Update 01.08.2008: We hired Dave!
In the 17 months since we launched our Community Forums, they’ve been an overwhelming success. We hit the 10,000 post mark at the end of March of this year, and in just 3 months since then, our post count has skyrocketed another 39.47% (to 13,947 posts as of this writing). That’s pretty substantial growth.
A big part of the success of our forums is thanks to the expert users who make up the Articulate MVP Program, which honors those community members who stand above the crowd with their ongoing, consistent contributions to the community, and the expert advice they openly share.
Today I’m pleased to announce our newest Articulate MVP: Dave Moxon, known in the forums as daveperso. Dave lives in France, so he is our first international member of the MVP team. He’s also a regular beta tester of Articulate software, always discovering international character issues and providing other excellent beta-related feedback for us.
Ironically, in Dave’s first forum post nearly a year ago, he wrote, “I have only used the evaluation copy of this program so I am not an expert.” During the past year, his skills have evolved to a point where he regularly answers questions in the forums — from basic concepts with hints of creativity to more advanced, in-depth tips, such as how to embed Engage interactions into a glossary. Dave is a consistent and quality contributor to our community.
Tom says of our community and of Dave:
The promise we make to our customers is to create a product that helps them do their jobs. We want to make life easier and help people succeed. Part of that promise involves building a community of users that is connected and can provide the insight that only comes from using the software in the real world on real projects. The community’s success hinges on the passion and quality of those who join it. It is only as good as the members make it and that only happens as people learn from each other as they give and receive. Dave is a user who embodies what’s great about our community. He’s passionate and actively shares what he’s learning. We’re glad to put an official label on what others already see in him.
The below English language training course was submitted by Dave to the 2007 Guru Awards. It features an incredibly creative use of Presenter and Engage, and I included it on slide 8 of the Guru Awards 2007 Highlights back in April:
Dave says of our software and of participating in our community:
The vast majority of my students are definitely non-experts when it comes to computing. I have even had to train some of them to use a mouse so I need courses which are very, very user friendly. I tried a number of products and Articulate won hands-down. My students were smiling, they were happy, there were no technical problems and they knew how to use the course.
From a course-developer perspective, the experience is also highly pleasurable. It is so easy and you can therefore concentrate your energies on producing good, attractive content. I am what you would call a SME (subject matter expert). Articulate allows me to transfer my knowledge to my students without the need of any expensive development team, very, very quickly. It is also a multimedia application. You can add sound and video everywhere.
The result is professional-looking. It can favorably compare with applications and courses that have been developed over many months with many hours of work. It is solidly built with solid support. When you are building a project, you don’t feel as though you are by yourself. You know that a lot of work has been done to develop the Articulate products, and you know that there are many people just waiting to help you out if you need assistance, both within Articulate Support and on the forum.
I thoroughly enjoy reading and participating in the forum, discussing with other users what can and cannot be done with Presenter. When you are working by yourself on projects, it is nice to speak with others about your project and it is nice to help others when you can. I also look to the forum for new ways of doing things, things that you would not necessarily find in the support pages which might help me to produce even better content. The forum is also a place where Articulate support staff speak directly to customers.
Coming back to the Articulate suite, two more words occurred to me which sum up my experience of Studio and they are “creativity” and “fun.”
“Creativity” because you can concentrate on producing an exciting, interactive, multimedia course WITHOUT worrying about programming and things going wrong. The sky’s the limit. You can add audio, video, pictures and text just about anywhere at any time, particularly with the help of Engage, which marries beautifully with Presenter, and so easily. You don’t spend hours worrying about development. You think almost exclusively on content and the best way of communicating it.
“Fun” because, quite frankly, I thoroughly enjoy sitting in front of PowerPoint and Articulate and thinking about how I am going to “entertain” my students. My students need to be entertained while they learn. They need to have dynamic presentations with videos and/or audio in most slides. Following Tom’s recent comments on the blog, I am thinking of introducing more humour and more user interactivity in the courses to let the user be more in control of what he learns. Basically, I am thinking about teaching and teaching methodology and not about programming, and that is great!
Please join me in welcoming Dave aboard!