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Software Review: Adobe eLearning Suite From Adobe Systems

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The Adobe eLearning Suite is an end-to-end eLearning content creation solution for generating rapid, traditional, and mobile multimedia development. Unlike the Adobe Creative Suite, the eLearning Suite Suite is geared for instructional designers and training professionals who need to create who need to create rich learning content. The suite contains five products; Captivate 4, Flash CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, Dreamweaver CS4 with CourseBuilder Extentions, SoundBooth CS4, Device Central, Presenter 7 and Acrobat Pro. Please note that most of these products have been reviewed in other suites and I have provided the links above. Here I will be high lighting the Suite itself and Presenter 7.

The Adobe eLearning Suite is meant to be a development platform for instructional designer, developers, and other learning specialists to author rich learning content. The goal of this suite is to make it easy to create digital content that empowers teachers to create great content and inspires students to develop a passion for learning. The benefits are that it contains a complete eLearning toolbox with extended functionality, easy mobile authoring, with world class media editing capabilities.

Adobe eLearning SuiteWhat do you need to run Adobe eLearning Suite?
• 2.0GHz or faster processor
• Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit editions)
• 1 GB of RAM
• 7.5GB of available hard disk space
• DVD-ROM drive
• Some features in Adobe Bridge rely on a Microsoft DirectX 9–capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM
• Some GPU-accelerated features in Adobe Photoshop® Extended require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
• QuickTime 7.4.5 software required to use QuickTime features
• Shader Model 3.0
• Microsoft Office 2003 required for Adobe Presenter
• 1,024×768 display (1,280×800 recommended) with 16-bit or greater video card
• Broadband Internet connection required for online services

So what do you get with the Adobe eLearning Suite?

ELearning Toolbox gives you everything that you need for rapidly creating eLearning system, courseware authoring, simulation, and media editing all in one convenient suite. The Adobe eLearning Suite gives you all of the products you need to create engaging learning experiences with interactivity, video, audio, and powerful visuals.

Extended functionality is already built into the products that you will be using to create your eLearning program. These include a SCROM packager, CourseBuilder for Adobe Dreamweaver, Learning Interactions for Adobe Flash, as well as tight integration with Adobe Device Central CS4 and Adobe Bridge CS4.

Mobile authoring gives you the ability to author content for mobile phones and consumer electronic devices. Plus, you can easily preview and test your content on a broad range of devices with integrated Device Central.

Collaborate and review more effectively with your team members. You can share ideas in real time by opening an Adobe ConnectNow Web conferencing session in Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, or Flash CS4 Professional. You can also enable powerful PDF and Adobe Captivate 4 SWF review and commenting functionality.

Adobe eLearning SuiteProductive development is made easier when you have all the right tools. With the additional extensions, and integrated workflows at your fingertips you can turn the contributions of subject-matter experts into engaging eLearning content using Adobe Captivate and Presenter 7 and then further enhance your content by creating robust courseware using Flash Professional and Dreamweaver.

Media Editing is made more powerful by giving your audience powerful visuals and sound. With the new Photoshop CS4 Extended you have everything in Photoshop CS4 plus features for editing 3D images and motion-based content. Then, by using Adobe Soundbooth CS4 you can easily create, clean up, and customize audio.

Flexible standards-based output formats gives you the ability to deliver content in the optimal format for learners and organizations. The eLearning Suite supports all of the standard formats including SWF, HTML, PDF, AVI, and SCORM. This enables easy delivery to the Web, the desktop, mobile devices, and Learning Management Systems (LMS).

Media organization allows you to manage your media visually with Adobe Bridge CS4. This media center is integrated with Adobe Captivate, Photoshop Extended, and other eLearning Suite components to help you easily organize, browse, locate, and view creative assets from a central location.

Adobe eLearning SuiteInstant online access lets you give learners easy online access to your content without an LMS or a content server using Acrobat Connect Pro software (sold separately). Acrobat Connect Pro offers basic access-tracking functionality and lets you create an unmatched virtual classroom experience with support for rich media, integration of Adobe Captivate simulations, and more.

Integration between authoring and asset creation tools will let you work smoothly between Adobe Captivate 4 and Adobe media editing tools. You can preserve layers in imported Photoshop (PSD) files and then edit or animate them in Adobe Captivate. Then you can send Adobe Captivate audio files to Soundbooth for cleanup or enhancement, as well as embed Adobe Captivate movies in Adobe PDF files.

SCORM packager gives you the ability to create LMS-compliant content from Flash Professional and then create and publish a course combining files from Flash and Adobe Captivate.

What about Adobe Presenter 7?

Adobe Presenter 7 is a Microsoft PowerPoint add-in that allows you to rapidly create high-impact Adobe Flash presentations and eLearning courses from PowerPoint. This add-in gives you the ability to transform presentations into engaging Flash multimedia experiences letting you easily add narration, animations, interactivity, quizzes, and software simulations to eLearning courses.

Before Adobe acquired Macromedia, Adobe Presenter was known as Breeze. It is available for PowerPoint only on the Windows platform but the output will work for any browser that has the Flash Player on it. It also supports both PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 (including the new PPTX format).

Adobe eLearning SuiteOn the Presenter ribbon tab within PowerPoint there are several sections including Presentation for setting up and publishing; Audio where you can record, import or edit sound; Video, where you can capture or import and edit video; Flash where you can insert a flash video; Quiz, where you can manage, import, or add quiz questions; Application, where you can fill in or edit Presenter information; and Help.

Overall the Adobe eLearning Suite provides a perfect balance of tools for generating high quality, professional eLearning experiences. By integrating these various content creation tools, learning professionals now have an enormous leg up toward giving their customer the best in educational experiences.

Between the Dreamweaver CourseBuilder extentions for creating HTML-based modules, to Flash Learning Interaction, to Photoshop Extended for 3D and motion-based content, and into Device Central for working with mobile devices, you have it all right here.

Then you can add the SCORM packager, Bridge for organization, Adobe Presenter, and Adobe Captivate 4, and you really have a powerful package for creating course content. This is really remarkable for a version one collection. If you have to put together eLearning content and want to have a one-stop shop in which to get it all done, then I highly recommend the Adobe eLearning Suite.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • David Feigal

    Beware of Adobe upgrade policies. If you own an outdated version of the creative suite you get an upgrade price. If you own the current version (CS5) Adobe will only sell it to you at full price! Half the software is un-necessary. How do you spell rip off? “Adobe”

  • yes man

    yes