Importing Classroom PPTs To Online Training: Should You Use Captivate, Storyline, Or iSpring?

Importing Classroom PPTs To Online Training: Should You Use Captivate, Storyline, Or iSpring?
Summary: Maximize your training resources such as classroom PowerPoint decks by converting them into eLearning courses. Between Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and iSpring Suite, which authoring tool should you choose and why?

3 Authoring Tools To Choose From When Importing Classroom PPTs To Online Training

The digital world has changed the way we learn. There was a time when learning was restricted to a classroom and required the use of hardbound books and manuals. Not any longer! Now it’s all about accessing learning material online, at a time that’s convenient for learners. Now, that doesn’t mean you bid goodbye to the PowerPoint decks (PPTs) used in your classroom.

These PPTs are a rich source of content that can be leveraged in your online training program. And with the plethora of authoring tools that are available in the market to take care of converting classroom training material into eLearning, an eLearning developer’s task is made easy.

Powerful authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and iSpring Suite are preferred when it comes to developing eLearning courses, but how do you make the choice when your requirement is primarily importing PPTs to an online course? Which of these tools is the right choice? Here are some important factors on which you can compare these tools.

1. Ease Of Importing

Adobe Captivate offers the option of importing PowerPoint presentations to an online training program. However, the tool does come with a learning curve and if you are just getting started as an eLearning developer, you would need some time to get familiar with the tool. Adobe Captivate 2017 lets you import PPTs to online training in a couple of steps.

Remember to keep the PowerPoint files you need to import on your desktop, as importing from a network folder can cause problems. Also, during the process of importing PPT slides into Adobe Captivate, do not close or use PowerPoint, as it can cause problems with the software.

Articulate Storyline is a good tool to use to import PPTs to online training. It’s considerably easy to use, as it has a PowerPoint-like interface. All the hyperlinks you have in PowerPoint are automatically converted to triggers in Storyline. You might need to adjust or delete navigation triggers in Storyline if you notice a "jump to next slide" trigger added to each slide. This will help avoid automatic navigation to the next screen, and ensure that learners control the navigation in the eLearning course by clicking the ‘Next’ button provided in the navigation panel.

iSpring Suite is available as an add-in for MS PowerPoint. Does not matter if you are new to eLearning development. If you are familiar with PowerPoint, then the learning curve for this tool is practically nil. Once this tool is installed, it is available as an option on the PowerPoint toolbar. All that you need to do is publish the project. iSpring’s core strength lies in its capability of quick conversions of PPTs to eLearning.

2. Supporting PowerPoint Transitions

Adobe Captivate 2017 does not support all PowerPoint transitions when you import the PPT to online training. Keep in mind that the slide size needs to be similar in PowerPoint and Captivate.

Articulate Storyline 360 lets you import PPTs to online training, but the process is not as smooth as you would want it to be. Check whether the Storyline file size is the same as the PPT file size. If not, objects in slides may not appear in the correct place.

Also, if you have a range of slide transition effects in your PPT, it may not be imported to Storyline. Storyline 360 supports entrance and exit effects, all other transition effects might be converted to fade in/out. Motion paths used in PPTs to move objects on a slide in a specific way are not imported properly to Storyline 360, and you might have to adjust them manually.

iSpring Suite allows you to copy all the slide transition effects including 3-D effects from the PPT.

3. Adding Media Elements

Your PPT file might already contain media elements such as images, videos, audio, and animations. You would surely want the authoring tool to include these elements when you import a PPT to online training.

In Adobe Captivate, all objects in the PPT can be imported. Select the ‘High Fidelity’ option (available only on Windows OS) when you want SmartArt, tables, animations, and triggers in your PPT imported to your Adobe Captivate project.

With Articulate Storyline, SmartArt graphics in your PowerPoint presentation are imported as images. Shapes that aren’t supported by Storyline, such as 3-D shapes, are imported flat and not in their original format. Animated GIFs embedded in a PowerPoint slide are imported as an image. For the GIF to work, you would need to insert the original animated GIF in the Storyline screen.

iSpring retains all the media elements in your PPT, even when you convert it to the HTML5 format. Also, the clarity of images and SmartArt objects is retained even after importing. iSpring’s robust features make audio and video synchronization in slides seem effortless.

4. Customizing The Imported PPT Deck

When you import PPTs used in classroom training to online training and are looking for basic customization such as following specific branding guidelines, Adobe Captivate can meet the purpose. Also, you can add a variety of interactions to enhance the content in your PPT.

Adobe Captivate provides add-on applications such as a text-to-speech converter, review tool, and a quiz-results analyzer and aggregator to provide additional functionality when you import PPTs to online training programs.

The interactivities, templates, and characters offered by Articulate Storyline 360 offer a lot of scope for customizing the online course. A plain PPT can be converted into an engaging online training program by leveraging the customization features offered by Articulate Storyline.

iSpring Suite 9 lets you create rich interactions, simulations, and screen recordings but the level of customization offered by the tool is not as extensive as Storyline.

Here’s a quick look at when to use each tool with respect to importing PPT decks to online training.

Adobe Captivate Articulate Storyline iSpring Suite
When you need to create complex interactive courses and do not expect all elements in the PPT to be converted in the eLearning course When you need to add customized interactivities while converting from PPT to eLearning When you need a tool with an easy learning curve to jumpstart the conversion of PPT decks to eLearning courses

Adobe Captivate’s 2019 release is expected to ease the conversion of PPT to online training even further, by transforming the content to work across all mobile devices with the introduction to the PPT to mobile learning feature. But, if you are looking at quick conversions of PPT to eLearning courses, iSpring can be recommended as the tool of choice. Your PPT deck combined with sound Instructional Design, and a few clicks on iSpring Suite, is all it takes to deliver a world-class eLearning experience.

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