Are you finding it difficult to choose the right authoring tool for your eLearning course development? With so many authoring tools available in the market, are you getting confused as to which is the exact tool that can suit your project requirement?
No doubt, the selection of an authoring tool is crucial for crafting an effective eLearning course.
But what needs to be understood here is – every authoring tool is equipped with different features and capabilities for use in different purposes in the area of eLearning development. Hence, while deciding on correct authoring tool, you need to carefully look upon your training requirement and see if the authoring tool that you are going to choose could meet that requirement. These are some of the factors to consider for selecting right authoring tool for eLearning development:
Easy to use and rapid eLearning development
The authoring tool that you select must be easy to handle, yet facilitate rapid eLearning development. Unlike a complex software tool that is intended for programming, eLearning authoring tool need to be easy enough so that even people with non-technical background can use it. The authoring tool should have readymade templates. It should also allow easy and quick integration of required media elements in the eLearning course.
Support your instructional strategies
As we have discussed earlier, the selection of the authoring tool should be made on the basis of your training requirement. Here, you need to check what level of interactivities you are going to use in training. Sometimes, you may need to include quizzes, videos, puzzles, animations, audio, colors and graphical elements in your eLearning course to engage learners. The authoring tool you select must be capable of presenting such elements in an effective way.
For example: In software training or other application training, which require incorporation of simulations, an authoring tool like Adobe Captivate is extensively used because it includes the required features to create effective simulations. In the same way, a tool such as Storyline, with simple intuitive graphical user interface design, enables to create a huge combination of characters, poses and expressions for the use in eLearning courses. So the selection of tool mainly depends on the exact training requirement.
Compatibility with other file formats
You need to make sure that the authoring tool can convert Word, PDF and PowerPoint files to effective eLearning courses. This is possible only if the tool is compatible with such file formats. Hence, you cannot miss this criterion while choosing the tool.
Compliant with SCORM and Tin Can API standards
It is very important that the authoring tool adheres to the eLearning standards such as SCORM and Tin Can API so that the developed courses can be easily tracked and monitored on Learning Management Systems (LMSs). This feature in an authoring tool allows to access information about the learners’ progress in the training courses.
The authoring tool that you select need to have the feature to publish eLearning courses to Flash, HTML5 and iOS formats. This feature in authoring tool is vital for the delivery of eLearning courses in multiple devices such as desktop, laptop, iPhone, Tablet and iPad. There are many authoring tools that fall under this category such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, iSpring, and Lectora Inspire.
Possibility of customization
You need to check whether it is possible to customize the features of the authoring tool or not. The tool should allow you to edit and restructure content as per your preference. For example, a tool like Flash is highly customizable and allows editing of content very easily. This customization factor in authoring tool is important because it can allow you to modify, update and do required changes in the eLearning course time to time in accordance with learners’ requirement.
So these can be a few factors based on which you can select the right authoring tool for your eLearning requirement. But I am sure this is not the end of the list as there are other factors such as localization abilities and cost effectiveness. Would you like to add something more to this? Please do share your views. We would really appreciate to hear from you.