I wrote about dominKnow’s tool Claro in 2012. I was impressed by some of its features, especially those that were lacking in other authoring tools. I also pointed out some of its limitations. Well, it’s been almost seven years since that review, and dominKnow has advanced tremendously during that time. It’s high time I took another look.
Claro is now partnered with a responsive simulator application called Capture for both Windows and Mac that allows learners to see step-by-step instructions, a guided tour of the steps, and a try-me mode to practice the steps. Together, Capture and Claro (including Flow and other options below) make up dominKnow | ONE. In this review, I will focus on the authoring options contained in Claro.
dominKnow | ONE is cloud-based, so there is no need to install anything on your hard drive, except for a small application for the Capture portion. The first time you are in dominKnow, you are given helpful tips and hints, which you can replay at any time. In addition, a quick tour option lets you get animated, multi-step help on every part of the interface. The options in dominKnow | ONE are broad and deep.
When you create a new project, you are offered the options seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1: dominKnow | ONE choices
Here’s a quick summary of each choice for starting a project:
Flow: Use this option when you want to create responsively-designed lessons; those that will respond to a device’s resolution and orientation. You are given nine different choices in By Player Experience and 21 choices in By Learning Experience.
Claro: This is the main choice when you want to create non-responsive learning. This will also work on mobile devices, but at a fixed width and height. This option uses a slides metaphor.
Import: This option lets you start a course from an uploaded PowerPoint file, after which you can add any elements you wish.
From Recent: Select a prior project and copy it as the basis for a new project.
Baselines: Projects that you’ve set to be duplicated, so that all will have a similar structure. Think of baselines as project templates.
Choosing to create a responsively-designed project gives you the options below. It’s hard to think of an approach that isn’t covered by one of these.
By Player Experience:
- Modern Learning
- Side Navigation
- Vertical Scrolling
- Chapter Based
- Chapter Tiles
- Section Navigation
- Pinned Outline
By Learning Experience:
- Performance Support
- Job Aid
- Knowledge Base
- Product Guide
- Support Portal
- Product Tour
- How To
- Pin Board
Once you choose any of the above, you then click a template from those you see in in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Flow templates
After clicking a template you are shown the types of layouts available for that template, and at that point you can then choose to use that template or select another to view.
In Figure 3, these are the layouts I saw after I chose the Natural template.
Figure 3: The Natural template layouts
This opens the Claro authoring environment. The interface is customizable according to how many options you want to see. You choose the options you want to see.
Essentials: As indicated, this includes only the most commonly-used options
Essentials Plus: This adds a few more options
Designer: This gives you every option
You build your lesson by entering Pages and Questions. There are hundreds of page layouts available in many categories.
Once you start editing a page, you choose content sections, of which there are 20 or more in each case. In each section, you can mix:
Text, which is, of course, customizable. You can define and edit the text files in each project.
Images, Audio, and Video that you upload. Any media you upload becomes part of your media library and can be used in any project you create.
Characters that you choose from a People Browser, which you can filter by age, eye color, gender, hair color, skin tone, and type (cartoon / photo). There are 31 characters included, of which seven are cartoon.
Clipart from hundreds of choices in many categories.
Stock Images from hundreds of choices, including Avatars, Backgrounds, Storyboarding, Cinemagraph videos (still photos in which minor and repeated movement occurs), Images, Emoji, and Silhouettes.
For other options, continue reading.
When you choose Claro (a slide-based project) from the main choices, you have these layout options.
By Player Experience:
- Traditional eLearning: Uses top and bottom navigation bars with player options. These will shift responsively on different devices.
- Modern Learning: Uses a top navigation bar only with all player options.
- Presentation: Uses a top navigation bar, with fewer options.
- No Navigation: No player is shown. You use your own options for navigating.
By Learning Experience – these are the same as those listed in the Flow section above.
Next, you choose a template from the choices you see and start building your lesson.
Objects to insert
Figure 4 gives you a good idea of the types of static and interactive objects that you can insert on any slide or section. Each of these leads to several choices.
Figure 4: Objects you can insert
Note that Figure 4 includes Controls that you can include, as well. These allow for actions you can take when one of the following triggers takes place:
- The learner clicks the control
- The learner double-clicks the control
- The learner right-clicks the control
- When the learner rolls the cursor over the control
- When the learner moves the cursor off a control
- When the control is shown
- When the control is hidden
Note the Actions you can take in Figure 5. These are the most commonly used.
Figure 5: Actions
There are many other actions available, including:
- Create and set a variable
- Send an xAPI statement
- Swap content with other content
- Show a light box
- Show an animation or effect
- Play / Pause Media
- Play / Pause a Capture simulation
- Show or Hide Closed Captions
On any trigger/action, you can set an action to occur only under certain conditions, dependent on variables you choose to include.
Of course, most learning requires that questions be posed to the learner for quizzes and knowledge checks. The types of questions available to you in Flow and Claro projects include:
- True of False
- Fill in the Blanks
- Multiple Choice
- Drag and Drop
Each of the question types include several variations.
dominKnow | ONE also includes team authoring options, reviewer options, and options to add resources and references.
You can publish your projects:
- As a website, with or without tracking
- To SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (2nd, 3rd, or 4th editions), AICC, or xAPI
- To a Word, PDF, or epub document, including an instructor guide, student handout, reference guide, printed exam, page screenshots, or custom
- For Windows or Mac desktop (in beta now)
- As a download or a shared project
A lot of thought has been put into dominKnow | ONE. It makes it easy to start building learning quickly, while giving you some powerful options when you need them. Space does not permit me to go into more depth, so you may want to get yourself a free, 14-day trial at https://www.dominknow.com/free-trial. Pricing plans can be found at https://www.dominknow.com/pricing.