Is Articulate Presenter really a Rapid eLearning Development Tool?

Question: We are in the process of selecting an eLearning company to help us finally get into the online training world. One of the companies we really like has a pricing model that makes it more expensive to develop in a tool like Articulate than if we just let them develop in Flash instead. Does that sound right to you?  I thought Articulate was rapid elearning tool.

When using the phrase “Rapid eLearning” it is important to distinguish between two very different meanings that people often ascribe to this term – Fast development time vs. Ease of Use. Why? Let’s look at a case in point.

Creating eLearning text and visuals in PowerPoint, adding audio, creating interactivities, and publishing as SCORM are relatively easy for a computer novice to do using tools like those offered by Articulate (ease of use).  However, many experienced eLearning programmers who know how to develop content using Adobe Premiere, HTML5, and other tools and approaches have already established libraries of templates and content from which to build new courses and can produce (and subsequently revise/edit) high quality eLearning faster (more “rapidly”) than even the most experienced PowerPoint/Articulate developer.

So if your organization is considering using “Rapid Development” tools, be aware that Rapid does not generally mean faster nor less expensive – and Rapid by its very nature values speed over quality. If you are looking to work with an outside partner (be it an established eLearning company or a freelance one-man-band), be sure to consider a variety of development tools and approaches rather than operate under the false presumption that a “do-it-yourself” tool is the best and only way to go.

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