If you are planning to roll-out eLearning courses within your organization, you may be forced to take a few decisions. One of them is about developing the courses in-house, or outsourcing the requirement. Another decision you need to take would be about the tools that best cater to your specific requirement.
Irrespective of whether you develop your eLearning courses in-house, or outsource it to an external vendor, you still have to take a decision about the tools to be used for eLearning course development. Here are 5 factors that help you choose your tool smartly.
You’re Training Requirement
The type of your training need mostly, decides the tool you wish to use. If you want to quickly update your sales team about the latest version of a product, for which they have already gone extensive training, you may want to use Articulate. If you want to train your employees on a new software application, you might choose a tool that is best for software simulations. If you need to roll out a mandatory fire safety or compliance training enterprise-wide, you will choose a tool that helps you with just that. Therefore, the nature of your training requirement will have to be taken into account, before you select a tool.
Composition of Your Team
If you have in-house instructional designers, you can train them to handle basic authoring tools, such as Articulate or Captivate, to design courses. However, if you have trainers or SMEs who are comfortable with PPTs, an entry level rapid authoring tool might be ideal. If you have a team of developers on board, you could consider a more advanced authoring tool such as Lectora which provides options for customization.
Nature of Content
When the content is simple and is largely for quick knowledge transfer, you could choose a tool that caters to that requirement. If your training content is text heavy, a fixed template, provided by certain tools may not work. You might have to go in for tools, such as Lectora, that allow customizations. Similarly, if you have extensive role plays and scenarios in your course content, you will have to check if the tool will be able to help you create the same. So, before you choose a tool, you will have to ensure that the tool supports your broad instructional design strategies.
Requirement of Multi-Lingual Courses
You may develop a course in a particular language. Later, you may want to roll out the same course to your employees in other regions and might want to translate it into the local language. Some tools make it easier to translate your courses into multiple languages simultaneously. You could save a lot of time and money in the process. Therefore, before you select a tool keep in mind the future translation needs.
Available Development Time
Lastly, you need to consider the time at your disposal for developing the course. Most of the rapid authoring tools help you cut down the development time by 40%. So if you need to launch courses very quickly, you might want to consider the rapid authoring tool that has pre-built functionalities and templates. Even among rapid authoring tools some allow for faster development than others. Articulate, for example, can quickly help you create some functionalities within the existing PowerPoint presentation. Therefore, the choice of tools also depends on the time you have on hand for development.
Ultimately, it is your unique requirement and situation that you need to consider, before finalizing an authoring tool. Having knowledge about the tools (what they can do for you, in how much time and what is the effort required) is useful to take an informed decision, so that you get value for your money.