Tools for developing CBT courses?

Subject: Tools for developing CBT courses?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Valerie Hazel'" <vhazel -at- booksys -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 14:34:59 -0400

Valerie Hazel has <<... the task of designing Computer Based Training
classes for our software products and I could use any advice that anyone
has to offer. What software is best to use?>>

Authorware and Director are both reasonable choices for this, but they're
overkill for many applications. You'll have to define what functionality
your training requires before you can narrow down the list of tools. If the
presentation is primarily linear, with only a few branches and no testing is
required, something as simple as PowerPoint (PP) can work just fine. (PP can
produce self-running presentations with limited interactivity.) If you want
more of a user-directed learning sequence, you'll need better hypertext
capabilities than PP provides, and basic HTML authoring tools should work
just fine. Similarly, you can do some surprisingly sophisticated things with
Acrobat. But as soon as you get into heavier needs (e.g., interactive tests
and calculation of test scores, sophisticated branching), you may well have
to investigate Authorware or its equivalents.

<<Does anyone have anything positive or negative to say about Macromedia
products for developing CBT classes?>>

They're marvelous products, but the learning curve can be somewhat harsh.
And some of the more sophisticated effects require mastery of their
programming language.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer




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