Sunday, November 09, 2008

Best 'Rapid' software ever!

Best ‘Rapid’ software ever?
Forget ‘Rapid’, this hell-for-leather software must be the quickest and easiest course builder on the market. ‘Rocket Coursebuilder’ promises you full courses on any subject in minutes, yes minutes, with unlimited licences, all for $9.99.
The tool has six software modules, which you can mix and match to create your own courses (classroom and/or e-learning), without any prior knowledge or training. The truly amazing feature is that you need no subject matter experts or expertise, the software does it all. Blend the following components in any order on any subject and, hey presto, you’ll have a corporate classroom training course quicker than Jesus turned water into wine. 
First a quick dose of alliteration. ‘C’ word creator puts the ‘C’ into courseware. The creator selects from a considerable database of ‘c’ words including;  creativity, challenge, commitment, communication, compassion, cooperation, collaboration, curation, connections, culture, conflict, clarity, concise, context, competence, change, chemistry, contribute, critique, compelling, coordination, consultation, community etc. It takes five of these, randomly, and inserts the phrase, ‘The 5 ‘Cs of..............’ In fact, pick any letter, apart from those pesky ones at the end of the alphabet, and’C’reator will define your course structure in seconds.
Shape Sharpener
First step is to choose from the menu of a ‘square, triangle or circle’. Then choose the number of segments and shove in words (preferably starting with the same letter). For hierarchies, it recommends triangles with the important thing at the top and the rubbish category at the bottom. Something like Maslow’s hierarchy of the bleeding obvious is used as an exemplary model. Or there’s the interlocking circle of arrows, always good for the continuous process, because not many people realise that things in life go on and on and on and on and on. The square with four quadrants is also available, as we all know that anything in the world of knowledge and skills can be split into four things with two axes.
Zipping up a good quote or two, culled from the quotes database, gives an atmosphere of intellectual seriousness or credibility, especially if it’s by Aristotle, Samuel Johnson or Einstein. Einstein quotes are great, as he never actually said any of them but they have gravitas. For every one of these you’ll need a lighter touch, something by Groucho Marx always goes down well. It needn’t be relevant, just amusing. If you’re talking about the future of anything, there’s quotes from the likes of the IBMs CEO Watson who thought there’d only be the need for five computers in the world (this is a sure-fire winner, as no one is likely to have heard it before). He didn't actually say it - but nobody knows or cares.
Cartoons Cart
You can pull in a cartoon from the Cartoon Cart in seconds. Just type in the level of your audience and subject, and a Dilbert or Doonesbury cartoon, that need only be distantly related to the topic, will pop up. This lightens things up. Everyone loves a cartoon but Peanuts may is deemed too lightweight for all but Leadership courses. Mad, The Far Side and The Simpsons are reserved for techies.
Breakout Builder
To give the illusion of collaboration and, let’s face it, this gets the students do all the work, an online breakout planner is included. Simply pop in a nice open question(s), and this software will split trainees into groups, allow them to vote on a chair online, provide a discussion forum, then the voted chair reports back online (no writing it all on flipcharts and pinning them around the walls with bluetack ruining the walls). Virtual mints and sweets also appear on the centre of the screen. The software then promises to email the results to all participants (one particularly realistic feature is that it doesn’t actually send them anything at all).
The final module deals with assessment and provides multiple choice questions that can be peppered throughout the course (formative assessment) or at the end (summative assessment). It generates multiple choice questions by pulling out stuff from the web, creating questions such as ‘Rank these in order of importance’ or ‘Which of the following is relevant to...’ Even better is the options creator which automatically generates four options; one completely stupid, a couple of likely suspects and the right answer.
Even smarter than all of these six modules is the ‘Happy Sheet Generator’, which tracks the trainees’ mood by getting them to choose from rows of emoticons. These results are then translated into a full report with bar chart graphs, statistics and business impact scores, all of which can be handed over to the CEO - under the heading data analytics.

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Blogger Harold Jarche said...

Too cool. I'll have to buy a dozen and give them to my clients ;-)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Thanks Harold. Are you using 'Rocket Blogger' to post replies - that was the fastest ever response I've ever had to a comment!

9:49 PM  
Blogger Harold Jarche said...

No, just Bloglines, which seems to work, from time to time.

I really appreciate your perspective. We need more critical thinking in this field.

2:08 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Thanks Harold. Sometimes a little satire is in order.

3:33 AM  
Blogger Norman Lamont said...

I hope the developers of Rocket will consider a feature request: could it have a webcam feature that will track the state of the user's eyes at regular intervals? This could be of massive value in compliance courses where companies could prove that an individual was trained - not only that they registered for the course, but that their eyes were open and facing the screen when each page was presented. If it can be proved that the company had met its legal requirements to train in this way, even one avoided lawsuit could prove the ROI for the purchase of this software.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Inspired suggestion Norman. I think this feature could even have prevented the collapse of most of the worlds banks. I'll pass the details on to the Rocket team.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

I have an extension to your module in mind. We take the wonderful, and scientifically watertight, NLP rules on eye movements, track them and present audio, graphics or an interaction, if the eye movements suggest an auditory, visual or kinaesthetic thinker.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Clark said...

and it works across all browsers: IE, FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and more...

5:19 PM  
Blogger Lars Hyland said...

Inspired, Donald. You forgot to mention the excellent N'icebreaker(tm) utility that comes free with every software license - not only is it sharp enough to remove various frozen chips on shoulders of delegates, it doubles as a laser pointer.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Of course, and on all current and future versions of Windows, not forgetting Macs, their operating systems and Linux.

Also compatible with all LMSs, LCMSs, VLEs and HR systems.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Thanks Lars. We haven't even started on its Web 2.0, and 3.0 functionality - releases coming this month.

6:33 PM  
Blogger CenterBlog...where I don't blog anymore and never much did. said...

How about a link to Rocket Coursebuilder site? I'd like to see it...

7:08 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Link is now there.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Norman Lamont said...

Nice logo by the way.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

My commitment to rapid e-learning and the 'Rocket' cause is such that I'm thinking of having it tattooed on my butt.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing logo. love it!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Keith and Dom said...

Donald - genius!

Very witty - I also assume daily Press Releases will provide us with the essential product updates, as well as new 'clients' (aka. purchasers!) they have 'won'.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Rob Alton said...

The Pro'Crastinator module also works really well - it does the e-learning for you when you keep putting it off! I've also found it works on OSs and browsers that haven't been invented yet. Bit pricey though, isn't it?

11:36 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Love this module. We had planned discounts of up to 50% on our $9.99 price, but haven't got round to it yet.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link on this page is a video of a rocket taking off. I've searched Google and can't find a link to Rocket Çoursebuilder - what gives?? Is this a joke site??

7:11 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Rocket Courseware is no joke my friend. A hacker seems to have redirected the link to a rocket exploding in mid-air. This, I'm sure, will backfire on him/her sooner or later.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Harold Jarche said...

I must agree with Donald. Rocket Coursebuilder is the best e-learning application I have come across in years. It's worth more than double what I paid for it and I highly recommend it.

2:03 PM  

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