Making What’s Free Even Better!
Posted by Ellen on January 7, 2011
Many of you have discovered aLearning’s free tutorials — and have even invited your association’s members to access them, I hope (like I’m always saying, I don’t know who’s visiting… I only know how many are visiting!)…
But if you’ve been reluctant because of the clunky way the tutorials have to open, take heart!
Thanks to iSpring, aLearning has been revising the tutorials so they will launch automatically in your browser, rather than through PowerPoint. This will make viewing and sharing the tutorials easier than ever.
It will take a bit of time to re-load the tutorials, so please have patience.
What We’re Learning…
iSpring has three primary products:
- iSpring Pro
- iSpring Presenter
- iSpring Free
iSpring Pro is primarily designed for improving how your conventional PowerPoint presentations display over the Web. There seem to be fewer player options, which limits your choices for controlling navigation. But it’s less expensive, so it might be just what you need at a great price ($249 as of today).
iSpring Presenter is their “training” option. It includes an embedded function for creating quizzes (which you can purchase separately, too, if you don’t want the full kaboodle). We’ll post a tutorial with a quiz in it so you can see its functionality. It has several question-type options, but the automatic scoring (which I can’t figure out how to turn off, or even if it can be) feels like an interruption in the course. Most importantly, the feedback function for the quizzes is very limited — no remedial feedback that’s specific to the question that was asked. This is unfortunate, as most instructional designers want to be able to explain why a particular answer isn’t as correct as a different one — and most learners want to know why their answer isn’t correct. Perhaps this will change in a future version — or maybe the separate QuizMaker has this functionality.
What’s great about iSpring Presenter, however, outweighs its weakness. It’s inexpensive ($399 today) compared to similar products, plus it’s easy to learn and simple to use. You can select a player (which is how the sessions are viewed in the browser) that has minimal navigational controls or a players that allows learners to see the slides in a side panel, read the notes section from your PowerPoint, or see additional resources you can add.
We’ll also use a variety of the players in the revised tutorials so you can see what I mean by all that.
The third option is available for qualifying non-profit organizations. The “free” version is very simple and won’t provide much latitude for providing tutorials that aren’t page-turners (or at least don’t feel as much like a page-turner). We’ve used this version for the “Leading Learning Events” tutorial, which you can access here. Notice the logo in the corner — you’ll want to plan to accommodate it ahead of time so your text or images won’t get covered, as ours did (we’ll be re-generating this popular tutorial soon, using a different player to avoid that).
The Big Difference
Of course, the biggest difference is that we can — rather inexpensively — make online tutorials for our members or other constituents much more accessible, and do it pretty easily, with a tool like this one. So much better than posting or e-mailing a PowerPoint deck!
New Topics Coming!
We’ll continue to re-compile the current titles in iSpring and will continue to post them as they’re available, so please check back.
As always, if you have any questions about the tutorials, feel free to contact me directly.
You can access them via the aLearning Fundamentals image on the left.
And iSpring? Their Web site it loaded with info. They’re well worth a look!