Just over six months ago, Articulate released the newest update to their classic Rapid eLearning software, Articulate Studio. Articulate Studio '13 has been eagerly awaited by the industry. Although we all love Articulate’s other products, we were desperate to see how Studio was changing.
So, what’s different?
Here are a few quick answers:
Yes, the Presenter element is still a plug-in to PowerPoint. And yes, Engage and Quizmaker are still separate pieces of software. But wait, where has Video Encoder gone? And what’s this Replay thing I have instead? Join me as we delve deeper into the brand new Articulate Studio '13!
Articulate Presenter is still a plug-in to PowerPoint. It is fully integrated into the interface and makes great use of the features of its host. In Studio ‘13, animation support has been enhanced to include slide transitions. There’s also an expanded range of custom animations and motion paths, creating a smooth, slick feel to your courses that wasn’t previously possible.
Another great benefit from the Presenter/PowerPoint relationship are all the extra features! For instance, the new Drawing & Picture Tools really help those of us who aren’t Photoshop gurus produce visually stunning courses. I think my two favourites are the Remove Background and Merge Shapes features. I highly recommend taking a closer look at these dynamic tools to see how they can easily and effectively improve your courses.
Articulate has also included a few exclusive capabilities in its new Studio ‘13. Be sure to check out the Photographic and Illustrated Character Libraries and especially the Translation Export/Import features. Language translation, copy editing and even text formatting can all be done quickly and easily without risking damage to the structure of your course. So remember, if your SME (Subject Matter Expert) wants to check and edit the text, Articulate’s Translation feature is your new best friend!
Always an invaluable tool, Engage gives the ability to drop content into a form-based interface, and with a click of a button, produce attractive, interactive elements. I know some people wish it did more, but there are other tools out there for that (Storyline, anyone?). In a rapidly changing world, where content just needs to be pushed out quickly, Engage is the way to go. Sporting a new, flat design, with double the number of interactions previously available, it’s perfect for those quick-fix moments. That being said, my mantra for Engage is still “If it fits, it fits. If it doesn’t, then don’t.” Pick the right interaction for your content and try not to shoehorn them together.
One of the biggest changes in Studio '13 is the update to Quizmaker. Building on the success of Storyline, the inclusion of freeform questions boosts the available question types to a whopping 25! The new layout makes swapping between form-view and slide-view a breeze, while the tabbed layout means switching between questions has never been easier. Speaking about easy, have you tried the new Excel import? Articulate has heard our pleas! Once you’ve found the Pipe symbol on your keyboard, importing questions from Excel is child’s play.
So, to wrap up: Taking into account the features above, plus faster HTML5 and Mobile Player Publishing, and the fact that we no longer have to rely on Flash to play output (hence the disappearance of Video Encoder), not to mention the new Integrated Player and Articulate Replay…Articulate Studio ‘13 is a must-have and a welcomed addition to the Articulate product line!