Macromedia Launches CourseBuilder

Macromedia is planning to include a new learning module in the latest version of its
flagship product Dreamweaver ships
later this month.

CourseBuilder is based on Dreamweaver 3 technology and will replace Attain
Objects as Dreamweaver’s Web-based learning content module.

Chris Redfield, a spokesperson for Macromedia (MACR), described CourseBuilder as
a compatibility release designed to bring the module up to the level of the
technology and ease of use characteristics available in Dreamweaver 3.
Integration between the two products has also been improved. Customers
familiar with Attain Objects should be able to transition to Course Builder
fairly easily, he added.

CourseBuilder contains more than 40 prebuilt learning interactions
ranging from simple true/false, multiple choice, or fill-in-the-blank
selections, to reactions to user responses. For example, if a user answers a
question incorrectly, he or she can be directed to a Web page where the
information is available.

In addition to the prebuilt interactions, CourseBuilder also contains
Action Manager and Knowledge Track. Action Manager provides a visual
interface for adding interactivity and sophisticated logic to learning
content. Knowledge Track enables a variety of information, such as student
progress and test scores, to be sent directly to an instructional management
system.

Based on research undertaken, according to Redfield, a large number of
people are providing online training. The market is indicating explosive
growth in the number of people searching for products to simplify the
process. Macromedia is seeking to fill this need with the two markets it is
targeting with CourseBuilder:

  • Web developers asked to put training materials, such as surveys,
    into sites they are building are currently manually coding them.
    CourseBuilder will enable developers to put this information in visually
    while it writes the script in the background.
  • Subject matter experts, particularly in academic environments, who
    are not programmers will be able to put their information on the Web fairly
    easily.

CourseBuilder benefits from Dreamweaver 3’s visual programming interface,
open architecture, and support for Web standards. CourseBuilder’s
interactions were built using HTML and JavaScript, and create Web-native
content. Thus, content can be delivered in most browsers on both Windows and
Macintosh platforms.

Macromedia will continue to support Attain Objects, but the product will
be compatible only with Dreamweaver 2.

Attain Objects was initially released in September 1998, based on the
technology in Dreamweaver 1.2. An updated version was released in June
based on Dreamweaver 2 technology.

Dreamweaver 3 is priced at $299 and CourseBuilder at $199. Bundled
pricing is available, as is site licensing and pricing for educational and
government customers. CourseBuilder will be available as a free upgrade for
Attain Objects users and Dreamweaver Attain users that upgrade to
Dreamweaver 3.

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