After being asked to find an eLearning authoring tool to used with our new LMS, I researched many different platforms. Most were very difficult to use out-of-the-box. There was also minimal support and training resources available. Enter SmartBuilder. First off, the website gives great examples of outcomes from using their product. They also have some side-by-side comparisons of how using their product can speed up production time. I also noticed, right away, that there were many opportunities for support. From live chats to video tutorials, SmartBuilder is not leaving anyone in the dark. More on that later.
The platform itself is fairly intuitive. I was able to download the free trial and have a quick lesson built that same day. All of the tools that I needed are there. One of the things that I especially love is that you are not constrained by templates. Many of the other platforms that I looked into relied heavily on customizing preset templates with little opportunity to start from scratch. SmartBuilder provides the best of both worlds. There are on-board templates that are available and make courses more interactive and engaging.
With background in Education, my technical skills aren't the highest. SmartBuilder's action blocks made that a non-issue. The system of utilizing blocks to piece together events, actions, buttons, etc. makes it easy for those of us who are not as savvy with that type of coding/programming.
When it comes to support, SmartBuilder can't be beat. Even as a trial user, the support that SmartBuilder provides is amazing. Starting out I had a few questions so I started a Live Chat. The person on the other end was quick to answer and asked to hop onto a screen-share so that he could show me the solution to my problem and not just forward some instructions. Since starting with SmartBuilder, I have reached out with questions a few times and the story has been exactly the same. All of the reps that I have spoken to have been extremely knowledgable, prompt to respond and most of all, helpful. The online resources are another great addition to this product. SmartBuilder offers video tutorials for many functions and features of their platform. They are easy to follow and very comprehensive. In addition to all of that, they also offer live, online training sessions throughout the month.
There are a few features that I'd like to see updated but nothing major. Some functions take a few more clicks than some may be used to but after a little time, you get used to it. I'd like to see the rich text editor fixed up a bit.