Macromedia and Element K, have announced the launch of Macromedia University.

The electronic learning initiative hopes to become the first choice for online training in the use of Macromedia products. The site is aimed at Macromedia customers of every skill level.

Tom Hale, senior vice president at Macromedia, said: "Macromedia and Element K are leveraging the power of the Web to train customers to better use their Macromedia products." The courses are designed to teach time-saving tips, and to teach customers the best use of Macromedia solutions.

Product specific courses set to launch this month include: Director 8, Dreamweaver 3, Dreamweaver UltraDev, Flash 4, Generator 2, and Fireworks 3. The company will begin courses in Flash 5, Authorware 5 and FreeHand 9 in September and October this year.

Available now for an annual subscription are the Basic level, Complete and Web Professional course libraries. Courses are self-paced, and include 8-12 hours of tuition delivered in Shockwave format. The Basic library helps build an understanding of the company’s Web authoring products, the Complete library adds advanced instruction, and the Professional Library guides users through such topics as using Java, Linux, HTML and database programming. Courses in specific Macromedia products are also available.

The University offers before and after assessment-tests – to help optimize the learning experience – localized courses, and online expert chat sessions. Element K, a company specialising in electronic learning solutions, will create course content, assessment tests and manage the site. Macromedia will source expertise, course content and marketing to the project. The libraries can be purchased online, with annual subscriptions ranging from $99 to $399. Educational discounts are also available through Macromedia resellers.