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Impatica & Blackboard

Over 30% of Blackboard customers in the UK already use Impatica products - here's why ...

Impatica products enable users of Microsoft PowerPoint to deliver their content plug-in free, to Java-enabled computers and other devices, even at dial-up speeds. These presentations can be synchronized to video and scrolling text, complete with indexing, navigation, and search capabilities using Impatica OnCue. Approximately 2,000 organizations worldwide including some 1,500 colleges & universities along with hundreds of corporations use Impatica products to communicate more effectively with hundreds of thousands of people every day.

Impatica's simplified publishing to Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) such as Blackboard, combined with automated SCORM package creation and new 'stand-alone playback' file format means that there is now even more flexibility in the creation and the delivery of engaging presentations.

But why is this so important?

Flash, Shockwave, Windows Media and Real Networks based presentation solutions are much more limited in their reach across platforms. For example, many educational establishments still have a wide variety of older 'legacy' systems which are incapable of viewing media files at reasonable quality (whether 'streamed' or otherwise), and once you extend delivery outside of the organization, say to distance learners or off-campus students, then there is no control over the client device whatsoever. 

Impatica customers, who include many of the largest companies in the world, tell us they like both the security and platform independence that Java provides. Plus, the Impatica presentation 'player' applet streams just before the content, so viewers donít have to worry about versions or downloads, eliminating many of the technical headaches experienced with the aforementioned plug-ins.

In addition, as Impatica uses its own multimedia playback system on the Java platform rather than relying on a third-partyís multimedia player, it is far more readily customisable to suit the needs of customers. The result is a more accurate reproduction of the PowerPoint experience, including its great slide transitions, animations and interactivity. Some of these features would not have been possible to achieve on other platforms.

Size really does matter

One of the biggest headaches with developing 'great' PowerPoint presentations is the resulting file size. How often have you seen a PowerPoint file greater than 10mb? maybe even as much as 30mb or 40mb? These presentation sizes are of course, prohibitive and you also run the risk of 'clogging up' your precious Blackboard resources. This is where Impatica products really do give you the greatest advantage as all presentations (including those with video and/or audio) can be compressed down, typically to between just 1% and 15% of the original filesize.

This is perfect because it means your content authors and generators can now focus solely on developing the appropriate content without having to worry about the technicalities of making the presentation available to their entire target audience. i.e. no compromise.

Importantly your Blackboard System Administrators will also approciate Impatica products as regular usage will guarantee that all content loaded onto the system will be as small (and therefore as efficient) as possible. All of which helps with the smooth and effective operation of your Blackboard system.

Check out this URL (which is also an example of an impaticised presentation) to see how easy it is to load Impatica content to Blackboard: -

( Note: The latest release of Impatica for PowerPoint is capable of automatically generating the .zip file needed to load content onto Blackboard - an easy solution now made even easier!!)

A view from the top?

Here's a view on PowerPoint content from Impatica CEO Michael Doyle: -

"There is no doubt that PowerPoint can be used to turn a very good message into a very boring presentation. I must admit that I have almost bored some people to death with some of my PowerPoint presentations. Good tools donít make good presentations. Creative use of these tools is the key to success."

"Some of our customers are using PowerPoint in conjunction with Impatica for PowerPoint and Impatica OnCue to generate some incredible presentations. I have seen some wonderful stuff. A professor at Johns Hopkins University, for example, has some fabulous content describing surgical techniques for joint alignment. As I understand it, he was the first or at least one of the first to perform hip replacement surgery. Through his impaticized PowerPoint presentations, surgeons around the world are learning directly from one of the best how to gain a higher degree of success as they relieve pain."

"He is able to use a tool he knows, PowerPoint, and with Impaticaís products he can deliver his message securely around the world without regard for platform or bandwidth. In my opinion, thatís a powerful pair!"

"I could go on and on about the fantastic examples I have seen ranging from church groups of all denominations to major corporations to schoolchildren. PowerPoint is a fantastic tool. Impatica for PowerPoint and Impatica OnCue make it possible to impaticize these presentations for hassle free Internet delivery."

An on-line presentation

To understand more about the usage of Impatica products in a Distance and e-Learning environment check out the following 'Impaticised' presentation (which also includes links to a full product tour): -

( Note: This presentation constitutes Impatica's entry in this yearís prestigious Brandon Hall Awards for Excellence in Learning)

The conclusion

It's clear that, whilst it has some drawbacks (space utilisation etc), PowerPoint remains a great presentation tool. However, once combined with Impatica & Blackboard it becomes a formidable environment for the collation, creation and delivery of effective and engaging on-line learning content.

For further information contact

More presentations and examples can be found on our main website at

Bob Tyler
Solutions Architect, Impatica

Author: Bob Tyler

05 July 2004

VLE: Blackboard



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