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Creating a computer based training course can feel like a daunting task, at first. You may not know where to begin, especially if you have no experience in creating training courses. You may have thought about using Microsoft PowerPoint as a training course, but slide shows have a tendency to be stilted and 2 dimensional. How do you create a course that engages the user, along with providing adequate training?
Enter Adobe Flash. Adobe Flash is a popular multimedia software that's often used to create web advertisements, interactive games, and other internet elements, like buttons and cartoons. Flash is easy to use and, because of its immense popularity, most browsers play it. A browser needs the Flash player plug-in in order to play the movie, which is free, incredibly small, and comes by default on the newer versions of the major browsers, like Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Chrome.
Although the Flash player is free, the main Adobe Flash software that you will use to create a training course is not. It costs US$699 for the current version of Adobe Flash. If you're not sure you're ready to make such a big investment, you can try Flash for 30 days by downloading the trial version. Flash is expensive, but it will pay for itself, if you're interested in developing a series of computer based training courses for your client.
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One of the first things to consider, when you begin to develop a training course using Flash, is who is the target user? Is this person a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user? It may be a good idea to create three different course levels, with evaluation tests that advance the user to the next level. Flash is highly programmable, allowing you to create a tiered course for maximum training potential. You can create a scoring system, and if the user does not reach a certain percentage of points, they will not pass.
Because Flash is relatively small in size, you can set up the training course online, on a dedicated and secure site. This makes Flash even more attractive to your client, because the user can train anywhere with an internet connection and a web browser.
One reason to use Flash for your training courses is for material control. A user cannot copy and paste information from Flash, as they could from an HTML, Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint file. This is particularly important if your training course has sensitive material that you don't want disseminated.
Overall, Adobe Flash is a robust software program to look into when beginning to develop computer based training courses. If you're not quite ready to take the plunge into buying the product, take a test drive here.