Testing Microsoft LCDS

OK, I found some time tonight to give the new Microsoft Learning Content Development System a try. I created a small sample course, using the LCDS, Captivate, and Paint.Net.

Some findings:

  • The structure of Module – Lesson – Topic is very rigid. This is good for having a consistent structure in your course, but for small modules it is sometimes overkill, resulting in some blank pages, or pages-where-you-need-to-invent-some-content-because-the-page-is-there-anyway.
  • The templates are very easy to use. Integration of .swf works well.
  • Sometimes I would like to tweak some html-code, but there does not seem to be a way via the UI. Embedding a Youtube video for example would be nice.
  • After moving around some navigation items, I had a corrupt topic, it kept messing up the navigation. Deleting the topic resolved the issue.
  • The color scheme of tables (beige) is not very nice; could probably be fixed by modifying the stylesheet that is used.
  • The testing/question templates are quite nice. Multiple choice, true-false, even some drag&drops.

I tried importing the package in a WSS site with the SharePoint Learning Kit: worked like a charm! No errors, navigation is nicely taken over by the Learning Kit viewer. This might become a very powerful combination for organisations looking for low cost content creation and distribution! Have a look at the screencast.

I’ll try to put my content online somewhere so that you can have a look at it.