At the ASTD (American Society of Training & Development) 2007 International Conference & Exposition here today, SumTotal® Systems, Inc. unveiled ToolBook® Instructor 9.0, which is the software maker’s newest product for developing online assessments, software simulations, scenario-based training and elearning content.
ToolBook Instructor 9 now joins SumTotal’s line-up of content authoring products, which include ToolBook Assistant, ToolBook Translation System and TotalLCMS™. ToolBook Instructor 9 is software that businesses of all sizes can tap to reduce the complexity of creating interactive courses, content and simulations designed to develop a workforce’s skills.
“ToolBook Instructor 9 is a landmark release in the product’s history,” said Don Fowler, CEO of SumTotal Systems. “This release demonstrates SumTotal’s commitment to the content development authoring market; we believe ToolBook Instructor 9 gives authors a way to easily develop and deploy effective elearning content for their talent management initiatives.”
"When the eLearning Guild published its 360-degree report in Immersive Learning Simulations, we presented SumTotal ToolBook with a Member's Choice Market Share Gold Award,” said Steve Wexler, director of Research and Emerging Technologies for the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based eLearning Guild, a global network of more than 25,000 e-learning professionals. Given ToolBook's popularity in the e-learning community, we look forward to seeing what's new in the product and how it can benefit Guild members.”
The new ToolBook Instructor 9 features a collection of “SmartPages” and “SmartStyles,” which make it even easier than before for subject matter experts and experienced content developers to build content that looks crisp and compelling out of the box. SmartStyles offer developers the flexibility to quickly change the entire look and feel of a course with the click of a mouse.
ToolBook Instructor 9 also includes over a dozen SmartPages providing developers a large set of interactive page types. With the new “Book Explorer,” authors will see a high-level view of their course, allowing them to pinpoint and edit elements in an assessment or simulation. Developers can trim hours off the creation and editing of training content with these new features.
“ToolBook is one of the pioneers of web-based learning, and it continues to push the envelope of what’s possible beyond boring, page-turning content,” said Bryan Chapman, chief learning strategist for Chapman Alliance, a consultancy focusing on learning technology and research. “Early versions of ToolBook gave us widgets to support rapid development, but the addition of SmartPages, in ToolBook Instructor 9, takes interactivity and speed of development to a whole new level. Novice developers will find it easier than ever to create engaging content that can be launched and tracked over a variety of learning management systems.”
Along with speeding up the development of training content, ToolBook Instructor 9 is smarter than earlier versions. New features in ToolBook Instructor 9 offer, for example, a way to easily create a question bank for secure assessments.
“With ToolBook Instructor 9, content developers will be able to author courses and simulations faster. But they’ll also be able to stand back and see their work at a high level to assess the quality of the messages, questions and interactive content from a learner’s perspective,” said Brad Crain, SumTotal’s vice president and general manager of ToolBook.
In this latest release, SumTotal provides customers with a 32-bit ToolBook Instructor 9 designed for Microsoft Vista and other popular Windows operating systems.
“We are committed to supporting our customers on the latest operating systems,” said Sanjay Dholakia, senior vice president for corporate and business development at SumTotal. “Providing what we feel is the best content authoring solution for Vista is part of that commitment.”
“Simply put, ToolBook Instructor 9 is faster and more flexible than earlier versions,” added Chapman. “And it also promises to be easier to use.”
Developers may be impressed with the speed with which they can create content in ToolBook Instructor 9. But every bit as impressive is the way developers will be able to enhance ToolBook Instructor 9 instantly via the product’s new “LiveXtensions,” which content authors can tap for new ToolBook features in real-time, over the web.
“We believe the enhancements we’ve made to ToolBook are equal parts speed and flexibility,” said Crain. “Rapid e-learning creation and delivery at an affordable price was our aim with ToolBook Instructor 9, and we believe we’ve hit the mark.”
SumTotal will ship ToolBook Instructor 9 in mid-June 2007. The product is now available for pre-order at SumTotal’s ToolBook Store at the website, or through authorized ToolBook resellers.
Journalists and the public can see SumTotal at the ASTD 2007 International Conference & Exposition by visiting booth #1100 at the Georgia World Congress Center from June 4 – 6, 2007.