Come over to the Sharkie side!
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated February 12, 2016

Come over to the Sharkie side!

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

1999-2014 Brainshark

Overall Satisfaction with Brainshark

At our company, Brainshark is used by different departments within our organization. In Learning and Development, we primarily use Brainshark for assessments. It allows us to make content available over the internet to our various training locations around the globe. We use it to measure learner knowledge after instructor led courses and workshops. We also use Brainshark to deliver annual refresher/acknowledgements where instructor led courses are not available/practical.
  • Brainshark does assessments well! It has greatly evolved over the past 4 years and it is a much better product today. We have a standard template we use for the beginning pages of all our presentations, so it is important that the uploading of PowerPoints and replication is simple - and we have that with Brainshark. We also use the Guestbook (registration by employees) to track new hire progress, security, and expiration dates and it is very easy to set up.
  • Brainshark allows for ease of locating previously created items and run reports: A Brainshark "presentation" is each unique entry and it is easy to track each Course, Assessment, CBT, Simulation, Video, Module, etc. and also run customized reporting on each presentation.
  • Brainshark allows for simple reordering of slides within each presentation: After importing new information or creating additional slides, a simple drag-n-drop process of moving slides around is a quick and easy way to change the order within a presentation.
  • Brainshark doesn't allow for editing another author's presentations: When working in a global L&D department, attrition, time of day, vacations, holidays, and a plethora of other reasons arise to edit/revise another author's work. In Brainshark, there is no simple way to share created presentations, like you do with the MS Office suite.
  • Brainshark doesn't allow for guest reporting: When we have team leaders or trainers who are not "authors" need to run reports on a particular presentation, the actual presentation author must run the report for them.
  • Brainshark doesn't permanently archive (only made "not visible" and doesn't appear in searches): However, clicking a link to an archived presentation will reactivate it. If there is an link to archived presentation in older materials, and if the link is clicked, the course will become available once again. Note: there is a warning box that appears when an archived link is clicked but not all users respond appropriately.
  • We have faster reporting turn around on our assessments and more efficient at student reporting (the people managers are happy)
  • We are better at creating uniform look and feel of all our presentations (the "branding" department is happy)
  • We can train the authors/instructional designers up to speed quickly on how to use the application (the training department is happy)
We have a similar product not found on the list - Brainshark blows it out of the water! The other application has extensive training and the learning curve is killer. It doesn't offer anything Brainshark doesn't except for maybe one or two things, and it is so cumbersome, you want a vacation after creating each presentation. Brainshark is easy, intuitive (for the most part) and agile.
Brainshark is great for:
  • Assessments (created within the application)
  • Training (imported PowerPoint slides) with audio (that you record over the phone), where instructors are not available
  • Providing stand alone URLs (especially for new associates who don't have permissions on our network/intranet yet)
  • On-the fly updates (provided you are the author)
  • Certificates of completion
Brainshark is challenged at:
  • Some LMS reporting systems - we have to use Brainshark embedded within another application that does our reporting. Not hard, just a hassle.

Using Brainshark

This is a great application as it is. There is certainly room to grow, but from the improvement I've seen over the past 4 years, I expect the Brainshark team to continue to make the application easy to use and knock out the kinks. I had an issue that needed to be addressed by phone, and even when they couldn't fix my problem immediately, the help on the other end of the phone was top notch.

Evaluating Brainshark and Competitors

Yes - We had been using Quia to host our assessments. We found that BrainShark is better at exporting/importing information, at providing a prettier and more professional presentation, and it had more functionality.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability

Brainshark Support

We've found a few glitches and needed some branding updated. Each time we've called, they were super responsive and cared about my issue as much as I did! They've even helped me (and another vendor) figure out how to have this other outside software integrate with theirs to achieve an even greater presentation. I'm super impressed with their Customer Service people.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - Yes! We have hundreds of BrainShark presentations. We've certainly found a few things and each time, they've either updated our learning gap, fixed the issue, or explained they were unable at this time to fix but would table for a future release. I appreciate their timeliness and honesty, not giving us the run-around, and setting realistic expectations.
We are trying out a new software that resides on our server, that requires connecting BrainShark as the front end, and then connecting to the simulation software on our server via a hyperlink. We also needed to pass the guest book information to track specific users to our server. They worked our other software and figured out how to pass information to achieve the end result. Kudos!

Using Brainshark

BrainShark is great for those with beginner and intermediate level software skills. It doesn't take a programming genius to get up and running with this application.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • Importing Slides from other "outside" sources
  • Creating assessment questions within the application
  • Setting back end info that directly impacts users such as: passwords, unique hyperlinks, certificates of completion
  • You have to set the timing of each slide independently - there is not master "default" time you can set.
  • Passwords in the backend setup appear as circles/stars once created. Would like it if the option was to SHOW the actual password to the designer if needed.
  • Would be nice if different designers could edit each other's work, like you can with just about any other product. With BS, only the original author has the ability to edit/update that presentation. Yes, someone with higher permissions can change the author to a new author if needed, but that is a hassle when you have a team of Instructional Designers who share work. Even if BS would have a checkbox to choose if you want to allow someone other than the original author to edit, that would be fine too. With designer sick leave, vacation or attrition, it is just an unnecessary hassle that could be easily avoided.