LMS Tips: Technical choices for companies who build online courses



December 2009                                



PowerPoint content can be an effective storyboard starting point for your web based content.  And at times it can be the format of choice. However, a common concern we hear is, “I don’t want my content to look like a PowerPoint.” A number of affordable software products are available to convert PowerPoint into Flash format for a faster, more web friendly delivery.   These products include Captivate, FlashSpring, Power Converter, to name a few, and they have advanced in ease of use, features and options.  A new FlexAuthoring feature and a PowerPoint conversion option can help the content developer move with ease from PowerPoint to online course production.      


  1. The FlexAuthoring External URL / Web Page Template.


The FlexAuthoring External URL/ Web Page Template allows you to pull in an external URL or web page to fill the learning screen. The content is displayed in the frame of the FlexAuthoring learning screen. Therefore, the navigation and bookmarking work just as they do for other templates. You now have the ability to insert web deliverable content created in a third party authoring source into the navigational sequence of a FlexAuthoring section. This could be PowerPoint, HTML, Flash Movie, Web URL, etc. Plus, you still have the option of using the external content as an independent course section.


  1. Ability to create Flash Slides (FlashSpring option)


Flash Slides are an important advancement for PowerPoint conversion options. Previously, you only had the option of converting the entire PowerPoint to a Flash Movie or HTML format. These are still excellent options but don’t allow for bookmarking to the specific slide where the student leaves the section. PowerPoint provides the option of saving JPEG image slides that can be used in FlexAuthoring to achieve the bookmarking functionality, but it is difficult to create the same quality in the image compared to actual PowerPoint. Also, since the image is static, any animations or audio created in the PowerPoint are lost. Audio for image slides would need to be imported to the FlexTraining Media Library and then matched to the image and learning screen.


Flash Slides will capture the animation and audio created in PowerPoint and produce an individual Flash object slide that matches the original quality. And like the individual slide image, this can be placed in a FlexAuthoring template so the student can navigate and bookmark to the specific learning screen. Now you have two options. You can import the Flash slides into the Media Library to be embedded through the basic multimedia template of FlexAuthoring, or you can utilize the new External URL template and simply point to the Flash slide you want to use.


The transition from PowerPoint to the “Web Content Look” continues to get easier, and with more options. 


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