Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Rapid e-learning tools

just thought I'd write a quick review of two very good e-learning tools I've recently experienced.

The first is a true rapid e-learning product called Articulate. The 2009 update and can plug-in to Powerpint to create very slick looking learning objects, consisting of a suite of quiz tools and other modules. You can easily and quickly create some very engaging self contained learning objects that can be exported to a standard packaged format and upload into your VLE in a jiffy. The results are very professional looking, and you can "re-skin" the results to brand the resultant screens with logos, etc. Making a slick looking packaged learning design. Add Flash widgets, videos, and other Javascripts and you are up there with the best of them. I sat down with a mate recently who ran through a series of pitches for some high profile customers. He had used Articulate to great effect. I was very impressed with the highly professional results. It's a must for those busy academics and small e-elearnning teams who need to bang out some high quality learning objects to populate those empty VLEs. Read some glowing endorsements here.

I used to use the wonderful tool called Course Genie to do this a few years ago. It's now called Wimba Create.

The second tool I am reviewing is a student voting system by one of the main market leaders Promethean.

Promethean sell voting systems, and interactive whitboards. I used the active expression handset ( see above) in conjunction with the activestudio software. I ran a series of questions in a 1 day conference last week. The whole day went extremely well, and the voting kit provided an extra dimension of delegate particpation in the day.

The authoring environment was very easy to use install and use. The hard thing was triple checking the questions to ensure the wording was not biased. The system has a whole range of question types and each screen can be easily customised to add logos, images and other media. I pre-authored the questions before the conference, and pre-registered 90 handsets before I gave them out. I must admit I did practice a few times before I ran the questions in the live conference. On the day the system ran perfectly and was able to show responses immediately on screen once everyone had voted. It really is a very slick system. The tools even allow you to run another quick question on the screen whilst you debate the results of the previous vote. Simple to use & set up, effective and encourages student response.

You can even export the results into a spreadsheet to run some more complex statistical analysis of the resultant data. I really was impressed with the whole system. and it can also "plug-into" PowerPoint" to present a more familiar interface for those too busy to learn a new interface. And the online community pages set up under the Promethian World banner, allows you to upload and share your resources with others across the globe. Those clever Promethean people really have thought of everything.

A viable alternative would be those Quizdom sets, which offer simialr level of functionalities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds great.
I use ActiVote also...