If at first you don’t have the best solution, then try, try another one

formidable  vs     softchalk

Right turn?

Although Formidable Forms is a workable solution which didn’t hit us with any additional costs for building the branching logic lesson project, it looks like there is a better solution. SoftChalk, another lesson authoring tool, appears to be where we will put our efforts going forward.

Check it out

This week, Joni asked me to take a look at this new potential software and give her my thoughts about using it for our project. I watched about 10 short video lessons from the help files about how to begin building a lesson and the many types of tools that they offer. They provide 35 training videos that are all under 3 minutes long. Additionally, I found a couple helpful videos on YouTube, too. These helpful jumpstarts led me to confirm to Joni that this was a viable option and that we could get up and running with SoftChalk quickly.

How is this going to work?

In SoftChalk, creating the functionality of branching logic is possible through the use of bookmarking pages and then creating hyperlinks to those pages. So, for instance, given a multiple choice question, a student will click on an answer choice that is hyperlinked to a particular bookmarked page. That destination page might offer the student another question or feedback, then lead them to the next page in the logic. Although navigating from page to page sequentially is built in, it  can be disabled for this purpose. Creating bookmarks and hyperlinked text are incredibly easy!

There are many types of Activities, and other elements that sound engaging such as, TextPoppers and QuizPoppers. Instructors can keep it simple or give students a variety of question formats, feedback display types, point value options, lesson templates and other options which makes this a very flexible lesson authoring program.

Thumbs up!

I like the ease of getting started with this program and feel that it offers a lot of flexibility and plenty of enhanced features. I think that  teachers can work confidently with SoftChalk much quicker than they would with other alternatives, such as Articulate. Also, creating branching logic with SoftChalk  is less cumbersome and more intuitive than it is with Formidable Forms which is really intended to be used for form creation rather than lessons. 

Keepin keepin on

Although making this change in software will mean starting over again, in terms of the software build, the work refining the curriculum design that has been done throughout our work has not been lost. Our past work will make the build all the quicker and should result in a better product in the end.

Personally, I love learning new tools so I really don’t mind a bit. I just hope that in the weeks that I have left in my internship, I’m able to get enough built that the project is substantially moving toward completion. This sidestep demonstrates that development in a large organization is not always a straight line and does not assure that plans, first conceived, are taking through to completion intact or speedily.

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