Interface language in Adobe Presenter projects

In one of our recent projects, we used Adobe Presenter to create some course material and quizzes based on PowerPoint slides. This actually works very well, but one thing bothered me: the “interface” of the course or quiz is sometimes shown in a different language. We are talking about these texts:

presenter1

presenter2

I was wondering how you could “force” it to be in one language, and what was the logic behind it. This is what I found out:

  • the language you get in the interface is based on the Regional Settings of the pc you display the content on. So NOT on the language settings of your browser (which seems more logical to me). This is an issue in Belgium as we have French (Belgium) and Dutch (Belgium), and not every computer is configured correctly.
  • the text is only modified if your regional settings are set to one of these languages: German, French, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese, or Dutch. In all other cases, English is shown.
  • you can customize this text by creating a custom theme with the Theme Editor for your project. Consult the Adobe Presenter help pages for the correct procedure.

And this last topic gives you a possible solution for a “fixed” language: if you set the labels for all languages to the same language, you have your uni-lingual interface. That’s a lot of copy-pasting, but it works!

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LMS or no LMS?

Today, I attended a seminar organised by BE-ODL about the use of a Learning Management System. Lots of interesting presentations and a good discussion. One of the returning topics was the contradiction between the upcoming usage of social learning tools (“Learning 2.0”) versus the formal aspect of a LMS (reporting, tracking…)

In my opinion, this will always remain a contradiction (that’s why one is called “informal” and the other “formal” 🙂 ) but if you do not provide your learners the possibility to use the newer tools on your own network, then be prepared to find your company content open and freely available on YouTube, Twitter, Delicious, Google Docs and others… Learners will find a way.

I stumbled upon an interesting presentation … on SlideShare. And if you wander off to other similar presentations (is that so bad?), you will find even more…

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Microsoft releases Learning Content Development System

Microsoft released a free community edition of its e-learning authoring tool, called LCDS. They will not get the creativity award for the name of the product, but after a first look, the tool seems very useful. 

Some highlights:

  • runs on Windows XP and Vista (needs to be run as administrator), requires .Net framework 2.0
  • development is “template-based” according to the traditional instructional design (read, watch, interact, tryp, play)
  • supports multiple languages (including Dutch, yes!)
  • creates native SCORM 1.2 compliant content by default
  • includes a “player” for stand alone viewing outside an LMS
  • interactions, simulations can be created in Flash and… Silverlight, what were you thinking 🙂

I followed quite some e-learning courses on the Microsoft Learning platform, and they were probably created with this tool. Very consistent, not very Flashy, but clear, concise and to the point. My kind of courses 😉 

I hope to get some time soon to create a course, and share it with you. “Brandjes blussen, the sequel” (inside joke…)

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Microsoft introduces “learning snacks”

To promote their new Windows 2008 server, Microsoft announces the availability of learning snacks. A learning snack is a short module that illustrates one specific topic or learning objective. Of course, Microsoft uses Silverlight as the underlying technology.

Have a look yourself on the Windows 2008 learning portal (click the Learning Snacks tab). Microsoft uses very simple, but effective interactions: mouse-overs, software demonstrations, click-to-reveal-more, …

What I like about it:

  • simple but very nice layout
  • good performance
  • easy to navigate interface

What I do not like about it:

  • voice-over quality is not consistent: sometimes good, sometimes very bad;
  • it does not work on my Mac. There is a Silverlight version for Mac, but the learning snack player does not seem to load the content, not in Safari, not in Firefox;
  • clicking on some of the links is blocked by the IE popup blocker (althoug it seems to be a simple hyperlink)

Still a great initiative. Wouldn’t it be nice if this Silverlight player could load SCORM manifests? What if Microsoft made it freely available? Wouldn’t that be a great promotion for Silverlight?

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