Avsoft's development platform- Rapid Design, Development, and Deployment, or RD3, is unique in the eLearning industry. Just like most eLearning developers, Avsoft uses Adobe's Flash platform to create and deliver rich interactive courses.
Adobe Flash can create some really amazing, interactive, and engaging courses. However, in order to create courses in Flash, you need both the development software, as well as a specialists (such as a programmer or someone trained to work with Flash).
The difference between traditional courses and RD3 courses lies in the way the course is built.
Traditionally, assets such as audio, video, text, etc. are embedded within the Flash file itself. This results in extremely large file sizes- some courses can exceed one gigabyte in size.
The best way to visualize a traditionally built course is to imagine that the course consists of a movie reel and a movie projector. The reel cannot be separated from the projector.
So, under this method, if you have five different courses, you would have five different projectors and attached movie reels. If you needed to move a course, you would have to move the entire projector and attached movie reel.
Courses built in RD3 also use Flash, but the difference is that the content of the course is stored in a database. Using the same analogy as above, an RD3 built course also consists of a projector and movie reel, but the main difference is that the movie reel can be changed. In order words, you only need one projector, and you can deliver different courses simply by changing the movie reel.
Since RD3 built courses use a single 'projector', eLearning developers only need to be able to modify the movie reel. The projector is maintained and updated with new features by Avsoft, leaving the course content developer to imagine and put together new content, without the need to worry about how to deliver the course.
With RD3, a Subject Matter Expert does not need any knowledge of Flash in order to create or update course content. The free to use RD3 tools enables a SME to:
- Create a new course
- Add/edit/delete course modules (topics)
- Add/edit/delete screens (called scenes in RD3 parlance).
- Add/edit/delete questions
- Add/edit/delete glossary terms
- Adjust the way a course is delivered. For example, you can set a course to be delivered in a movie format whereby the course is delivered as a continuous movie. Or, you can force the student to click a button to advance (page turner). Or, you can allow a student to decide which way the course is delivered.
- Adjust the number of questions to deliver at the end of each module.
- Select which questions to use at the end of a module. For example, you can set a course to only questions that have been marked as difficulty level 3.
- Associate a question with one or more sections of a course. So, if a student picks a wrong answer, you can deliver those sections of the module that provide the answer to the question (think instant retraining)
- Create annul recurrent courses: use selected modules, and, if desired, selected sections of the selected modules.
- Control whether a course is tracked or not. This allows you to deliver a course for general view without tracking user activities.
- Create online final exams
All the modifications described above can be made on the fly, without having to upload a new course, or re-upload a modified course! Once a change is made, it is available to all users.