Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5 Reasons Why I Decided to Buy Articulate Studio 09

I'm just finishing up my test drive of Articulate Studio 09 and I am sold on driving my own version off the lot. As I discussed in my post "Articulate, Captivate, Both, Or....?", I have been using Adobe Captivate but would like something that integrates with Power Point and speeds up the development process. Articulate has definitely proven that it provides what I was looking for and many other benefits that I was not aware of. Here are 5 reasons why I decided to pay the price for Articulate Studio 09.
  1. Rapid Development - Yes, it still takes time and effort to design and develop a quality eLearning experience but Articulate has definitely sped up the development process for me. I went into this just hoping to eliminate the steps I was taking to convert my power point into a Captivate file but got more than I was expecting with Quizmaker and Engage. I was expecting these tools to speed up development but I was not expecting the quality results. Before diving into this I thought these tools were just for cookie cutter eLearning and not as flexible as you see in the Screenr videos here and here and here.
  2. Community - I had been following Tom Kuhlmann's Rapid eLearning blog for quite a while and have learned a lot from him but I had no idea about all the great Screenr videos, blog posts, and forum posts from other Articulate gurus such as David Anderson (@eLearning), Dave Mozealous (@dmozealous), and Jeanette Brooks (@JeanetteBrooks) all of whom have already helped me troubleshoot an issue or sparked a creative idea for a project after only a month of using Articulate. The community's ability to show me the potential of Articulate products and quickly help me troubleshoot an issue is what truly sold me.
  3. Bandwidth - The learners in my organization are what I like to call "Bandwidth Challenged." You may have read previous posts of mine describing the problems I have with learners computers freezing on SCORM based Captivate projects. This is no problem with Articulate. SCORM based projects are running like a dream even for my "Bandwidth Challenged" learners. I believe this may be due to Articulate producing a package of smaller files compared to Captivate publishing one big .swf file. However, I am using Captivate 3 and I have heard that this is not as much of a problem in Captivate 4.
  4. PowerPoint Integration - I often find myself doing the majority of the work in power point then importing those slides into Captivate to make the final touches and publish. I felt like I was taking extra steps by jumping between the different programs and thought I might be able to save time and possibly get better results using a tool that integrates with Power Point. I was right about saving time and pleasantly surprised about the difference in results of the published files. I have noticed that power point slides with Articulate come out with a cleaner, crisper look and smaller file size compared to Captivate.
  5. Flexibility - Compared to other tools that integrate with Power Point, Articulate is more flexible. There are many more options giving you control of the navigation and behavior of each slide and the overall template. I've only completed a couple of projects so I feel like I am just scratching the surface with all of the customization options available.

I am excited about the potential for future projects now that I am able to leverage the best of what both Articulate Studio and Adobe Captivate are best at. I'm sure not everyone will agree but from the perspective of a busy eLearning Developer in a smallish organization, Articulate will definitely improve the quality of many projects and reduce the time it takes to produce those results. Please help others lost in all the software options by posting your take on Articulate, Adobe Captivate, and other eLearning development tools.

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Kevin Thorn said...

Joe - Great post! I especially like how you put Ariculate on the block for what it is rather than what it's not. I'm an avid user of just about all the tools on the market from Articulate, Lectora, Captivate, Adobe, and a plethora of online tools.

I'm not biased over one to the next as each has their strengths and weaknesses, but Articulate Studio stands above the rest in its versatility you point out, it's flexibility!

Glad you decided to drive it off the lot!

Gabe said...

Nice post, Joe, and glad to hear you chose Articulate! Now about that 5th reason... :)

Joe Deegan said...

Wow! I can't believe I only had 4 reasons. I was actually just setting you up to get a contribution for the 5th reason from you all :) What would your 5th reason be?

Joe Deegan said...

With Kevin's comment in mind I added a 5th reason of "Flexibility." I'm just scratching the surface of the slide properties controls.

David said...

You hit on some great points Joe. And I know you had more than 4, 5 points. You're "leading" us to contribute, as any skilled blogger would.

I"ll add "excitement" to the list. Designing and developing courses is fun. The easier the tools are to use, the more we're able to take chances, try new ideas and push creative limits.

Who will add a 7th reason?

elearning enthusiast said...

You hit on some great points Joe. And I know you had more than 4, 5 points. You're "leading" us to contribute, as any skilled blogger would.


Joe Deegan said...

@David - I completely agree about adding "excitement" or fun to the development process. The Articulate community has been showing some great examples and I've been having a great time putting my own spin on them.

Greg said...

We've been using Articulate and importing Captivate .swf files. Now we're looking to move to Adobe Presenter instead so we just have to use the Adobe eLearning Suite. Has anyone made this switch? Having a little trouble with Adobe Presenter.

Joe Deegan said...

Hi Greg, I don't have any experience with Adobe Presenter but I am sure some other commenters do. What exactly are you having trouble with in Presenter? Curious to hear how it compares to Articulate now that you have experience with both programs.

Eric Matas said...

I love having many tools (so I never have to use a hammer as a saw).

I double super thumbs up Articulate's social media and community efforts. Awesome and personable.

Since I've had bandwidth issues myself, with Cappy, I thought you might want to see this: