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Articulate Storyline and Dominknow Claro

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Learning Solution Conference

I had the pleasure of attending the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions 2012 Conference. One of my goals for the conference was to explore the tools offered to develop mobile learning. There were several offerings, but two were standouts in my opinion for very unique reasons.


Articulate is introducing a new mobile-development product called Storyline. This is a separate product offering from the very popular Articulate Presenter product (which has plans to include some form of mobile export in the future). There are several differences between Storyline and the Presenter product, but the most notable is the fact that Storyline has no dependency on Microsoft PowerPoint.

One of the cornerstones of the Articulate product line is usability and this is evident in Storyline. After two 45 minute presentations, I felt I could begin building fairly complex interactions with the tool that would not just function properly, but look great. Many features are included such as quiz creation (without needing to purchase an additional product), branching, screen recording, and a format painter (a very nice option to make buttons consistent). Exporting options included mobile online format or export to an app to allow off line utilization.

A unique feature is the animated wizards.  Storyline comes with a cast of 40 professionally designed clip-art style characters with unique positions and expressions. These items can dynamically change based on user input. Wizards allow you to add a button or elements to trigger the reaction to change the character.  This interactivity can be applied virtually to any type of asset you add to the training as long as you define different states for the asset. It is extremely powerful, but mostly because it is extremely intuitive to implement (unlike having to organize all assets and states, and coding triggers using HTML5 stack).

Storyline has been in private beta for several months. Every beta tester I spoke with (which was close to a dozen) raved about the product. During an interview on eLearnChat, former Adobe Captivate Product Evangelist RJ Jacquez spoke very highly of the product and its competitive position compared to Captivate. The release date is TBD, but hopefully “soon”.


Claro is a mobile authoring tool from Dominknow that is also easy to use.  It offers a rich set of features for mobile development such as quizzing, branching, video embedding, screen capture, fade in/fade out and drag and drop.  Soon to be added will be time initiated animations and audio – without having to use JavaScript.  This will allow more flash like functionality for iOS products. It also has some “extras” you don’t see from many mobile tools vendors such as a professional produced stock library for use in the training.  However, the key differentiator for Claro is clear from their tagline “work together, better”.

Claro has its roots in an LCMS world, and thus, it includes capabilities to coordinate working with teams and reviewers that extend most authoring platforms (mobile or otherwise).  It allows administrators to define specific roles and rights in the authoring environment. For example, you can assign graphic designers to maintain core common graphic assets, and senior developers maintain templates and interactivity components. These users would have rights to adapt these course assets whereas junior developers could use them in the training. As a developer working in a team environment, these types of controls can be critical. I have seen developers adapt an asset for use in a specific course without realizing its impact to several other courses that consumed the same resource.

The reviewer functions in Claro are superb. Training can be sent to a list of reviewers, and they are provided with a feedback form which puts submitted comments right on the specific screen viewed where the comment was submitted. As a developer, I cannot tell you how often I have received feedback where reviewers that have requested changes to screens, but submitted the incorrect screen name or number. This feature will ensure all parties stay on the same page. The best part about this functionality, however, is the fact that the reviewer role does not require additional licenses of the product. Just send the training for review to the necessary parties, and they can freely access the review/feedback utility.

If you would like a full featured HTML5 development tool which is available now or if you work with a team of developers - I would explore Claro.
| Categories: eLearning

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