Microsoft Launches ELearning Add-On


The global success of Articulate is well known in the elearning field, and it appears that Microsoft would like to steal a bit of market share as well!

Recently, Microsoft revealed their plans for a new product called Mix with the purpose of simplifying online course creation within PowerPoint.

Sound familiar?

In 2009, Articulate Studio took-off as a Microsoft PowerPoint add-on for this very purpose. Their success led them to follow-up with a new version in 2013, as well as a proprietary offering in Articulate Storyline (originally launched in 2012).

According to Microsoft, Mix can be used to record (audio/video) of yourself giving a lecture, writing in the actual PowerPoint presentation (similar to a whiteboard), quizzing, sharing, and more.

Interesting in Theory, but is it Practical?

Mix is interesting in theory. Microsoft has been known to make some pretty great programs – but they have also been known to abandon others. Comparing Mix to other industry players isn’t really practical, Microsoft Mix does not even compare to Articulate Studio at the moment.

It kind of reminds me of the screen snipping tool they developed that pales in comparison to the robust options out there today. Quite honestly, I’m wondering where Microsoft will take this product given that it is a free add-on.

The biggest flaw that I can see is that there is no mention of Tin Can API (aka: Experience API). Heck, there isn’t even mention of the dated SCORM protocol. Lack of these two items proves that Microsoft really has a long way to go in understanding what the learning industry is all about.

It’s way too early to see where Microsoft Mix goes, and perhaps even too early for any real comparisons between this product and other powerhouses in the industry. Once we know more, than a Microsoft Mix review will be possible.

There isn’t much information in regards to pricing (although there is a free preview currently being offered). In fact, everything about Mix is a bit mysterious, which I suspect is intentional. It will be interesting to see where this is going.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. It’s all good new for us if more companies compete to make better authoring software. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but from what I see from your link I think integrating a write/draw whiteboard function is great. I hope others follow.

    I also like the look of the clean, simple of the results page. I’m using the Grassblade LRS beta and it’s an excellent start, but for a lot us of, we’d like a good general view to start with. In my opinion, Quizlet, a program I’ve been using in my classes where teachers and students can create and share flashcards (you can add images and audio), has a killer results page design. It shows teachers just the most important info they need to direct their teaching. They’ve also included a type of leaderboard which shows graphs of the students with the most points.

    I’m also interested in your opinion of Captivate 8. From what I’ve read (again, on my to-do list to check it out next week), they’ve made huge leaps in responsive design. Has the LD team had a chance to evaluate it?

    • Charlie,
      Its nice to know that you are using GrassBlade LRS. We are still working on the documentation of the LRS, and that is why we are still calling it “Coming Soon”. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can write to me or create a support ticket.

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