MyUdutu: One of the best kept secrets in e-learning authoring tools

October 14, 2009

I’ve used a bunch of desktop authoring tools – Lectora, Dreamweaver, Authorware, Captivate, and Articulate to name a few. I haven’t really used a lot of web-based authoring tools though. I was kind of out of that aspect (development) of e-learning at the time they started becoming more mainstream. Recently, I’ve been exploring collaborative web-based options for a report I’m writing and was reintroduced to MyUdutu (from Udutu). I had used the tool once a couple of years ago for a class and watched a demo of their Facebook integration over a year ago. They also sponsored a cocktail hour at one of our conferences so I owe someone a beer or two – probably Roger Mundell.

I spent an hour or so with Roger from Udutu looking at their authoring tool and have to say I’m really kind of blown away as to its capabilities. It’s a very flexible and very versatile product. In analyst speak, it is “robust.” I wish it had been around when I was pulling my hair out learning Authorware.

Let me say up front I’m NOT getting paid to plug MyUdutu, and am not endorsing it over another product, I just want to share some notes from the demo because I think its one of those ‘best kept secrets no one knows about.’ We used my old account for the demo and the course I did for school was there and so unbelievably lame (fair warning if you see bits and pieces in the screen shots. Not my best work : )

Although the tool is often used by SMEs due to its simplicity, it definitely has enough features to satisfy instructional designers who need a lot more than linear solutions. Below are several scenario templates. You’ll have to click them to make them larger.

10-14-2009 3-00-53 PM

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of assessment options. You could really get quite inventive with this. Roger showed me how you could select parts of an image  for instance or learn a language.

10-14-2009 2-51-40 PM

Some other tidbits in bullet points::

  • Any platform – Mac, Linux, Windows environment
  • Cache flash (ability to bring content in before you need it – good for learners dial-up) (Yup you heard right. Dial-up)
  • Ability to save your courses so you don’t freak out about losing courses that exist on a server other than your own.
  • Reusable learning objects at multiple levels (folder, course, etc.)
  • Semi-complex branching
  • Flash templates
  • Easy to add multimedia like movies
  • Learner flexibility (Take only what you need, start where you stopped, etc.)
  • SCORM conformant
  • Glossary that aggregates items entered
  • Plug in for Moodle
  • Can also be installed on your server
  • Did I say boatload of templates?

10-14-2009 2-32-24 PM

I was surprised to learn that the tool is FREE as an SaaS solution. However, it will cost you $5 per learner/course if you want Udutu to host it for you. If you want it on your own server there is a licensing fee. The business model they use is really one of added value. Udutu staff can handle all aspects of building courses collaboratively from the whole enchilada to just one little thing. This seems ideal when you don’t have the type of department with dedicated graphic designers or multimedia producers.

I thought it was funny when I asked about users…seems to be a tool used by rogue designers (many clients are people circumventing their current solution (LMS, LCMS, etc. Seriously.)

I’m pulling together some answers to interview questions and will post those later.

  • http://www.intelladon.com/ Elearning tools

    I've been thinking recently about all of the tools that are used in creating elearning courses. Each tool of course has it's own purpose and when you are able to use them correctly they can help you create something fantastic.

  • http://www.intelladon.com/ Elearning tools

    I've been thinking recently about all of the tools that are used in creating elearning courses. Each tool of course has it's own purpose and when you are able to use them correctly they can help you create something fantastic.

  • http://twitter.com/elearningart Bryan Jones

    Janet,Is there a way that Roger will let you post your course output as a demo? It would be great to see what the finished course looks like.I'm going to check this out. The two things that excited me the most from your post:1- the scenario interface. It looks really easy to manage branching nav. That opens up a lot of options for building scenario-based learning.2- the reusable aspect. I want to see how they can leverage previous courses and assets (templates, images, etc).Thanks for posting this.

  • http://twitter.com/elearningart Bryan Jones

    Janet,

    Is there a way that Roger will let you post your course output as a demo? It would be great to see what the finished course looks like.

    I'm going to check this out. The two things that excited me the most from your post:
    1- the scenario interface. It looks really easy to manage branching nav. That opens up a lot of options for building scenario-based learning.
    2- the reusable aspect. I want to see how they can leverage previous courses and assets (templates, images, etc).

    Thanks for posting this.

  • http://brandon-hall.com/janetclarey jclarey

    Bryan, I sent a note to Roger.
    Here's a link to video on their website that explains the tool.
    http://www.udutu.com/my_udutu_video.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiwicarioca Robert McCall

    HiI'm using Udutu and I think the product is great. But I'm having problems uploading mp4 files. I don't know why so I've posted a question on their forum, and emailed them…2 weeks later I'm still waiting for a reply.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiwicarioca Robert McCall

    Hi

    I'm using Udutu and I think the product is great. But I'm having problems uploading mp4 files. I don't know why so I've posted a question on their forum, and emailed them…2 weeks later I'm still waiting for a reply.

  • http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning/translation-and-localization-using-lectora Ayesha Habeeb Omer

    Enjoy a free course on how to translate courses using lectora. http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning/translat

  • http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning/translation-and-localization-using-lectora Ayesha Habeeb Omer

    Enjoy a free course on how to translate courses using lectora. http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning/translat

  • jcperk

    “it will cost you $5 per learner/course if you want Udutu to host it for you”: I believe this is true for the Facebook application. If Udutu hosts a course via their servers, the price is $1/screen/month.

  • jcperk

    “it will cost you $5 per learner/course if you want Udutu to host it for you”: I believe this is true for the Facebook application. If Udutu hosts a course via their servers, the price is $1/screen/month.

  • http://brandon-hall.com/janetclarey jclarey

    Thanks for that additional information.

  • http://brandon-hall.com/janetclarey jclarey

    Thanks for that additional information.

  • http://brandon-hall.com/janetclarey jclarey

    Bryan, I sent a note to Roger.
    Here's a link to video on their website that explains the tool.
    http://www.udutu.com/my_udutu_video.html

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