For a long time, Articulate 360 has been the most popular tool in the learning industry, and the recent rising tool on demand is Evolve Authoring tool. In this post, I would like to share my experience of using Evolve Authoring and Articulate Storyline, the features, benefits, strengths, and weaknesses.If you analyse which tool is appropriate for your project, this article might be insightful.
Evolve offers a lightweight and responsive HTML course that looks like standard website pages with a scrolling experience. When you land on the platform, you will see the navigation to access the courses, courses or other menus such as courses, assets, reviews etc.
From my experience, navigating the platform at first was not easy; there was a learning curve in identifying what’s what. To help accelerate the understanding of the platform, I took the Evolve courses developed by Intellum.
An Evolve course can look as stylish as you want without making it load slow. Editing the course theme with an Article styles setting can create diverse templates that are helpful to keep consistency when developing multi-page courses. You can add a background image, colour, font, and layout.
If you are familiar with Articulate Rise, the main interactions available within Evolve are pretty similar such as:
Other interactions that stand out in Evolve is the ability to embed 360-degree images, embed iFrame, insert GIF, image slider, and interactive video.
Most Evolve interactions are responsive, except for some advanced ones like Simulations. If you would like to see other Evolve available components, checkout the complete list here.
You can add an interaction label that indicates incomplete or complete status for each interaction. This label can help add a sense of accomplishment when the learner completes a section.
What’s also great about Evolve, the content has a built-in fade-in animation effect, so you can worry less about enhancing the content with animation. However the animation options are limited, and it doesn’t allow custom and complicated effects.
If you want to create a diverse template for your course, Evolve has a powerful styling setting that is dynamic enough to create unique courses that you won’t know that it is built using Evolve, such as this Snapchat course.
One of Evolve's strengths is that the course is responsive, so the content and graphics will adjust when you experience it on a mobile screen.
If you are like most companies using enterprise LMS, you are probably wondering if Evolve can publish SCORM files. Yes, they do. Evolve can publish its courses in different formats, such as SCORM 1.2. and SCORM 2004, web, xAPI, offline files or publish directly into Bloom LMS.
Like many other authoring platforms, Evolve allows stakeholders review and feedback. With Evolve, the developer must add reviewers’ email addresses into the platform as users. Once that’s done, reviewers must first complete the instructions received through an email before beginning any reviewing process.
Here’s the summary of the strengths and weaknesses of Evolve authoring tool
Easy to build
Able to create a custom design
Centralised theme setting
Complex back end UX
Less capability to build complex interactions
Complex review process
Evolve is excellent for companies looking to create courses with medium-level interactivities with a polished and high-quality visual design.
Let’s now jump into Storyline and look at the main features.
Storyline has been around for a while; today, it is probably the most used authoring tool by organisations. It was created as an add-in product in Microsoft PowerPoint. That is why you probably see a lot of resemblance toStoryline and Power Point. Storyline has been designed with Microsoft product users in mind.
At first glance at the tool, you arrive at a splash page to select your projects. If you choose a new project, you will land on the page to manage all the main menu, settings, content and trigger settings.
Storyline offers a free-editing environment and robust controls to create a highly interactive eLearning experience. If you are thinking to develop gamification or complex branch navigation, Storyline has dynamic timeline animation or trigger animation features to support the development.
The Storyline canvas looks like a PowerPoint slide to add layers on top. There are built-in interactions in Storyline, such as dial, button, markers, and hot spot, but you still need to link the trigger with the components on the canvas manually. If you want to create other interactions like tabs, click and reveal, or other complex interactions. In that case, you have to build it from scratch using the variables and triggers, which is why it would take longer and more complicated to create a course on Storyline compared to making it on Evolve.
The freedom on the canvas also allows you to drag in any graphic elements as customised as you can. Storyline is best for desktop viewing only as it is not responsive.
You can also embed videos and 360-degree images in Storyline and allow immersive drag and drop interactivity.
If you’re wondering what format Storyline exports to, they can be published into web files, SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, AICC, Tin Can API, cmi5, Video, Word document and CD.
Articulate also created a seamless reviewing process. Developers only need to publish the files to Review 360, share the links, and stakeholders use the link to access the course to review and leave comments.
Here are some of the strengths that Storyline offers:
Powerful interactive settings
Allow custom timeline animation
Similar to a PowerPoint
Allow the dynamic and immersive experience
Ease of navigation
Ease of collecting feedback
Not responsive canvas
Creating a Storyline course is perfect if you want to develop custom graphics and highly interactive content.
At the end both tools have their benefits and purposes; it depends on what you are looking for and which format fits your needs.
Hope these information can be useful and provide guidance in making the right choice.