Games in Lectora – Review

Lectora Games Review

Trivantis offers weekly production demonstrations via WebEx.  This week’s subject was Games in Lectora. They also record these sessions and post them to the web, so feel free to review this and any other demonstrations of interest. Following are the high-level takeaways I gleaned and my general impressions of the technology.

Generally speaking, our philosophy is that building custom games using industry standard web programming techniques yields the highest quality custom eLearning content. This means programming courses directly in HTML/XML, Flash, or other widely accepted development tools. It also means creating custom graphics using Photoshop, Illustrator, and other graphic art tools rather than limiting yourself to pre-created templates. However, not all organizations have the in-house expertise and knowledge to do this. Therefore, some organizations are limited to using “do-it-yourself” authoring tools. In this case, we recommend that organizations select the tools that give them the most flexibility to create custom content outside of the tool and import and use this content as desired. In other words, select tools that go beyond forcing you to use their templates and instead give you the ability to import your graphics, Flash files, and other custom elements and arrange them however you desire. Lectora is such a tool and is worth consideration. Types of Games in Lectora

  • Flash-based game templates: Board and dice games, casino and card games, etc.
  • Custom games: Create your own custom game

Why Include Games in Content?

  • Reinforce key course concepts and objectives
  • Add an element of fun and interactivity for the learner
  • Appeal to your learners’ competitive instincts

Lectora Game Support Options

  • Select pre-existing Flash games and animations from within the Lectora library
  • Support for external Flash files you created outside of Lectora
  • Build custom games using the Lectora tools (non-Flash versions so they are mobile friendly)

Pros and Cons: Pros – Lectora includes pre-created templates that you can use to create games based upon whatever content and learning objectives you have. You are not required to know programming nor Flash. You simply complete online forms with the questions, answers, button text, and other fields as appropriate. If you do know Flash, you can create your own custom games and import them using the Lectoral external SWF support feature. If you want to deploy your courses to mobile phones (e.g. no Flash), then a tool like Lectora makes this possible. Cons – Like most template-based content from authoring tool providers, the default graphics are somewhat limited and reminiscent of 1990’s era web design. This can be negated if you have accecss to talented graphic design artists who can customize Lectora for you. Final analysis: Trivantis Lectora offers an impressive quantity of pre-created games, templates, clipart graphics, etc.  Lectora makes the assembly of these items into interactive games a relatively easy process for novice computer users. The software also allows developers to import externally created graphics and Flash activities. If you are limited to the graphics and sound effects offered in the tool, your courses will be limited in design aesthetic to what Lectora provides. However, if you have skilled graphic artists and programmers on your team, then you can create visually appealing and engaging courses using Lecotra as the underlying SCORM engine for your courses. Lectora is one of the few mature tools that is grounded in old-school HTML-based eLearning development, which is great if you are targeting mobile devices which themselves are requiring developers to return to old-school web programming techniques. HTML has come back around full-circle, so all Lectora had to do was keep supporting HTML and wait for it’s time to come again.

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