Flash is amazing. I use it to create interactive learning objects and online lectures. The only problem is that I have to use “cheater” programs like Swish http://www.swishzone.com/index.php or Camtasia http://techsmith.com/camtasia.asp to get the results that I want. Yesterday I sat down and attempted to put together a simple self-graded, multiple choice quiz in Flash. I even tried using a template, but gave up after about a half hour. I ended up using Hot Potatoes http://hotpot.uvic.ca/, a nice free software package that allows the creation of multiple choice quizzes, crossword puzzles, etc. The program is a little bit limited (and it uses Java), but you can’t beat the price.
In my search for a better option, I came across a Microsoft product to be released in Fall 07 that has the *potential* to fill a void in my course development toolbox. The official propaganda states, “Grava is the code name for a new set of tools from Microsoft’s Education Products Group that is designed to allow the education community to create and assemble materials that will increase discovery and allow learners to go at their own pace and learning style.” http://www.connect.microsoft.com/Grava. It looks like the tool is an easy-to-use learning object maker. The interface looks pretty slick. A potential drawback is that a “Grava” player must be downloaded to use the stuff you make. Neat stuff.