Many a time, we have come across with a situation wherein a client approaches us to develop an eLearning course using a particular authoring tool. We analyze the content and assess the learning objectives and the end-users. After an analysis of their needs, sometimes, we notice that the given content can be better presented with another authoring tool or a combination of two authoring tools. Very often, our recommendations are accepted by our clients.
How does the learning strategy influence the choice of tools to be used?
Ideally, you should choose the authoring tool based on your eLearning course content and the devices which are going to be used to access the course. Of course the available budget and time also play an important role in the choice of the tools to develop an eLearning course. Assuming you have the time and budget, it is the learning strategy that ultimately decides the best tool that does justice to the course.
Recently, we were asked to develop an eLearning course for technicians in a manufacturing company. The course involved explaining to them best practices in operating and maintaining manufacturing equipment.
Taking into consideration the learner background and knowledge, we decided on a learning strategy at three levels.
Knowledge level with Lectora
The content provided by the client was text-heavy with lots of manuals and explanation. Given the profile and background of the end-users, we wanted to limit the textual content or present it in a user-friendly manner. Additionally, the tool enabled easy translation into multiple languages.
Hence, we chose Lectora authoring tool that enables customized templates and GUI and presents text heavy content in a user-friendly manner. Lectora also allows simultaneous translation into multiple languages.
Comprehension level with Flash
We felt animations will work best for the comprehension, where learners need to understand a process or method. As a result, we used Flash to develop a series of animations that explained the working of the equipment.
These were converted into videos and embedded into Lectora, which was the main authoring tool chosen to develop the course. Lectora accepts Flash objects, thereby giving a seamless experience to the learners.
Application level using Flash
At the application level, we need to understand if learners are ready to apply the knowledge gained in the job context. For the purpose, we devised a few games using Flash. Real life situations were presented in a simulated environment, urging learners to choose the right option in a given situation. Learners were tested on various parameters to see if they were ready to handle the challenges faced in the day to day job context.
In this way, we used Lectora as well as Flash to ensure that the course provides the best learning experience for end users. Do you agree that the choice of the authoring tools depends on the course content? What has been your constraint in choosing the right authoring tool for your eLearning course? Do share your experiences.