iSpring Suite is a standalone course authoring toolkit that is an add-on to PowerPoint. Pricing starts at $770 for a lifetime license, with functional add-ons at an additional cost, like a content library, cloud service for collaboration, rapid response support and regular upgrades. Because it is a desktop product, it requires a maintenance plan to get regular upgrades. It also requires the purchase of a PowerPoint license to use the product.
So if you’re already a fan of PowerPoint, and use it to create eLearning content, this toolkit works seamlessly with the PowerPoint installation, enhancing you ability to create interactive, engaging content.
iSpring is a powerful eLearning toolkit for PowerPoint. With iSpring, it’s easy to create courses, video lectures and assessments that will work on any desktop, laptop and mobile platform. And it is SCORM compliant, so you can upload your courses to any SCORM compliant LMS.
After you purchase and install iSpring, you’ll see the iSpring tab in the upper right corner of the PowerPoint ribbon. Clicking the tab gives you access to all of the features that iSpring can add to your presentation. Because it relies on the familiar PowerPoint interface, getting started is a breeze. And if you’ve developed courses in PowerPoint in the past, you’ll be pleased to note that animations and transitions will be preserved.
iSpring has a host of features, including
- Preserves all PowerPoint animations – including combinations, direction, timing & triggers
- Preserves buttons & hyperlinks from legacy presentations
- Gestures support – tap, swipe, & zoom are all supported
- Adaptive player for playback on any device
- QuizMaker – to create assessments and evaluations
- Dialogue scenarios to develop customer service skills
- Screencasts and video tutorials
QuizMaker gives you the ability to use PowerPoint to create assessments to evaluate learning.
With 14 question types, interactive drag & drop questions, and detailed feedback, you can use the quiz to enhance learning. Add ‘info slides’ to enrich response feedback, giving learners additional information on the subject. Use text, photos or videos to present the materials. You can even customize your quiz – assigning points or penalties to each question, limit attempts, or limit time. QuizMaker even supports limited branching – so you can send the learner to the next slide if the response was correct, or to a slide with additional info if the answer was wrong.
iSpring’s ‘Interaction’ tool has styled templates for adding course content. The ‘Book’ tool turns your course content into an eBook – which can be a valuable addition to a training course. While these templates are easy to use and well-designed, if you are used to creating your own stylized content in PowerPoint or other authoring software, this may be a limitation for you.
The Bottom Line
iSpring’s integration with PowerPoint is both is biggest strength and greatest weakness. If you routinely use PowerPoint to create online training, or you have purchased courses produced using PowerPoint, you’ll find there is very little that you can’t do with the combination. The integration of the products creates a flexible tool that is very easy to use. iSpring also has extensive tutorials and documentation for first-time users.
On the other hand, if PowerPoint is not your course development tool of choice, or if you are used to using cloud-based tools that allow for easy collaboration among developers, iSpring may not be the best tool for you. You also have to pay for upgrades in order to take advantage of additional functionality.
Either way, iSpring offers a free trial – so be sure to try before you buy! You may find that it is so easy to use that any downsides it may have are easy to overcome.
And don’t forget to sign up for a free 30 day trial of TrainCaster LMS to test out your newly developed courses. Just save the course as SCORM, upload, and see how it works!
You may also be interested in reading our review of Articulate's Storyline 3.