OutStart Trainer.

Author:Shank, Patti
Position:Product/service evaluation

OutStart Trainer, CD-ROM, 2006, Outstart, $3000.

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

OutStart Trainer (formerly called Trainersoft) can be used to develop a variety of instructional content for distribution as HTML, CD-ROM, and .EXE. Output can also be run on third-party LMSs. One reviewer said OutStart is best suited for creating web-based training materials, while another said,

[OutStart Trainer is] easy to use, comes with ready-made templates with built-in navigation. It is good for rapid design and deployment and has lots of support and tutorials. The product is accessible to those without programming skills. Given that functionality and a price just south of $3,000, the product competes with high-end training specialists such as Lectora and should be considered in that light.

In a list of OutStart products, Trainer appears at the bottom. The company is focused on enterprise solutions (learning management system, learning content management system), a situation similar to SumTotal, which owns the authoring tool ToolBook.

The organizational context takes nothing away from the product strengths but does suggest that the authoring tool is not the highest priority for internal resources. If nothing else, that fact could restrict marketing, meaning few people are aware of the software as an alternative.

Reviewers didn't mention OutStart's...

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