The folks at Platte Canyon have done it again! They have created yet another way to enable me, a non-programmer training professional, to get more from the e-Learning tools that I use. In the past their help has come in the form of plug-ins for ToolBook, conferences and workshops, and computer-based training on how to develop e-Learning. This time their handy tool is in the form of a book – a reference guide that e-Learning developers will actually want to sit down and read.

As much as I would like to know more about programming, the reality is that I haven’t found the time to learn more over the past 10 years I have been involved in e-Learning, so chances are I will never find the time. Instead, I rely on whatever tools, tips and cheats I can find to bring interactive functionality to my training without being a full-time programmer. Programming for e-Learning Developers provides that “cheat” in that it gives me clear examples to follow, but I find myself being drawn into the book further with simple, clear and straightforward explanations of why something works the way that it does. Not only does this enable me to accomplish the immediate task at hand by following an example, but the background information that I absorb serves as a foundation to build similar, but different interactions on my own further down the road. With this book, I am learning programming skills “on-the-job” without spending months in training.

Programming for e-Learning Developers is the first “how to” book that I know of that specifically focuses on the type of interactions I want to build into my training. I feel like it was written for me! This is the book that all e-Learning developers should have at their fingertips when they are working on projects. And, while I am not yet programming in Flash or Silverlight, in the future when I am it will be great to have a type of programmers “translation dictionary” that shows me the way I am comfortable doing something (using the ToolBook Actions Editor in most cases) and then shows me how to do it in a different “language” such as Flash or JavaScript.

Many thanks to the Platte Canyon team for continuing to make my life as a non-programmer ToolBook developer easy and painless. I would not be having nearly as much fun as I am without all of the tools they have developed to help make me look good while at the same time, creating cool training applications. If there is a superman in this world, he has to be Jeff Rhodes by day!



Robin McDermott

Resource Engineering, Inc.

Waitsfield, VT


June 2009