Articulate Studio '09 Review

Articulate is one of our favourite desktop authoring tools which we have used to develop content for clients such as O2, BP, HSBC and many others. The guys at Articulate have recently released Articulate 09 with lots of new great features. Here Theo Cardiff of Kineo shares her experiences.

Articulate Studio logo

Articulate Studio 09 was released back in October. Since then Kineo has been putting it through its paces.

At Kineo, we have always been big advocates of Articulate. It has a great range of out-of-the box interactions that can be brought together in PowerPoint. You can quickly get started producing effective courses. See an example piece of content produced in Articulate 09. This module is 'out of box' Articulate; see a previous example with one of our Kineo skins.

The new Articulate Studio 09 comes with some real improvements. Here are some of our favourites:

Quick Quizzes

Quizmaker has been completely revamped. Quizzes are now easier to insert and easier to edit. There’s more functionality like branching, question pools, inclusion of blank slides. Quizzes can look good and include animation. Quizmaker '09 gets our thumbs up.

Custom interactions

Presenter just got better too. We really like the branching and slide-locking. We’ve used these features to create our own custom interactions.

Criteria Rating Comments
Ease of use Very good You can get started really quickly and will have a reasonable idea of the different elements of Articulate within a couple of hours. The tricky bit is making things look good and behave consistently. There are a lot of settings to be set each time you add an interaction.

Articulate isn’t great for working collaboratively. It works on absolute file paths. Though the ‘Send to Package’ feature helps from the point of view of putting everything in one place, this too can be temperamental.

Instructional design flexibility Good Articulate will allow you to use a range of instructional design models. However, there is a danger when letting subject matter experts loose with tools like Articulate that it will simply result in long, boring narrated PowerPoints.

However, in the hands of a designer, skilled SME or ideally a designer working with an SME you could produce some high quality e-learning very rapidly. To learn how Kineo can help make sure your e-learning designs don’t fall into this trap, contact our Rapid E-learning Team.

Ability to incorporate existing content Very good Clearly you can use existing PowerPoints. You can also import audio, video and animations. The Video Encoder will help you to convert existing video into the right format for Articulate.
Ability to handle a variety of topics Very good Articulate is great for quick briefings, product knowledge and you can even generate nice scenarios with a bit of practice. If you want systems training then you may want to look to a screen capture tool like Captivate.
Ability to incorporate graphics and media Excellent It’s very easy to drop in graphics, Flash animations or video. It’s easy to import audio or to record your own audio narration. You can sync audio in with slide animations. There is a pretty decent audio editor within Articulate, though we tend to use Audacity as it has more functionality and is less fiddly.
Ability to publish SCORM/AICC compliant courses Very good This is really easy and really reliable. Simply select what standard the course should comply to, say whether you are tracking slides viewed or a quiz, add some more detail about the course if you want, and hit publish. It is very, very simple.
Technical support available Excellent The support on the Articulate website is fantastic and includes manuals, tips and demonstrations, along with the best forums you’ve ever encountered. This forum is administered properly. If you post a question, it will be answered. If forums aren’t your style, you can always send an email. Either way expect a prompt response.
Knowledgeable support team Excellent The Articulate support team is great. They are always looking to improve the product and will take the time to understand what you need and where possible will solve your problem.

Conclusion

Articulate is a great tool for producing simple content quickly. It is easy to use and has everything you need to get started. Also, see our Articulate E-learning services.

Kineo Rating: Recommended - This authoring tool offers an excellent level of interactivity at an affordable price.

Bought Articulate Studio 09? Agree or disagree with this review? Let us know.

Got an authoring tool, and need to get some help in making the most of it? Kineo’s Rapid E-learning Design Team can help. Contact Kineo.

Kineo has accepted no payment or reward of any form from any tools company for this independent review.

 
 

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