Part 2: Tools of the Trade

In this section, we will go over some of the tools of the trade. As a teacher, you may have some experience with some of these tools already, but there is a world that is about to open up to you that I WISH I had only known about as a teacher!

The "Heavy Hitters"

In most instructional design job postings, you will probably see one of two following mentioned: Articulate Storyline 360 and/or Adobe Captivate. You pretty much have to know at least one of these enough to make functional eLearning pieces for your portfolio to land an ID role, and there are pros and cons to each one. Let's break it down:

Articulate Storyline 360

Free Trial: 60 day free-trial (access HERE)

*NOTE* If you make a Rise360 course, you will lose access to it after the trial unless you purchase a subscription with that email address.

Cost After Trial: $999/yr individual ($499/yr with educator email)

Learning Curve: Because it's interface is somewhat intuitive, especially if you are familiar with PowerPoint, and because of the amazing supportive community and learning resources, I would rate this as a slight to moderate learning curve (depending on your tech savviness)

Adaptability: While definitely a powerhouse tool, it does come with some limitations in its preset features. There are often workarounds, but it can be time consuming and cumbersome for the more creative components compared to adobe captivate.

Software Compatibility: It does sync rather well with PowerPoint, and comes with it's own screen recording features, however, it is a little bit more difficult to import adobe-made items, such as vector images created in illustrator.

Processor Compatibility: This tool is best on a Windows device. In order to run it on a mac, you will have to download Parallels, which can be somewhat finicky. Macs are great for graphic design, but a windows pc might be better for instructional design functionality.

Adobe Captivate

Free Trial: 30 day free-trial (access HERE)

Cost After Trial: $1299 full-license, $33.99/mo for subscription ($399 full-license with educator email)

*NOTE* Full license means you own it outright, but it does not include the newer updates when new versions come out. Subscription includes new versions and is cloud based.

Learning Curve: Because it's interface is not intuitive to an individual who is new to adobe products, I would rate this as a moderate to steep learning curve. If you are very familiar with photoshop, or illustrator, this would reduce the learning curve to more of slight to moderate.

Adaptability: Adobe captivate does have a lot more customizable components compared to Articulate Storyline 360, but again, getting to a point where you are able to put those into practice with the learning curve being what it is takes a lot of practice.

Software Compatibility: Because it is an adobe product, it has super easy integration with illustrator, photoshop, and other adobe products, which can save some time and headache.

Processor Compatibility: This tool is great for either Windows or Mac, though Macs are really where adobe products shine the brightest.

In the end, you have to weigh the pros and cons based on your current situation. For a more detailed breakdown, check out an awesome side-by-side comparison here.

The "Good to Knows"

Coming Soon!

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The "Bonus Knows"

Coming Soon!

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