ARTICULATE RAPID E-LEARNING STUDIO PROFESSIONAL.

Author:Karel, Richard
Position:Product/service evaluation
 
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ARTICULATE RAPID E-LEARNING STUDIO PROFESSIONAL, Software, 2009, Articulate.

Rating: ****

I know a guy who's been a one-person e-learning department for the last eight years and was up against a four-hour timeline to put together an online training demo. Having seen the 2006 review (no longer available) of Articulate Presenter on this website, he decided to use Articulate Studio '09 to beat the clock and impress those university administrators who didn't know it could be done in-house.

That guy is me and--after reading the vice chancellor of finance's glowing email to my dean--all I can say is: Just in time for Christmas!

How many of us one-person online learning departments understand the need for reliable, rapid development software? That is integrated with a familiar tool like PowerPoint? That is useful to beginners and to advanced developers? That is capable of creating advanced learning objects by inputting text? And, of course, does not break.

I kept expecting Articulate's integration of software applications to break--to not do what it was supposed to do--and I was happily disappointed. It was as if the software was staring me in the face and asking, "What would you like me to do next?"

THE PRODUCT

Articulate Studio is a bundle of these applications:

* Presenter

* Quizmaker

* Engage

* Video Encoder

Presenter and Engage are the most tightly integrated with PowerPoint 2007, and, yes, unlike Adobe Captivate CS 3, these applications actually work with PowerPoint 2007. They are the template and learning object development components of Studio.

Quizmaker provides the tools to build virtually any type of online learning assessment. It integrates with PowerPoint as well. Video Encoder proved to be a solid digital video-to-Flash conversion tool with a bare-bones feature set. Installation of all four applications was seamless and easy. (Articulate has two blogs, one by Tom Kuhlmann and one by Gabe Anderson, for product information and explanations of features and functions.)

INTERFACE

If it's not obvious by now, you will need to be somewhat proficient in PowerPoint to take full advantage of Articulate Studio's rich feature set. In fact, expect to do much of your work in Articulate through the Microsoft PowerPoint interface. Articulate shows up as an additional tab on the PowerPoint ribbon.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Click the tab in PowerPoint, and you have access to all of the features of Engage, Quizmaker, and Presenter. But also be prepared for...

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