Slava Uskov is VP of Product Development at iSpring Solutions, an eLearning software company. Together with his team, he defines the product strategy and roadmap, conducts thorough market and customer research, and decides on new features based on actual user needs.
In today’s conversation, Slava talks about the new iSpring Suite Max.
Geetesh: Slava, it’s great to interview you again. iSpring Solutions announced the new iSpring Suite Max. Can you tell us what’s new and what’s changed in this release?
Slava: iSpring tools have been the solution of choice for course creators for decades, especially for those who want to leverage their knowledge of PowerPoint and create full-fledged eLearning content without mastering extra apps.
The new iSpring Suite Max retains the ease-of-use and effectiveness that our tools are loved for and introduces new options that will make content development simpler and faster. We’ve spent over a year preparing for this big update, and there are so many new features I can’t possibly fit into an interview without turning it into a 1-hour lecture. That’s why I’ll focus on the two most important capabilities: online authoring and support of teamwork and collaboration.
iSpring Suite Max allows you to create eLearning content in PowerPoint: build a presentation, add quizzes, video, or interactive modules to it, and publish to an eLearning format, i.e., SCORM or xAPI (Tin Can). But in case you are away from your work desktop, you can build a course from literally anywhere. You only need a browser and an active Internet connection to log into your iSpring account and create a course or a quiz online. And it’s as easy as writing a Facebook post.
The online course editor is not as rich and versatile as the PowerPoint-based toolkit yet but it includes all the authoring capabilities one needs to build an effective eLearning course: you can create content with images, videos, chapters, self-check questions, and quizzes.
For more complex tasks, course developers can use the desktop toolkit. It allows you to create highly interactive tailored content for any training scenario that you and your organization need:
- Onboarding new hires? Create an interactive guide for new employees and record video tutorials on important topics.
- Training customer care specialists and sales reps? Create conversation simulations to hone staff communication skills in a risk-free environment.
- Need to deliver compliance training? Prepare tests that can be taken from mobile devices, anywhere.
Plus, iSpring Suite allows you to repurpose content you already have and turn it into eLearning in minutes. You can turn existing PowerPoint files into HTML5, preserving all its animations and interactive elements intact. And if you have PDF and Word documents and manuals, you can publish them as mobile-ready e-books and track learners’ progress within a learning management system.
The second big new thing is that iSpring Suite Max supports collaboration on courses.
We always meticulously analyze how people use authoring tools and, from a broader perspective, how they create content. It’s no surprise that there’s more than one way to build a presentation or a course. Some authors prefer to prepare content single-handedly while others like to work in a team. For example, an instructional designer organizes information for a course, a graphic designer works on the course’s appearance, and a subject-matter expert reviews the materials to make sure they are accurate. The next step is to send the course to stakeholders for approval. At each step of the process, there might be multiple iterations, as authors have to fix this or that, and this results in multiple versions of the course.
The data we collected from presentation- and course-authors show that they spend up to 60% of their working hours on communication with colleagues, locating files and versions, and sending them back and forth. In other words, managing and discussing a course takes more time than actually working on it. Many people get stuck in keeping track of all these little pieces.
We’ve created iSpring Suite Max to eliminate the hassle, chaos, and frustration and help authors keep things simple and organized. Of course, communication and creating versions are important steps of the process and can’t just be discarded. But what we can do is to reduce the time spent managing versions by almost 80%! Here’s how: All files are stored in one central storage – iSpring Space – and each team member can access them anytime and do their part of the project without creating extra versions. They work on the selfsame file in collaboration.
If you need to share a file with a person who is not in your authoring team, you don’t have to email them the course or copy it to a USB stick, you simply send them a link. Stakeholders will be able to view it from any device, in a browser, and leave feedback. In January 2021, we’ll introduce a really handy interface for leaving comments and discussing possible improvements.
This makes the review and approval process really fast and hassle-free. We released iSpring Suite Max in September, and for many teams, iSpring Space has already become a point that connects everything in their сontent development workflow and helps them to complete projects faster.
Geetesh: How can iSpring Suite Max help users create eLearning content that’s more suited to being delivered virtually?
Slava: iSpring is all about helping. It was designed to assist people who created content in PowerPoint to share it online.
Geetesh, we’ve known each other for many years, and you might remember that back in the 2000s, we started as a simple PowerPoint to Flash converter. There were thousands of people who had PowerPoint content but were unable to effectively deliver it online, virtually, and iSpring helped them by converting their PowerPoint slide to Flash in seconds. Now, iSpring Suite Max is a far more robust solution, but it still remains true to its roots: every piece of content it creates can be delivered online easily, on all devices: desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Learners can view presentations and courses on the go with no interruption, as the content adapts to any screen size and orientation beautifully.
Plus, iSpring Suite max perfectly supports all modern eLearning standards: SCORM, Tin Can, AICC, and even the latest cmi5. This means that no matter which learning management system is used, your content will be delivered to your learners seamlessly.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.