoring tools, as they are incorporated with a special tool box. In addition to this, there is a built-in animation preset in all of the three tools with which animations can be created with ease. However Captivate has a better library and the strength is 50+ presets. Lectora has 30+ presets, whereas the Articulate Storyline has only nearly 10 presets. Articulate Storyline and Captivate are also integrated with timeline feature, and this helps instructional designers to bring in custom animation. On the other hand, there is no timeline feature in Lectora.

Interactive Element

Captivate, and Articulate Storyline are incorporated with bigger interactive template collections than Lectora; both of them have more than 20 templates. Though customization on fonts, colors and texts can be made to Captivate templates, you can not change the primary nature. Yet another speciality of Captivate templates is that, you can draw on the effectiveness of externally created interactive pluggable widgets. Articulate Storyline is also adaptable and so you can develop bespoke templates and can keep them for imminent applications. Lectora is also adaptable, but has comparatively lesser template collection.

Synchronization of Audio and Video Features

Articulate Storyline and Captivate facilitate the synchronization of audio and video features, as both of them have timelines. This is not the case with Lectora and so, audio and video synchronization is a bit tougher here.

Simulations

As far as the simulation facility is concerned, all the three (Articulate Storyline, Captivate, and Lectora) are well-suited. That being said, Lectora is not incorporated with an inbuilt screen, as in the case of Articulate Storyline and Captivate. But, you can share your created content using Lectora on all commonly accepted social media platforms such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’.

Incorporating Quizzing Facility

Articulate Storyline and Captivate gives you the option of picking from different kinds of question templates.

The Process of Localization

Localization can be easily brought in by using all of these three authoring tools and they will support all major languages including the right-to-left languages like Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi.

In a nutshell, it can be seen that each of these elearning tools have various user-friendly features and it is up to you to decide, which one to use for your specific requirement.

Watch-Free-E-learning-Samples

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Interactive Simulation Courses | Authoring Tools

Elearning has risen up as one of the very effective learning platform. It is not totally a new thing to the world of learning but there is definitely a tremendous change. When Elearning was started, it was only in the “page turning” format where learning was passive. There was no participation of the learner in terms of interactivity. Learner was just expected to watch the still characters or images on the screen in the form of slides. But now scenario has totally changed.

Introduction of Interactive Simulation Courses has revolutionized the process. Learning is no more a long boring session but it has become more enjoyable and interactive with the use of latest Authoring tools. Interactive simulation allows the learner to participate in the process of learning than just being a passive learner.

Let us first understand the process of human understanding of learning through different processes. According to the theory of Bloom’s Taxonomy there are basically three stages of learning:

  • Knowledge level
  • Comprehension level
  • Application level

At the knowledge level, the learner is just looking for certain information or a concept and to know about it. He/she can know about it either reading it or hearing it or by looking at it or with the combination of all three.

At the Comprehension level, the learner has the clear concept and he/she does not just know about the concept but has the understanding of similarities or to differentiate among the different concepts. For example learner not only knows about the concept of fruits and vegetables but also understands the difference between them and can identify Apple and Oranges among Cabbage and Onion.

At the third level, that is the application level, the learner not only has the clear understanding of the concept but is also aware about the application of concepts in the real life. So, here he/she experiences the real life application of concept. That is fruit and vegetables will not only be identified but will also be eaten up in different ways.

According to the above discussed theory, it is clear that if the learner is engaged at all the three levels during the learning process, the knowledge retention will be longer. The concept of interactive learning came into process with the need to make the clearer understanding and with better retention. The simulation process involves the learner in the learning process in such a way that the learning is not done but it is experienced and realized in the real world.

To increase the standard of the Interactive simulation courses, there are many Authoring tools available in the market and many more are being developed every day. Articulate Storyline, Captivate or Camtasia are few of them. These are very popular among the developers and are also reliable to give best possible results. These authoring tools provide the highest grade of simulation interactivity with the use of images, graphics, audio effects and the customized characters.

Need of simulations in the E Learning: After all the discussion the question may arise that does simulation is really required? So here are some reasons which may answer the question.

