Acrux Software announced the release of version 1.0 beta 3 of the "Teach!" program: a Mac-only multi-media authoring toolkit specifically designed for creating and running educational courseware, surveys, and presentations.
The software is modelled on how we learn at school - it imitates familiar teaching methods and concepts such as classroom instructions, learning from textbooks, answering questions, doing exercises, tests and experiments, and taking part in discussions.
- speech synsthesis is used for audible narration;
- questions (many types) can be automatically checked for correctness, and scores allocated;
- individual pages (or entire tests) can be timed, like in examinations;
- answers can be recorded (separately for each user) and summarized on reports;
- you can make maths exercises based on random numbers, allowing unlimited practice
- eports generated by the program (and other data) can also be sent via email or CGI scripts to instructors at remote sites;
- pages allowing interactive experimentation and exploration can be constructed, using for example graphs to demonstrate variable maths functions;
- you can make hypertext and button links to other pages in the course, pages on other courses, or even pages the WWW
Constructing the courseware involves nothing more than "drawing" items on pages (like in a drawing program), and setting their properties using dialogs. These properties can be used to turn each page into a minature interactive program. There are nearly 40 types of items from which you can choose, and no programming or scripting is involved; most of the complex operations (for example maintaining scores and generating reports) are built into the program.
The Teach! program should particularly appeal to those interested in making curriculum-grade educational courseware, but the program can also be used for general multi-media presentations and surveys. Supplied with the software are examples of the courseware you can create, together with on-line documentation.
Download the pre-release beta version (4.3mb). Free registrations are available to those willing to do some beta testing - details are included with the software.
Upgrades from previous releases, and a smaller "lite" version are also available.
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