MaxAuthor - a free multimedia authoring system for language instruction
Version 2.58 Now Available
The University of Arizona Computer Aided Language Instruction Group (UACALI) has made freely available for non-commercial use its MS-Windows and Internet based multimedia CALL authoring system. MaxAuthor has been under development for many years and was used by authors nationwide to create the recently published Critical Languages Series CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. Without any programming, MaxAuthor lets you create language instruction courseware for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and 44 other languages. Completed courseware can utilize audio, video, footnotes, and graphics. Student activities include MaxBrowser, Listening Dictation, Pronunciation, Multiple Choice, Vocabulary Completion, and Audio Flashcards. Lessons can be delivered via Internet or MS-Windows. Improvements are being made to the software in conjunction with the National Association of Self Instructional Language Programs (NASILP).
The author records separate audio for both sentences and words and has the option of recording audio in the training language only, but can also record translations or paraphrases in up to 5 other languages or dialects. The author can either manually define the word and sentence boundaries or let MaxAuthor choose the boundaries automatically.
MaxAuthor works just like a text editor with tools that add audio and exercise material; there is no programming or scripting necessary. The author selects one of the 5 authoring views: Word, Sentence, Multiple Choice, Footnote, or Cloze (Vocabulary Completion). The tools within MaxAuthor let you play, record, or edit recordings. When the Record All menu choice is selected, MaxAuthor sequentially records each word or sentence. When a lesson text is comprised of multiple occurrences of the same word, you have the option of using the same recording for each occurrence to avoid re-recording the same word.
Once you record audio for your lesson, the student can immediately use MaxBrowser, Listening Dictation, Pronunciation, Multiple Choice, Vocabulary Completion, and Audio Flashcards without further customization. By adding more information to the lesson such as multiple choice questions, multimedia footnotes, and custom Vocabulary Completion blanks, you can enhance the richness of the student's interaction with the lesson. It's up to you, the instructor, to decide how much time you want to invest in your new lesson.
Windows 95/98/NT/2000/Me/XP/Vista (32-bit only), sound card, 9MB disk space, microphone recommended.