  • Simulations provide experience to the learner rather than just being the passive audience.
  • It engages the learner at the emotional level and now it is well known and acceptable fact that emotional engagement helps in better retention.
  • Simulations help the learner to actually participate and experience the consequences as part of learning.
  • Simulation converts the passive content to engaging and interactive learning source.
  • Simulation also helps in gamification of the content so that the learner can participate in the form of game and learn.
  • Simulation also helps to prepare learners for the critical condition and create a situation where they have to take decisions.

So, we have seen so many advantages of interactive simulation courses. Swift Elearning Services Pvt. Ltd., provides plenty of courses with the best of the available and possible engaging and interactive features. We have the team of Instructional Designers with the expertise of developing interactive simulation courses using Authoring tools like Captivate, Articulate storyline, Camtasia, Lectora etc.

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Customized Text Box for Adobe Captivate 4 using Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash plays a vital role at those places where Captivate doesn’t allows certain features to be customized as per the requirement.

We worked on a software simulation project for MS-Office 2007 using Captivate 4. The project had a unique requirement in which user not only perform clicks to navigate the simulation but also need to enter values to move to the next step.

User will be given three chances for each step. When user clicks on a wrong place, a message will be displayed. Here the complexity is, for the first two wrong clicks, a common message will be displayed but for the third wrong click a different message need to be displayed.

For the click boxes (buttons) we could somehow managed to meet the requirement with-in Captivate. The real challenge came at text boxes.

In a slide we need to have one text box which can display multiple messages on every wrong attempt. After spending a lot of time on R&D in Captivate, we finally decided to develop a Flash component which can meet the requirement.

The component which we developed is a perfect piece to meet many of the requirements like:

- Multiple answers
- Case sensitive
- Number of attempts
- Validation on clicking a button
- Validation on pressing Enter key
- Validation on pressing Tab key
- Multiple feedback messages for wrong answers

The source can be downloaded from:

http://www.elearningserv.com/blog/downloads/06-Captivate-TextBoxUsingFlash.zip

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Adobe Captivate 5 System Variables not working in AS3

By the release of Captivate 5 version we started facing an issue in the Captivate 5 and Action Script 3 combination. One of our clients who have a course in Captivate 4 wants to update the course to Captivate 5.

In the Captivate 4 version, the course has a requirement in which user need to be restricted from jumping the slides without viewing the entire slide. For this we added a Flash piece at the end of each slide to display the slide navigation bar.

We were using a simple one line code in the Flash to control the Captivate 4 variables. We first tried by just updating the AS2 files AS3

The Flash piece was built in AS2 which was not working in Captivate 5. To fix this issue we update the AS2 code with AS3 and it worked fine.

Flash AS2 code used in Captivate 4

cpCmndShowPlaybar = 1;

Flash AS3 code used in Captivate 5

var getRoot:MovieClip = MovieClip(root);
var rootLevel:MovieClip = MovieClip(getRoot.parent.root);

rootLevel.cpCmndShowPlaybar = 1;

Similarly other system variables can be used, like:

rootLevel.rdcmndNextSlide = 1;
rootLevel.rdcmndResume = 1;

Let me know if you find the blog useful.

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Flash Action Script Error For Course Published Using Authoring Tool

Authoring tools always makes the work simple for developing an elearning course, classroom training or webinars. But this time it was a big challenge we came across with authoring tools.

One of our clients has developed 100 quizzes using a Quiz Maker authoring tool. Each quiz were have questions somewhere from 90 – 120. All the development face complement and everything worked absolutely fine on offline. When the quizzes were uploaded online, they were showing following error “A script in this movie is causing FLASH 10 to run slowly. Do you want to cancel the script.”

Solving any scripting error is not a big issues but the challenge was since the quizzes were published using an Authoring tool, we don’t have source files. If we try to use any Flash Decompile software then as per my knowledge there is no such decompiling software which can decode accurately a .swf generated using an authoring tool.

The reason for displaying script error was, in the quizzes it was having huge questions which were taking quite some time to get loaded and because the loading time was exceeding the default loading time, the error was generated.

To fix this issue we used a code injector and increase the default loading time and it worked absolutely fine.

Hope this article helped you understand how to solve flash action script error for over loaded content without decompiling it.

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