Adobe Connect and Course Genie

I’ve been doing some research into the way Educational Development Units (or Academic Development Units, for the benefit of the search engines!) interact with their university. The actual research is discussed in a separate blog listed in the blogroll, but a couple of technology applications have cropped up in discussions with participants that might be worth a look. They are Adobe Connect and Course Genie.

I’m struggling to find a way of summarising Adobe Connect in a simple sentence. It’s a sort of desktop videoconferencing system, mashed up with a virtual whiteboard and meeting system. But it seems to be a bit more than the sum of its parts. The trouble is when I say “videoconferencing” people say “oh we’ve got that…” Well, we are about to sign up to the Access Grid, that’s true. But that’s limited to one room. This appears to be desktop based so you can have meetings from your own computer. I haven’t had time to look much beyond the demos on the web site. But if you’re interested have a look at  

The other product was Course Genie, and I have to say this made me smile. Essentially it’s a way of producing web documents from Word using Word styles. Old Teknical Virtual Campus lags like me, will of course remember the Teknical Converter, which performed much the same function. (Although, in my view output much nicer pages than Course Genie did) The first problem was that very few colleagues understood the concept of styles in Word so it never really took off. And secondly, when those who did use it produced some (I thought) useful material, students all complained that they had to print out multiple pages, so we had to provide links back to the original word document. Ho hum. Looking at the Course Genie demonstration, they don’t seem to have addressed this at all. Course Genie is now part of the Wimba suite and has been renamed Wimba Create, (Wimba is something else I’ll have a look at when I have time) – But you can see the demo here

2 thoughts on “Adobe Connect and Course Genie

  1. I have copy of Course Genie and I think it provides a vital step between uploading a word document (boo) and creating an interactive learning area (hurray); you can import it into Blackboard, have questions and quizzes (similar to the templates I’m working on with Tim) and – although I haven’t yet found out how to do it – you can impose a style – the Internet Detective is a created using Course Genie with a specific style. The problem is – as ever – resources – how do we get from a single licence copy to making it available on the network? Write the proposal? Provide the training? This may be the sort of issue the Technology Focus group could help with.

  2. Oh, I don’t think there’s any problem with skilled Word users using Course Genie. It’s just that there don’t seem to very many of them around! – There again, in the spirit of turning a problem into an opportunity, if we did get Course Genie we could improve the level of Word skills through the training. So two birds with one stone!

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