If you are under the impression that selecting an eLearning authoring tool is going to be easy, let me burst the bubble. With hundreds of eLearning authoring software in the market, finding the right match is not going to be a simple task.
eLearning Authoring Tools
10 FAQs Answered
- What is the most user-friendly rapid authoring tool?
- Which tool can be learned in the shortest time?
- Which authoring tool should I choose for developing a simulation-based eLearning course?
- What is the perfect tool to convert my online training material into interactive eBooks?
- What is the best tool for creating on-demand learning resources from webinars?
- Which is the ideal tool for creating videos for online training?
- Which of the eLearning authoring tools is the most customizable?
- What is the most flexible tool to create and publish interactive assessments?
- Which tool has a library to store audio and video files?
- Which tool allows publishing SCORM compliant courses?
Having said that, choosing the right eLearning authoring tool for your organization’s needs is crucial, especially if you are looking to quickly convert your classroom training material to eLearning in the current situation. There are many factors you need to consider while choosing an eLearning authoring tool – ease of use, inbuilt media assets, responsive features, ready-to-use interactivities, and so much more.
But, here’s the thing – a wrong choice will not only lose time and money, you might even end up with subpar eLearning courses.
I’m sure by now you have a lot of questions running across your mind. Fret not, because here’s a blog that will answer ten most frequently asked questions about eLearning authoring tools. Read on!
eLearning Authoring Tools: 10 FAQs Answered!
1. What is the Most User-friendly Rapid Authoring Tool?
The user-friendliness of an authoring tool depends on various factors – the learning curve, availability of pre-built assets, features relevant to course requirements, and more. All in all, the most important factor that makes an authoring tool user-friendly is, obviously, its ease of use.
After all, it all comes down to how easy it is to leverage the features of an authoring tool for the quick development of eLearning courses.
So, here are the most user-friendly authoring tools based on ease of use (according to our eLearning developers):
# 1: Articulate 360 (Includes Storyline 360 and Rise 360)
# 2: Trivantis Lectora
# 3: Adobe Captivate
While Articulate 360 is widely known for its minimal learning curve, Lectora and Captivate have slightly higher learning curves. However, Lectora is the most user-friendly tool if you are looking for mobile-compatible courses – fully-responsive or adaptive. If you’re looking for a tool that can be accessed on a web-browser, has a minimal learning curve, reduces development time and is fully responsive, Rise 360 would be ideal. Similarly, Captivate is the tool to go for if you want complex software simulation-based eLearning courses.
2. Which Tool can be Learned in the Shortest Time?
Articulate Storyline 360 has an easy to moderate learning curve which makes it the easiest authoring tool to learn. This is mainly because it:
- Offers solutions for most eLearning requirements as well as authoring features for developers of all levels of expertise
- Is similar to the PPT interface but with more options for customization
3. Which Authoring Tool Should I Choose for Developing a Simulation-Based eLearning Course?
Adobe Captivate and simulation-based eLearning courses are a match made in heaven. Creating complex watch-try-do software simulations has never been so easy!
High image resolution for screen recording is one of the primary requirements to create simulations. The latest versions of Captivate (Captivate 17 and 19) offer 4 K HD resolutions that allow you to capture high resolution screencasts of any onscreen activity or demonstration steps. You can even convert the screencasts into videos. The tool also offers the convenience of adding or deleting callouts easily.
Storyline can also be used for creating simulation-based eLearning courses; however, it doesn’t offer a 4 K HD resolution.
4. What is the Perfect Tool to Convert my Online Training Material into Interactive eBooks?
If you wish to quickly create eBooks or refurbish your existing online training material into eBooks, Adobe InDesign is the tool to go to. This tool allows the creation of different eBook formats – interactive PDFs and EPUB (electronic publication).
- The interactive PDF format contains interactive elements that differentiate it from a conventional EPUB. It can be read on most (not all) devices – tablets, eReaders, smartphones, laptops, and computers.
- The EPUB format is created usually for mainstream online stores (such as Google Play, Amazon Kindle Store) if you are looking to sell your eBooks.
5. What is the Best Tool for Creating On-Demand Learning Resources from Webinars?
You can find dozens of tools that can convert a recorded webinar into on-demand learning resources. However, Adobe Presenter is unarguably the best among the lot.
- It is easy to use. Since it is a PowerPoint add-in, anybody who is familiar with PPT will be able to use Presenter easily.
- It allows audio editing. You can import the audio files of the recorded webinar into the tool and edit them to remove disturbances. You can also synchronize the audio with the onscreen content.
- It allows publishing to HTML5. You can publish the on-demand resources into the HTML5 format, enabling them to be accessed on any device.
6. Which is the Ideal Tool for Creating Videos for Online Training?
There are two tools that are all-time favorites when it comes to creating videos for online training – Camtasia and Adobe Premier. These two are often compared to each other but this is what we’ve found.
- Camtasia is the gold standard when it comes to screencast videos. If you are looking to create videos from screen recordings, you should go with it. It also allows a certain amount of editing as well.
- However, if you are looking at something a little more complex, it’s better to go with a standalone software like Adobe Premier. It has more advanced video editing features – speeding up clips, color correction, adding onscreen content, and more. If you also want to translate the videos into multiple languages, it is the tool to go for.
7. Which of the Tools is the Most Customizable?
Definitely, Storyline! Storyline allows you to develop highly customized and engaging eLearning courses. You can control the theme pages through slide masters and project colors just like in PPT, making this tool really flexible.
Moreover, most of the high-end interactivities are developed using triggers, which work when an onscreen object is clicked, tapped, or rolled over. If user-actions are defined, you can show or hide other screen objects, variables can be adjusted, auto-navigating can be leveraged, media can be paused/stopped and more. This offers a lot of scope for customization without any coding.
8. What is the Most Flexible Tool to Create and Publish Interactive Assessments?
Our all-time favorite, Storyline!
Here are some key features of Storyline that make it the best tool for interactive assessments.
- 20 form-based question types:
i. 11 types of graded questions – True/false, multiple choice/response, word bank, fill in the blank, drag and drop, drop-down, and more.
ii. 9 types of survey questions – pick one, pick many, Likert scale, essay, which word, and more.
- Images to create interesting eLearning assessments. For instance, you can turn a photographic character into a drag and drop assessment question. Or even create multiple choice questions using images.
- Ability to group questions and pool them to make question banks
- Ability to import questions from text files, Excel sheets, Storyline courses, and Articulate Quiz maker.
9. Which Tool has a Library to Store Audio and Video Files?
A library is available with all these authoring tools:
- Articulate Storyline
- Adobe Captivate
- Trivantis Lectora
- dominKnow One
10. Which Tool Allows Publishing SCORM Compliant Courses?
All modern-day authoring tools have the feature to publish eLearning courses in SCORM standard. You just need to select the option and publish it.
Wrapping it Up!
These are a few of the most common questions that we often have to answer. As they are based on our real life experience, the answers to these questions will certainly help you decide on the correct authoring tool for your specific needs.
Since we’ve been discussing about authoring tools, would you like to explore rapid eLearning development as well? Download our free eBook on “Rapid eLearning Design for Quick Rollout” for the best practices to create effective online training, quickly.