Flash CS4 for Elearning Production
One of the features my team is most excited about in Flash CS4 is the new object-based animation.
This should significantly reduce a lot of basic elearning production times for tasks such as:
- Animated text and bullets;
- Simple image fades and transitions.
Granted, Elearning is (should be) much more than animated bullets and sliding text but this is a popular courseware format for a lot of organizations.
If this new feature reduces development times like I think it will, development managers will have more time to allocate for custom content and interaction development.
Let’s take a look at where production times are spent in a given course. Leaving aside custom elearning development, consider that most corporate, Flash/audio-based elearning contains the following components:
- Intro/chapter screens (5%)- anything from static to animated, narrated scenarios used for attention grabbing openers;
- Learning objectives screens (1-5%) – animated text (maybe with animated bullets) that fade or slide sync’d to the narration. Single screen for course or one per chapter/module.
- Content screens (80-90%)- animated text and image screens that fade or slide images in along with text
- Activity screens (5-10%) – usually template driven t/f, m/c, m/s, drag/drop; scenario/dialogue; etc
- Custom content (5-20%)- probably not included in every project, this is where additional creativity and development are allocated for larger or high-impact projects
Clearly the majority of most courseware development is around content screen development. Maybe I’m overly optimistic about this feature, but I’m hoping it frees up more time for custom content and interactions.