6 Reasons to Try Lectora 16

6 Reasons to Try Lectora 16

If you’re an elearning developer you have probably heard of Lectora, which has developed a sizable following and user base since it was launched by Trivantis in 1999. Over the years Lectora has evolved considerably and has recently issued a new version update.  Just like Microsoft jumped from Windows version 8 to Windows 10, Lectora jumped from version 12 to version 16 recently. Jumping in versions is usually indicative of major change, not only in branding, but in user functionality.

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First of all: What is Lectora?

For those of you who are not familiar with Lectora 16 (for desktop), it is an e-learning development tool that you install on Windows (Mac users can use Lectora Online).   Lectora makes it relatively easy for non-programmers to create online training courses, assessments, and presentations, including converting existing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to e-learning content that can easily be uploaded to a Learning Management System, website, delivered via DVD, and other distribution methods.

Over the years Lectora by Trivantis has maintained a solid position as one of the top “do it yourself” eLearning authoring tools. Why? Because folks with basic to intermediate computer skills could use it to quickly create interactive audio/visual eLearning. Lectora also has a long history of supporting eLearning industry standards such as SCORM and the relatively new xAPI (TinCan).  Finally, Lectora offers strong support for 508 Compliance.  So what are the top 6 reasons to give Lectora 16 a try now?

  1. Responsive Design Capabilities

One of the most compelling Lectora 16 features is its responsive design capabilities.  This means that you can create a lesson, that when published, will automatically adapt to the device it is being viewed upon.  So does this mean the course simply shrinks to fit your smart phone or tablet screen? No! Responsive design allows you as the eLearning designer or developer to format exactly how you want your eLearning screen designs to look on different screen sizes. This gives you much greater control over how the visuals are presented and makes it possible for one course be “ergonomic” and user friendly on just about any screen size.  The great thing about Lectora is that it not only offers responsive design, but it works really well.

As soon as you start the the program you see the option for responsive design on the splash screen.  Once you place an object on the stage you will be able to see it in any of the viewpoint options. Lectora automatically adjusts for size and position.

Hierarchical rules are in place, so that if you move or resize the object:

  • In the desktop view, it will automatically be adjusted in each of the other views.
  • In the tablet landscape view, it will also affect the cell landscape view.
  • In the cell landscape view, it will not affect any other view.
  • In the tablet portrait view, it will also affect the cell portrait view.
  • In the cell portrait view, it will not affect any other view.

You can also override hierarchy by explicitly moving objects. For instance, if you move the object directly in the cell portrait view, and then subsequently move it in the tablet portrait view, the object in the cell portrait view will remain where you left it. If you change your mind, you can right click and choose to reset overrides. Very cool. 

The moment you click on the responsive design option you will see a few clickable options at the top of your stage: Phone Portrait, Tablet, Portrait, Desktop, Tablet Landscape and Phone Landscape. All of these are viewpoints from which you can develop your course.

Many eLearning authoring tools have yet to offer responsive capabilities. Additionally, Lectora has historically focused on HTML output while other tools exported primarily to Flash. When mobile devices hit the scene and Apple dropped Flash support, the eLearning world had to scramble to figure out how to convert content to HTML. Since Lectora always supported HTML it was perfectly positioned as a great mobile development option.

  1. Make previous lessons responsive

Yep. With ease you are able to go to any of legacy Lectora lessons and make them responsive. There is usually some adjusting involved, but Lectora does what it can to make this as easy as possible.

  1. CurrentView Variable

Something that I have found to be very handy is the CurrentView variable that Lectora 16 offers. This allows you to see what viewpoint the learning is currently on, ie: Desktop, Phone Portrait, Phone Landscape, Tablet Portrait, or Tablet Landscape. This variable allows you to show the learner a message indicating that the best view mode is landscape mode (or whatever mode you designed for).

  1. Device Rotation option

Used in conjunction with the CurrentView variable, this option allows you to know when the learner has rotated their device, triggering the correct message. Remember that you can develop your course to adjust to all viewpoints without having to use both the CurrentView variable and Device Rotation option.

  1. Other Updates

I don’t have time to review all of these updates in detail, so I encourage you to research these features on your own!

  • Deduct point from users by moving the Progress Bar backward.
  • Import titles into Lectora Online 3 that were saved in Lectora 16 and vice versa.
  • Additional status conditions: Not Started, Is Started, In Progress, Is Not In Progress, Is Completed, Is Not Completed.

Reason 6 – Use Multiple Tools

The eLearning Network development team has been supporting clients on Lectora for years. With the advancements made to Lectora 16 the eLearning Network® now officially recommends that our clients and members consider adding Lectora to their eLearning development toolkit.  At eLearning.net we license and use multiple authoring tools including Lectora, Captivate, Storyline, and others. Having multiple tools at your disposal allows you to:

  • Select the right tool for the right job based on a working knowledge of each
  • Stay sharp with multiple development techniques and interfaces
  • Compare and contrast tool features and keep up with each as new versions are released keeping you up-to-date as trends and technologies emerge
  • Use multiple tools to create separate and smaller eLearning vignettes (aka “knowledge chunks”) rather than use one tool exclusively for projects

At a minimum, we encourage eLearning professionals to try the 30 day free trials for both Lectora Inspire and Lectora Online. Once you output a few test courses and check them out on various devices you’ll immediately get a solid feel for if and when Lectora might be the best tool for a given project or part of a project. We regularly mix and match multiple authoring tools within a single project to create the best possible course experience as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you are already using Lectora, make sure to take a check out a few of our free Lectora templates. More will be coming soon, so follow us on your preferred social network or join our newsletter for updates.

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