Every organization looks for an authoring tool that best meets their training requirements and ensures eLearning course development is quick and smooth. With the eLearning market today offering a wide spectrum of authoring tools to design and develop eLearning courses, selecting the right one is not an easy task. Since the last few years, most rapid authoring tools are getting smarter with their technology and feature enhancements. Many tools are now cloud-based, and also offer scope for collaboration to reduce eLearning development time.
These tools enhance their features periodically to support the latest digital learning trends such as microlearning, game-based learning, video-based learning, scenario-based learning, and much more. With this bounty, how do you choose the best one for your needs? Read to know what should be on your list.
Ease of Use
Most authoring tools today minimize development effort. They help online course developers create courses quickly, with their easy-to-use features. These features allow developers to create interactive content using games and modern interactions. They usually have a low learning curve. The best part is that even new developers and instructional designers (IDs) can use these modern e-learning authoring tools, without any programming knowledge.
Rapid authoring tools such as Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate 2017, and Lectora Inspire 17 also offer the flexibility to develop courses that work seamlessly on all mobile devices, using features such as breakpoints and fluid boxes. They have features that offer responsive output.
Interactive Design Elements
Every authoring tool consists of interactive design elements to focus on building more engaging, learner-centric courses. Rapid eLearning authoring tools make use of layers, actions, triggers, and variables to design interactivities, scenarios, and games.
It is also possible to create a wide range of assessments including matching activities, drag and drop, scenario-based games, and more. The days of having just multiple select or true/false question types for testing your learners is passé. Feedback can be made interesting too by inducing audio/video snippets, and more.
Reusability of Templates
Most rapid authoring tools such as Articulate Rise and iSpring Suite 9 provide inbuilt templates, that can be used whenever needed. They can be used as they are, or tweaked to match your organizational branding. Every aspect of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) can also be customized. Reusing templates across projects lends consistency and saves development time.
Collaborative Development and Review
Modern authoring tools such as Lectora Inspire, Dominknow Claro and Articulate Storyline 360 offer collaborative e-learning development and review features – yet another option that reduces development time greatly. This feature will empower your all stakeholders and reviewers to review the e-learning courses being developed, to provide feedback simultaneously, view each other’s work, even if they are not working from the same place. They can add comments which will be visible to all. This helps developers receive consolidated feedback and ensures the project moves on track.
All major rapid authoring tools today such as Articulate Rise, Adobe Captivate 17, and Lectora Inspire are offer several options to publish courses with HTML5 output, as responsive courses, to the web, as an LMS package, videos, and even as PDFs. HTML5 and responsive features allow courses to be viewed seamlessly across devices.
Ease of Version Control
Authoring tools often upgrade their versions based on community feedback or issues, and this helps overcome problems, as technical glitches are addressed. It’s quite easy to revise and update with the latest version of the tools. After updating the version, authoring tools strike the perfect balance between ease of use and the development of feature-rich online courses.
Although selecting the right authoring tool requires a very close look at the details, it pays to make the right choice. Most authoring tools today come with both desktop (offline) and Web-based/Cloud-based (Online) versions. You should have a clear idea of what you and your team need.