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Top 3 e-learning tools: Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, CamStudio - Part 3

Nov 04, 2013 by BogdanD

Adobe Captivate logoIf in the previous articles we took a look at the features of CamStudio and Camtasia, there's one more software application that definitely deserves a top spot when talking about e-learning and content development tools: Adobe's Captivate.

Let's take a look at Captivate:

While CamStudio gives us the basics functionalities for creating presentations for free, and Camtasia provides users with a more complete package of features for creating professional e-learning materials (having limited, or no prior experience with the software), Adobe's Captivate gives users the tools to share all their knowledge with the world.

Adobe Captivate provides a wider range of tools than most similar e-learning software solutions, including but not limited to:

  - easy mathematical equation editing
  - drag and drop interaction manipulations
  - 24 interactions that can be added to any material created
  - HTML5 publishing support for all quiz types

Adobe put a lot of thought in making this e-learning software as user friendly as possible, and as an example: the user is made aware if the effects used in a presentation are supported or if they will work differently in HTML5.

If you are a presentation developer and you want to create materials that have multiple target viewers in mind, Captivate gives you the option of creating question banks in the standard GIFT format and import them into various projects. Aside from your own files, Captivate also allows you to embed YouTube videos and live web pages into projects.

Also, Captivate is meant to give content developers a more complete e-learning experience, and one of the features worth mentioning is that Adobe provides the learners with the option to create and edit notes in lessons in order to help them keep track of what's important.

While it's true that the price for Captivate can be regarded as a downside, as it is higher than other e-learning software solutions (being sold for $899 for standard users and $299 for educators), Adobe has found a way to make their software accessible via a subscription system. You can get access to the software for $29.99 per month, renewing the subscription on a monthly basis or $19.99 per month if you buy a year's subscription.

Conclusion

Given the variety of e-learning options available, the only way to choose a "best buy" option when looking for e-learning software is to consider the size and type of a project, and how much use you're going to get out of it. For small videos and presentations, CamStudio performs admirably and the programmers respect and pay attention to the needs of the software's content developer community.

However, if the goal is to create a professional interactive e-learning presentation with impressive video effects and Q&A, then Camtasia is a reliable option. But if you want to generate a truly complex lesson, or if the software is going to be useful for a short period of time, then you might want to consider purchasing a subscription for the latest version of Adobe Captivate: Captivate 7.

Your thoughts?

In your line of work or simple day to day activities, have you ever used CamStudio, Camtasia or Captivate? If yes - which one? And did it meet your expectations, or is there still room for improvements?



Other posts from this series:

Top 3 e-learning tools: Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, CamStudio – Part 1
Top 3 e-learning tools: Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, CamStudio – Part 2

Also read:

E-learning: a rival for traditional learning - or a powerful ally?


Tags: e-learning  software  trends 


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