Posted on Thu, 01/09/2011 - 16:12
There are many different software applications used by eLearning companies to create various types of learning experiences. At Designing Digitally, Inc. the emphasis is not on using a specific software technology but rather matching what is available with the client's training needs, goals and desired methods. Through the ADDIE Model, which starts with Analysis, the development team listens to what the client wants, and then makes a decision as to which software to incorporate into the training simulations and eLearning systems.
Another key element that factors into what software is best for a particular web based training is the technology currently in use by the client. It is important to know the hardware used in the company as well as what applications and programs are currently installed. This needs to be done on a very in depth survey since choosing the wrong software may result in a training program that simply won't run on the clients current system. Limitations of the hardware and performance ability of the current system are critical, especially if you are going to use the more advanced type of computer based training. The new browser driven 3D types of simulations and serious games are much more compatible with even older types of hardware, which can be beneficial in many situations.
Knowing the goals for the training and the type of outcomes required will also be essential in choosing the appropriate software. If the client wants to have a very realistic virtual world created through programming in Second Life or in Opensim then your software choices for the other components will have be compatible with those requirements. Many of the pre-set software for eLearning and computer based web training are not going to allow those times of additions. This is not a flaw in the software rather the programs simply don't have rending capabilities needed to run the 3D program.
Then there is also the creativity factor. All the best software in the world doesn't mean you are going to develop a high quality, well received, effective online training program. Some of the top software programs that are used in eLearning development and training simulations include Adobe Flex and Flash, Captivate, Articulate, Unity3D, HTML5, and Lectora. They are all good tools and software programs in and of themselves. But, these programs alone cannot help you develop comprehensive learning objectives, good solid instructional design and clear, testable results. To get this you have to have an experienced instructional team that includes designers, managers, developers as well as subject matter experts. You also need teams of testers to ensure the eLearning experience is glitch free on the very first run through the client's system.
So, when asked what software to use for web-based training and interactive learning development the answer is really based on the specific client. There is no one program that can do it all, despite what the online advertisements claim. By working with an experienced, professional and recognized eLearning development company such as Designing Digitally, Inc. you will get the best of all programs, plus the creative factor and human touch will be front and center for a unique, personalized and highly effective online training system.