Michael Keller is an eLearning Officer at iSpring, a world-renowned vendor of eLearning software. He has been helping iSpring customers develop an engaging online learning environment for over fifteen years. Under his guidance, 556 companies in the Large Enterprise and SMB sectors have reached their business goals by helping their teams grow with eLearning.
In this conversation, Michael talks about the new version of iSpring’s honored course authoring toolkit — iSpring Suite 11.
Geetesh: Michael, could you tell us more about the new iSpring Suite 11 and the amazing new features that this version brings forth?
Michael: iSpring Suite is a comprehensive authoring toolkit that allows users to create online courses, quizzes, role-plays, video tutorials, and interactions. For many years, it has been a lifesaver for course developers who wanted to create great eLearning content quickly, without mastering sophisticated software.
iSpring Suite 11 is officially released! In this fast review we go over the top new features.
Introducing iSpring Suite 11 and it’s Brand-New Features!
With the new iSpring Suite 11, users can create even better learning experiences at an even faster pace. Now, they can fully redesign the course player so it maintains the brand identity, and make courses even more professional looking and engaging for learners. But first things first…
We completely revamped the player settings window — freshened up the design and added new tools for customizing the course player. Now users can set colors, change fonts and the shape of buttons, and add gradients and transparency. This will let them build courses tailored to their brand or create a unique design for each project.
There’s also an entire collection of preset course player themes that look beautiful. A user just needs to select a template and their course is ready to go — looking like it was created by a seasoned designer. This feature is especially important for novice course developers and those who need to create eLearning content in no time.
Another great addition to iSpring Suite is related to its content library. The iSpring Suite Max package comes with an ever-expanding library of customizable slide templates and eLearning assets. They are an invaluable helper for course creators since they don’t need to surf the Net to find appropriate images. Users have all the necessary assets at their fingertips, at no additional cost.
And whereas the content library previously included only photographic characters and realistic locations, the new release has introduced illustrated characters and backgrounds. There’s a collection of 8 new backgrounds and 18 characters of different ages, nationalities, and professions, suitable for any workplace scenario. They can serve as mentors, customers, bank employees, managers, teachers, and students.
And one of the most anticipated features that iSpring users have looked forward to is that learners can now choose the pace at which they’re comfortable taking the course. For example, they can speed up the video on a slide to study the material faster, or slow it down if they don’t want to miss important details.
Of course, there are many more fixes and improvements in the new iSpring Suite, but I’ve mentioned just the main ones that just can’t be kept under wraps.
Geetesh: For a product that’s so complete and full-featured, it must be a challenge to constantly improve it and add new features. Can you share some thoughts on how you managed to release new versions of iSpring Suite with such compelling features?
Michael: iSpring Suite is a real veteran software that includes a whole bunch of powerful tools and robust features. But since the eLearning industry never stands still, our product is also constantly evolving. We always keep an eye on eLearning trends, explore them carefully, and decide how we can support this or that trend in our software.
For example, in 2013, we observed an explosive growth of interest in mobile learning. But at that time, most authoring tools were able to publish files only to the Flash format that could only display well on desktops. So, we started thinking about how we could make iSpring courses accessible both on desktop and mobile devices. Finally, we invented the PowerPoint-to-HTML5 conversion technology, which is now the industry standard.
A similar thing happened in 2017 when we noticed a trend for creating interactive exercises aimed to help learners master their communication skills. This is what inspired us to create a breakthrough role-play simulation tool and introduce it with iSpring Suite.
We are now seeing a surge of interest in video-based training and eLearning courses in the “long-read” format, or so-called “one-page scroller.” iSpring Suite supports both of these formats. It includes a professional video studio that allows users to create video lectures, software tutorials, and other kinds of instructional videos. And, two years ago, it received a cloud-based tool that enables content developers to build long-read courses with media and knowledge checks right in a browser.
Another important thing that drives us to roll out new outstanding features is that we ourselves create courses within our company, both for our employees and customers. Sometimes our instructional designers have to implement unconventional ideas in their courses, and we discuss how they can do this with iSpring Suite now and how this could be in the future. This experience is a valuable source of information for our product development team.
And last but not least is our customers’ feedback. We have over 60,000 clients all over the world, and there are always those who are ready to come up with an idea on how to improve the software. We conduct interviews with these customers, figure out their bottom line, and see how we can apply this to our product.
For example, we have the iSpring Community Forum, where everyone can come to vote for a specific feature, they’d like to see in iSpring Suite or suggest their own idea. We are carefully following these things and implementing the most promising ideas.
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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.