Author:Darymple, Deanne

Dreamweaver, CD-ROM, 2007, Adobe Systems Incorporated, $399.

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.

Best Uses

Dreamweaver is widely considered to be the industry standard for web page development. It is now part of Adobe Incorporated. You can demo the product here.

The fact that more panelists commented on it than any other software product included in the report is evidence of its widespread use. While many panelists remarked on its suitability to create a wide variety of instructional content, most agreed that Dreamweaver is most appropriate for "web authoring and site maintenance." A reviewer said it this way:

Dreamweaver is best suited for producing text-based content. However, its biggest strength is its ability to integrate content that was produced in other applications (for example, graphics, animations, audio, video, etc.) into an instructional whole. Another remarked:

Dreamweaver is extremely flexible and can be used to create a large range of learning content. It provides an authoring environment that can be used to create most any type of content and can integrate with most any other content developed with other tools. Some typical uses of Dreamweaver noted by panelists were:

* Creating HTML pages and architecture for a course

* Managing website files

* Integrating instructional content produced in other applications

* Developing test items (possible only with an extension)

* Programming dynamic (database-driven) content and interactions

Reviewers commented on Dreamweaver's easy integration with Flash and Fireworks, its clean generation of HTML code, its CSS and layers capabilities, and its extensibility through the use of add-ons such as CourseBuilder:

Free add-ons like CourseBuilder and LearningSite and paid add-ons such as Contribute provide capability for hosting, quizzing, and so on. Purchasing it as a bundle with Flash and Fireworks can provide an excellent all-around web design package.

The CourseBuilder extension provides templates for interactions such as sliders, drag-and-drop, and multiple choice questions, making Dreamweaver perfect for technical content and product...

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