Articulate Studio has been a popular tool in our service catalog for many years. Educators have used the application to build narrated PowerPoint presentations for hundreds of courses in the CLE. Like many applications, however, it has become outdated, and we consequently will be discontinuing support at the end of 2017. We have you covered, though, because we are equipped with the latest version of a similar tool, called Camtasia, and we are poised to help you with the transition!
Why are we “sunsetting” Articulate Studio?
- The Articulate company has shifted their business model to a cloud-only, subscription-based application called Articulate 360, which is extremely expensive and could not be implemented as a shared tool in our Tech Commons lab.
- Articulate Studio is, simply put, buggy, and the file management process is unforgiving. We have spent countless hours with frustrated users, trying to troubleshoot recording, publishing and upload issues. Some recordings have to be recreated from scratch, despite our best efforts.
- The user experience is inconsistent, and instructors often have to publish and upload multiple versions of each presentation to their CLE courses to account for the ever-changing landscape of Flash and HTML5 support among web browsers. Even when we cover all of our bases, student complaints inevitability arise each term.
What is Camtasia, and how do I get started?
- Camtasia is a powerful screen recording tool that can be used to create narrated presentations, and more. The latest version is also cross-platform, making the development experience consistent for both PC and Mac users, and you are not forced to use PowerPoint on a PC, as you were with Articulate Studio. The best way to learn about Camtasia, is to watch a few of their tutorial videos, which can be found here: https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-camtasia.html
- With Camtasia, you don’t record one-slide-at-a-time, like in Articulate Studio. Instead, you record your entire screen, or a slide show, from start to finish, in one “take.” This may seem daunting at first, but you get used to it quickly. Also, the process encourages content authors to build multiple modules that are each shorter in length, but more focused.
- Your final product will be a “flattened” MP4 video, which is very easy to upload to the CLE, and easy for students to view on any device. If you wish to build fancy animations, embed videos, add callouts, a table of contents or in-video quizzes, you can with Camtasia, but that interactivity will require you to publish a package of SCORM files. This process is similar to the Articulate publishing workflow, so you will have to monitor your students for playback issues.
- Camtasia is currently available on both the PC and Mac in our CL245 eLearning Studio, as well as on PC #5 in our CL240 lab. The lab computer and CL245 are reservable via our online calendar: http://calendars.library.ucsf.edu/booking/multimedia
- To learn more about the Camtasia recording process with PowerPoint in our eLearning Studio, please refer to our help document: https://learningtech.library.ucsf.edu/-/document/camtasia-powerpoint-recording/
What should I do with my “old” Articulate content?
You have a few options:
- Do nothing. If your students are able to view the published Articulate Studio content without issues, you do not need to rebuild the content with another tool (at least, not yet!).
- Update and republish your Articulate Studio content, so it will last a while longer, until you have a plan for building new online content in 2018 or beyond. However, you must do any Articulate Studio editing before the end of 2017, because that is when we are discontinuing support and removing the product from our lab computers.
- Use Camtasia to manually screen-record your Articulate presentation, to create an MP4 video file. This is what many of our users are doing. Unfortunately, you will lose any interactivity, and this has to be done in real-time (a 45min Articulate presentation will take 45mins to capture) because Articulate does not have an export to video function. If you have a published version of your Articulate presentations already loaded into the CLE, you won’t need the Articulate Studio application to do this, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be done before the end of 2017.
- Use Camtasia to build a new project based on your Articulate presentation’s audio file and PowerPoint slides. This option requires some manual work, but you’ll end up with a Camtasia project that is more freely editable in the future, should you need to make small changes. The process involves opening Articulate to export (only) the audio files, then importing images of your PowerPoint Slides into Camtasia, and matching them up. Details on the Camtasia portion of the process can be found here.
Are there other tools that I can use to build multimedia modules?
There is a plethora of media authoring tools on the market right now. We chose Camtasia as an alternative to Articulate because it is powerful, flexible, affordable, and relatively easy to use. We are already familiar with the product and have had success with it in the past. It’s not the only game in town, however, so if you have any suggestions, or questions, please send them our way.
And finally, if you are a CLE user, and are looking for quick way to add a short video to your course, the Media@UCSF plug-in has a new feature that may fit your needs. It’s called CaptureSpace Lite, and can be accessed from the “Add New” button within your MyMedia repository. For more information, please review our CaptureSpace Lite help doc!