There are many programs out there that allow you to create computer-based learning experiences and tutorials. But when it comes to professional e-learning software, there are two that stand out among the rest: Adobe Captivate and Camtasia Studio.
In this e-learning software review we will cover the top two paid e-learning programs out there, as well as a more serious and robust suite.
Captivate and Camtasia
Both of these excellent software programs can record screen, mouse and keyboard activity as you go. Audio and video integration in Captivate and Camtasia helps you produce professional quality demonstrations and tutorials, complete with the ability to click on hot-spots to move to a different part of the program. Quizzes are also offered in both programs, allowing you to test the knowledge your users have gained from your presentation.
The main question you need to ask yourself when reviewing whether to use Camtasia versus Captivate is, what level of interactivity do I need? The second question is, what is my budget?
Camtasia allows for full motion recording to create HD quality software demonstrations for training purposes. You can record everything on your screen in one movie. If these are the main functions you need and desired interactivity is limited, Camtasia is for you. Camtasia does have hotspot and quizzing features, but compared to Camtasia, those features are more limited. Regularly $299, Camtasia Studio is available at SoftwareMedia.com for just $295.00.
Bottom Line: use Camtasia for budget-conscious narrated demonstrations where you are showing a user something.
If you are looking for a little more complexity in your demonstrations and have a more flexible budget, Captivate might be for you. Team members can contribute content to your project without modifying the design. Assessments and quizzes are robust, with a large variety of question types and randomization. Controls, skins and templates are customizable. Regularly $799, Adobe Captivate is available at SoftwareMedia.com for just $594.99.
Bottom Line: use Captivate when your budget is slightly more flexible, you need more interactivity and you want users to try something themselves
Looking for an even more robust eLearning software program?
Adobe eLearning Suite
Not only is Captivate included with your package or download of eLearning Suite, you will also receive Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop Extended, Acrobat Pro, Presenter and Soundbooth. This suite is even more flexible with editing, multiple formats on a single recording, and complex software demos. Users with knowledge of Director or Flash will find this suite appealing as it can handle multiple different input sources. Regularly $1799, Adobe eLearning Suite is available at SoftwareMedia.com for just $1735.00.
Bottom Line: eLearning Suite is for serious professionals who have the budget and manpower to utilize all of its features.
Other points to consider when reviewing e-learning software:
• Learning curve – who will be using the software? Are they already familiar with Adobe products? If not, there may be a decent learning curve to use the full functionality of programs like Captivate or eLearning Suite.
Camtasia Versus Captivate at a Glance
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