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20 FAQs on Rapid Authoring Tools used in eLearning Development

With hundreds of eLearning development software available in today’s market, choosing the right rapid authoring tool is one of the most crucial decisions you’d have to make if you are considering converting your classroom training material into online learning quickly.

Rapid authoring tools may be chosen depending on various factors such as ease of use, responsive features, range of built-in interactivities, inbuilt assets, and more. With the wrong authoring tool you lose more than just your time and money; you end up with a course that’s instructionally weak, impacting the productivity of employees.

If you’re just getting started with rapid eLearning development, you might have questions on authoring tools that can be used to optimize training delivery. Here are answers to 20 frequently asked questions on rapid authoring tools used in eLearning development, hopefully these can help you make the right decision.

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FAQs on Rapid Authoring Tools

Q1. What is the best rapid authoring tool to develop an eLearning course?

Answer: The choice of rapid authoring tool depends on the type of training program you want to develop and the eLearning strategies you intend to follow. There are three types of rapid authoring tools – PowerPoint add-ins, installation-based, and cloud-based.

Each type differs in its support to various delivery platforms, file formats, customization of components, and your custom development process. For example, if you only want to make your PowerPoint presentation interactive, PowerPoint add-in authoring tools such as Adobe Presenter or iSpring Free are good to go with. But if you want to develop a highly interactive eLearning course with software simulations, interactive scenarios, and assessments, you need to go with authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, and iSpring Suite. 

Q2. Is there a free tool to convert a PowerPoint presentation into an eLearning course with limited interactivities?

Answer: Yes! iSpring Free is the rapid authoring tool you’re looking for. It can convert PPT decks to SCORM-compliant HTML5-based eLearning. You can also add quizzes for knowledge retention and learner engagement. Question types that you can choose from may be limited as compared to the iSpring Suite, nevertheless it is useful to make courses engaging.

Q3. What is the most user-friendly rapid authoring tool?

Answer: The most user-friendly rapid authoring tools are PowerPoint add-ins. If asked to pick the easiest of them, I would say, iSpring Suite 9.

Q4. Which authoring tool can be used to develop truly responsive eLearning?

Answer: Adobe Captivate 2019 is the ideal rapid authoring tool for developing multi-device compatible (responsive) e-learning courses. Its ability to develop courses for multiple devices and generate responsive output is far superior compared to other rapid authoring tools.

Articulate Rise, is a web-based application that’s part of Articulate 360. It is easy to use and can create fully responsive eLearning.

Q5. What is the most translation-friendly rapid authoring tool?

Answer: Articulate Storyline and Lectora Inspire are the most translation-friendly tools. They help you extract all the existing course content into a template. And, once the template gets translated, all you need to do is import it into the tool and publish it.

Q6. Which tool has the shortest learning curve?

Answer: Rapid authoring tools that have an interface similar to PowerPoint have the lowest learning curve. Among them, iSpring Suite and Articulate Storyline can be mastered in the shortest time.

Q7. Which authoring tool is ideal to develop a simulation-based e-learning course?

Answer: Adobe Captivate can be considered the ideal tool for this requirement because it was primarily developed to capture screens and in the due course of time, this ability has been improved. Storyline 360 too can also be a good choice for developing simulation-based online learning courses.

Q8. What is the ideal tool to convert Flash-based eLearning courses to HTML5?

Answer: There are many rapid authoring tools that offer the capability to convert Flash to HTML5. The popular ones are:

  • Articulate Storyline 360 for its easy customization and option to build Flash-like interactivities
  • Adobe Captivate, especially for conversion of simulation-based Flash courses to HTML5
  • Lectora Inspire for Flash-based courses that are text intensive and require to be translated into multiple languages

Q9. What is the perfect tool to convert online training material into interactive eBooks?

Answer: A Flipbook Maker is the best choice for such a requirement, if your training materials are in the PDF format. If they are in the PPT format, you can convert them into PDF files and then import them into the Flipbook Maker. A few examples of Flipbook Makers are FlipHTML5, Flipsnack, Flip PDF Professional, and iSpring Flip.

Q10. What is the best tool to create on-demand webinars?

Answer: Adobe Presenter is the right choice. Using this tool, you can edit the recordings of your live webinars, remove disturbances and errors, if any, synchronize it, and publish to HTML5.

Q11. What is the ideal rapid authoring tool to deliver online training through videos?

Answer: Adobe Premier has good video editing features and can be the ideal tool if you have “live” recordings. But, if you want animated videos with vector characters and a cartoonish look and feel, you can go with the cloud-based video making software – Vyond.

Q12. I need a tool that is highly customizable. Can you suggest one?

Answer: Lectora Inspire can be the ideal choice. You can customize the features and create any interactivity with this tool. Storyline 360 is not a bad choice either.

Q13. What is the most flexible tool to create interactive assessments and publish them?

Answer: Articulate Quiz Maker 360 is a good option. You can create a wide variety of interactive assessments and publish them with this tool. The tool offers six freeform interactions and 20 form-based question types.

Q14. Which eLearning development software can preserve all PowerPoint effects?

Answer: The PowerPoint add-in rapid authoring tool, iSpring Suite, is your best bet. You can preserve all the animations in your PowerPoint presentation with this rapid authoring tool.

Q15. Which tool has the feature of a library to store media assets?

Answer: Most modern authoring tools such as Storyline 360, Lectora Inspire, and Adobe Captivate have a built-in library that can be used to store media assets used in the eLearning project. These assets can include audio, video, and images to name a few. It is easier to reuse objects when the authoring tool offers the feature of a library.

Q16. Which rapid authoring tool allows extensive customization?

Answer: Lectora again! Be it the GUI or interactivities, customization is possible using authoring tools. But if you’re looking at an authoring tool that allows extensive customization where code such as JavaScript can be integrated within the tool, Lectora is the right choice.

Q17. Which tool offers the easiest way to move PPTs, manuals, and textbooks online?

Answer: iSpring Suite offers the fastest and easiest way to convert your PowerPoint decks, manuals, and textbooks used in classroom training to engaging eLearning courses.

Q18. Which authoring tool comes with a built-in player for viewing courses on iPads?

Answer: Authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline and Lectora have a built-in mobile player that can be used to access courses on iPads. iSpring Play allows content developed using iSpring to be visible on tablets – both iPad and Android, and also supports offline viewing.

Q19. Which tool has the largest user community and provides the best customer support?

Answer: Most popular authoring tools offer timely support through their online user communities. Articulate has a very active user community that shares useful resources and solutions to problems that eLearning developers might face. 

Q20. Which tool will allow me to publish SCORM-compliant courses easily, in the shortest possible time?

Answer: Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate 2019, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online, iSpring Suite 9 are all the latest authoring tools that can be used to develop SCORM compliant courses quickly and easily.

It’s a Wrap!

These are the answers to the 20 frequently asked questions about rapid authoring tools in eLearning. Hope this information has answered some of your questions on rapid authoring tools. Have more questions on choosing a rapid authoring tool or on rapid eLearning development? Use the Comments section to ask your questions. We’ll be happy to answer them for you or point you in the right direction.

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