It’s difficult to imagine how crude Michelangelo’s tools might seem to a modern-day sculptor. Or, if not his, certainly Praxiteles’ workshop. Nevertheless, these artists managed to create great works of art. As the old saying goes “it’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools”.
Over at www.articulate.com, Tom Kuhlmann has done a good job explaining the advantages and disadvantages of using different programs to create computer-based courses. One of the great advantages of PowerPoint-to-Flash over form-based publishing is the freedom to design unique structure and interactivity. He notes that
[m]ost PowerPoint criticism is misguided. It’s not hard to find critics of PowerPoint because it’s an easy target. Who hasn’t had to sit through boring PowerPoint presentations? Unfortunately, much of the criticism is off target because bad content is the result of poor design and not the application you use.
Ultimately, as Kuhlmann points out, it’s not about which program you use to design your courses. What really matters is creativity, solid instructional design, and genuine care. Not every design team can deliver a David or Hermes, but it’s not their tools that prevent them.