Authorware, CD-ROM, 2003, Adobe Systems Incorporated, $399-$2999.
Thirty-three training and education professionals rated the authoring tools they have used regularly to create instructional content. This review summarizes the comments of the panelists who have used this product and presents their overall average rating. The 24 products the panel evaluated are included in the TMR Report on Leading Authoring Tools, edited by Katica Roy and Deanne Darymple.
To read a detailed, hands-on review by a single user, click here.
In 2007 Adobe let it be known that it would no longer develop Authorware. You can read the specifics here. However, it will certainly continue to be used so this review will remain online.
Authorware is often regarded as the first authoring tool designed specifically for developing computer-based learning (delivered on CD-ROM). As such, it "is an extremely robust tool" that is suited for any learning objectives. Another reviewer concurred, stating that "Authorware is highly flexible and can be used to create training for almost any type of content." Authorware is also useful for including video and animation in stand-alone interactive learning on CD-ROM.
One drawback of Authorware is its steep learning curve, as noted by two reviewers. Indeed, one noted, "VERY long learning curve. Not intuitive. I gave up, as did web developer on staff here." Steep learning curves seem to be a common complaint about former Adobe's tools, including Director and Dreamweaver.
The difficulty of learning the tool may not account for the entire problem, though. Some of it may be due to the shift content developers have to make from a word processing format to a design format--or perhaps it could be lack of help or support.
The general consensus among the reviewers seemed to be that Authorware is best suited for stand-alone interactive CD-ROM based learning