Getting feedback on your course is a key part of course development. But ask most course developers to name the point in their projects where progress tends to stall and you’ll probably hear loud and clear: it’s getting input and sign-off from stakeholders. That process is often tedious, slow, and painful. It seems that no matter how hard you work to set expectations and communicate your design plan, going from concept to reality inevitably results in a few surprises—sometimes involving delays, miscommunication, frustration, and rework.
As a longtime e-learning geek, finding robust and yet easy-to-use review tools has been an obsession of mine. I’ve searched far and wide for tools that help make collecting and organizing review feedback easier for me and my stakeholders. But I’ve always run into the same obstacles:
- Lack of time for researching, setting up, and administering new tools
- Lack of interest from my stakeholders in learning to use new tools—especially when the tools are complicated or require downloading or installing special software
That’s why Articulate Review, one of the awesome apps in Articulate 360, is poised to be a great big gift to course developers. If you haven't seen Articulate Review yet, check out this video by Articulate CTO Arlyn Asch to see why it's so useful.
Below are the three key ways I see Articulate Review overcoming these obstacles.
Gift #1: It Accelerates Course Development
An ideal review tool accelerates course development, rather than bogging it down with onerous administrative tasks. Unfortunately, most of the e-learning review tools I’ve tried just aren’t very easy to use for the developer or their stakeholders. They make developers go to a separate website to upload and manage their published output. They also require separate logins or app downloads for stakeholders. And when it comes time to review the course, many review tools simply provide a space for feedback without putting the feedback into any meaningful context (more on that in a moment!).
All of these problems effectively put the brakes on course development, taxing developers with the added work of administering the app, supporting their stakeholders, and deciphering feedback.
By contrast, Articulate Review gives course developers a powerful, simple, and fast tool for gathering feedback. You simply publish your course to Articulate 360, then send the link to your stakeholders. When they click on the link, Articulate Review launches right in your stakeholders’ web browsers. That means there’s no special software to download or plug-ins to install. The Articulate Review interface is so intuitive, you won’t even have to help your stakeholders figure out how to use it! And because it’s so easy, they actually will use it. You’ll finally have an effective way to get feedback from your stakeholders and accelerate course development.
Gift #2: It Enhances Collaboration
One of the biggest challenges with most review tools is that they’re not designed to be collaborative. So when Stakeholder A thinks the header should be left-aligned and Stakeholder B says that the header should always be on the right, neither stakeholder is aware of their conflicting feedback until you point it out to them.
Articulate Review frees you from playing peacemaker (woo-hoo!) by giving your stakeholders a single view of everyone’s feedback. That way, Stakeholder A and Stakeholder B can duke it out without you. Take a look at how Articulate Review makes it easy for commenters to have a conversation:
When all your stakeholders have more visibility into the comments of other stakeholders, conflicts can be spotted and resolved before they hit your to-do list.
Gift #3: It Puts Comments Into Context
Animation, video, audio, quizzes—all of these pieces of interactive e-learning make capturing and communicating changes to courses more challenging for stakeholders. To put comments into context, they typically must use separate tools for grabbing screenshots and noting their comments. And as a course developer, you must trust them to clearly describe what part of the interactive content needs work.
On top of that, you’re totally reliant on stakeholders to make detailed notes not only of what, when, where, and how they want their changes, but also to accurately cross-reference all of those change notes with all of those screenshots. That level of detail is a lot to ask of busy stakeholders!
The third gift of Articulate Review is that you can avoid all of the misunderstandings and endless back-and-forths that inevitably accompany spreadsheets and screenshots. That’s because with Articulate Review, stakeholder comments are captured in-context—right next to the slide that they’re commenting on. In fact, Articulate Review takes a screenshot of what the reviewer is seeing at the exact time they make a comment. You know exactly what they’re commenting on because there’s a picture right there with it!
With Articulate Review, you know exactly what needs to be tweaked on every slide of your course, without having to decipher cryptic notes and screenshots.
Are You Ready to Explore Articulate Review?
Whether you’re ready to explore all of Articulate Review’s gifts or you’re just looking for tips and resources for making your review process more efficient, be sure to check out these other handy (and free!) resources:
How will Articulate Review make your life easier? Share your ideas with us by leaving us a comment below.