I like the way Raptivity has put together their demo materials.
Real, fully functional tools and templates.
They make it very obvious that there is more (and cooler) stuff available.
The salesfolks leave me alone to play on my own time.
Below is a picture of the selection page within the Demo kit.
The evaluation pack provides parts of the Core Pack parts of one of the Booster Packs. The parts they provide are fully functional - allowing you to test not just how the program works, but also publication.
Below is an interactive activity I built using one of the Raptivity interation options. In this case - I used some material I had lying around as a test.
They have filled the templates with decent content and professional-looking visuals, just replace the text and the sound files and it looks great! The above example used to be a lesson on the structure of the earth.
The key here is that they provide enough information to get you thinking about how you can present your own content. For me - that is incredibly useful as I try to encourage / cajole / bribe my SMEs into moving away from the Click-to-Death model of training.
I'd almost be happier if one of my SMEs went to town with a 15 interaction training that could have been illustrated better than a beautifully instructionally designed linear powerpoint with 100 slides of content.
The trickiest part of using this tool, for me, was remembering that all of the data entry (text etc) had to be done through the fields at the bottom of the screen. I kept wanting to manipulate the items within the interaction window. The only thing you can do there is move them.
Also loved that each of the components were technically sound. I ran into very few problems with the 9 interactions I tried.
Even happier that results publish quickly and work on the first try. They are also reasonably small. For instance - the interaction displayed above is only 196 KB when fully published as SCORM 1.2. Very exciting.
Of course, finding the final published file is a bit of a chore. You have to do a lot of digging through your file structure once you publish the item.
Below is an example of the file structure for the Export Control interaction after publication.
Seeing that the published files were small Flash files, I got the genius idea to plant these into a larger Captivate project. Sadly, that experiment didn't go so well.
Below is what my publish Captivate file looked like after 10 minutes. I'm sure I've missed something during the import.
Despite that setback, a result of a crazy idea more than what it was designed to do, I was pretty impressed with the tool. The prices aren't super crazy expensive (relatively) either - though I know it can quickly go there with enough add-ons.
I gave the Demo CD to our Desktop Ap Guru to play with. He's impressed by very little. 30 minutes after handing him the CD I heard him mutter "This is pretty cool" over the cubicle wall. The most rousing complement I've heard.