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Monday, February 16, 2009

Video-Based eLearning Authoring Tools

I've been asked several times a similar question so I thought I would throw it out to see what readers here will recommend for doing basic video-based elearning authoring.

The situation is that they have five, two-hour training videos (10 hours total). It's currently used as a watch and then answer these questions experience. The topic almost doesn't matter, but assume it's Safety Training. They would like to convert this to self-paced eLearning.

The currently planned design is to chop the video up into relatively short segments, put in questions in between the segments as knowledge checks, and then have a graded exam at the end. Thus roughly:
Video Segment -> Questions -> Video Segment -> Questions -> Exam
They do not have an LMS, but they need some kind of reporting. Currently, they use Camtasia and have it email results at the end of quizzes. They are happy to continue to do that. They would also be happy with having some kind of system to collect all the results together into something similar to a spreadsheet. They do not want an LMS because of some false starts and perceived complexity.

Other factors -
  • Need an inexpensive solution, but does not need to be free.
  • Should be an easy to use and easy to maintain solution.
  • May outsource some of the production work, but the tool must be an off-the-shelf, known authoring tool - no proprietary tools (see eLearning Course Development for rationale on that)
  • Their only experience is with Camtasia. No real video editing experience.

What would you recommend?

Other posts related to this topic:


Benjamin Duffy said...

I would recommend Adobe Presenter with a Presenter hosted license and their mini - lms on the backend. They can output their Camtasia movies as Flash (Legacy SWF option) and pull them into PowerPoint, use Adobe presenter to insert "review your knowledge" quizzes, publish the courses up to Adobe's streaming media server and use their mini LMS tracking system for reporting.

Adobe Presenter Application = $500
Adobe Presenter publishing license = $500 per year includes large data store and bandwidth. Their "LMS" is basically a good reporting and tracking system with stored results for users. Not a full blown LMS where you have to create courses, authorize people to take classes, set up users, etc, etc. Their LMS charge is for concurrent connections so for 1000 employees you may be able to just have 150 LMS licensed users.

David Corcoran said...

I would have to agree about Adobe Presenter. You could could also deliver through the Adobe connect pro training module. Another option might
be LiveMeeting, which would be more economical. We deliver both solutions at Batipi, feel free to contact us for further discussion.

Anthony said...

I think the biggest drawback to using large chunks of video for e-learning is the lack of context to keep students interested when going from video to quiz to video. Unless the 10 hours of video are really well produced, the challenge will probably be to keep people awake, and excessive use of quizzes would only make things worse.

Assuming they have access to someone who can do a bit of creative writing, I would put together a simple script to set the different video clips into a storyline, using the quiz questions to add some "what if" situations. The entire package could be put together in Captivate, even allowing for simple branching scenarios if the video clips include examples of what not to do, as well as what to do.

By the way, I mention Captivate because that's what I would use, but I'm sure there are lots of other tools that would be just as good.

Jeff Tyson said...

We've been doing some video-based courses recently. We're using SmartBuilder ( to create the courses. We split the video up into short clips (roughly 3-6 minutes each, with multiple clips categorized together for each major topic. We set up an interface that pulls out bullet points and diagrams/images in a sidebar to support the video and provide additional info/engagement. For knowledge checking, we have "pop quizzes" that appear after some of the clips and a full assessment at the end of the course.

Phtar said...

I tried Adobe Presenter some time, it is really a good eLearning authoring tool, but it is beyond my budget. I am now using Wondershare PPT2Flash, it is also a good eLearnng authoring tools that help no programming skill users convert PowerPoint to Flash for high-impact Web presentations and SCORM compliant eLearning Courses with rich media, quizzes and simulations.

BTW, Wondershare QuizCreator is a good quiz maker, the quiz could easilly imported to PPT2Flash. So you could easily build interactive eLearning courses.

Anonymous said...

I am also a fan of Captivate with branching scenarios.

I would agree with Anthony and say you would need to watch your content/context then quiz, content/context then quiz, repeat ad infinteum. Nothing drives learners to insanity or sleep like that formula. :)

We approach the content from a 'digital storytelling' point of view and create the 'choose your own adventure' format, allowing learners to jump into the various areas they are interested in, as well as allowing them to view a ok/inadequate example and then through the provided resources (policy, best practice etc) make a decision as to how the interaction should pan out. This approach allows you to present the content and assessment at the same time, and keeps the learner involved.

Unknown said...

I would recommend a company called ILT Systems ( that specializes in video-based self-paced eLearning. They have an eLearning authoring tool that might be what your source is looking for, with one caveat, it synchronizes the video with PowerPoint slides, and I'm not sure if that's what they are looking to do. If it is, then the rest is a good fit. Video segment> questions > repeat > interactive video exam (where an incorrect answer triggers a video replay of the correct answer). They have an intuitive, easy-to-use system that tracks & provides reports in xml spreadsheets. I dont know how inexpensive it is but I know its priced competitively and that it's been a trouble-free solution with no maintenaince issues. Also, they can do any production work needed.

If not right for this situation, it might be the right answer for other inquires you get.

Anonymous said...

I would simply recommend, with this new interactive learning technology; one can fulfill all the above stated requirements and many more, easily and effectively.

Now, let us examine how UltraLearn can be used in the above described circumstances.
The first step is to chop the video into short segments - This can be done in around 4-5 minutes with Ultra Mashup Studio, you can slice your videos into millisecond segments
Second step is to put questions - with the Form option in the Ultra Mashup Studio you can quickly and easily create Quizzes (can be MCQs, T/F, Descriptive etc), feedback, survey forms etc according to your desire. This diverse tool also allows one to jump between chapters according to result or score in the quiz, further you can embed as many quizzes, feedbacks and surveys in your training there is no restriction on the number of forms.
They have a detailed reporting feature which allows one to know who watched what, when, how much, in what time, for how long and how many times. The quiz scores, user behavior during the training, part of the video watched this and many more can be monitored through the reporting feature. As far as complexity is concerned the tool is so simple and user friendly that even a non techie can use it with conformity.

• You’ll only need to pay for the value you get-This web-based platform makes easy on the pocket and different pricing modules, caters user requirements in the available budget.
• UltraLearn commit to provide you the best in town flexibility and usability also since solution is available in enterprise and SaaS (Software as a Service), therefore maintenance is not an issue.
• No, problem with that too, as the tool is a self guided platform i.e. every feature is clearly stated, with how to use option. Also if you are not willing to edit yourself, you can ask for the help from their valued partners and they can provide you with the ready to run videos according to your requirements.
If you want to take this one step ahead, make it:
Video Segment+slides+audio+text+images++ -> Questions+feedbacks+survey -> Video Segment+slides+audio+text+images++ -> Questions+feedbacks+survey -> Exam->Evaluation/Reports+Graphs+Spreadsheets … all at one place, promptly, easily and economically

If you need any further details, feel free to contact me at

Nadeem said... allow one to create their own live & on-demand video based learnng conten. SCORM Learnin content can later be embeded into an LMS or SharePoint 2007 & SharePoint 2010.