SoftChalk announces Sakai integration

SoftChalk v5 will contain Sakai (WebLearn) integration.

Let Ed Garay from University of Illinois at Chicago explain:

SoftChalk is essentially an easy-to-use yet powerful authoring tool (Windows and Mac) for instructors to create simple, intermediate and even advanced (and interactive) class materials for Web delivery.  Each SoftChalk lesson can have simple hypermedia or one embedding Flash Video,

MP3 Podcasts and/or simple to complex interactive student activities or embedded quizzing.

For each lesson, SoftChalk produces a folder, which can be easily zip up and uploaded to Blackboard (UIC’s LMS at this time), or Sakai, Desire2Learn, Moodle or uploaded to anywhere.  Why, you can put burn it to CDs, if you wish.  At UIC, we recommend that faculty drag-and-drop their SoftChalk-generated lessons to their class WebDisks (WebDAV mount points) which we have seamlessly integrated with the rest of the Blackboard LMS.

Now, when/if the instructors want to capture/record the student activities embedded inside a SoftChalk lesson, only then it is really necessary to have SoftChalk package the lesson as a SCORM package that must be uploaded to Blackboard for proper integration with the Blackboard Grade Center.  The same would be true to feed the SoftChalk student interactions to the Sakai Gradebook.

With SoftChalk Release 5, SoftChalk has made available an additional LMS-specific integration simplifying the two-step process of packaging the lesson to Zip or SCORM and then uploading it to the LMS, into a single operation where the instructors or course builders publish their lessons directly from SoftChalk to Blackboard, Sakai, Moodle, etc. — a nice (free) feature appreciated mostly by mere mortals (i.e. nontech-savvy faculty).

At UIC and many other universities, SoftChalk is very well liked, just like Wimba Classroom and Wimba Voice Tools, Pronto, and a plethora of other peripheral Teaching & Learning Technology.

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