Storyline, Captivate, Lectora – An Evaluation Checklist of 3 Rapid Authoring Tools

Why and How to Select Right Authoring Tools for E-learning Development

Storyline, Captivate, Lectora - An Evaluation Checklist of 3 Rapid Authoring Tools

Choosing a rapid e-learning authoring tool that suits your training needs completely can be quite a challenging task. You need to consider various aspects such as cost, built-in features, flexibility of the tool, and the output it gives. Analyzing all these features can cost you a lot of time and effort. This blog intends to make it easy for you and help pick the right tool quickly.

The eLearning Guild has come out with a report that lists the most desired features in rapid e-learning authoring software. We will now evaluate the 3 widely used rapid authoring tools – Articulate Storyline 2, Adobe Captivate 9, and Lectora Inspire 16, based on the features listed by the report.

FeaturesArticulate Storyline 2Adobe Captivate 9Lectora Inspire 16
Cost of one license (as of 22-Sep-2016)USD 1398USD1099USD 2174

Audio Capabilities

Can embed audio files111
Can embed audio in interactions111
Can record audio111
Can perform basic audio editing111
Can store audio files in a library211
Can export recorded audio to MP3111
Can add links to external audio files111
Can perform advanced audio editing221

Assessment Features

Can choose from a wide variety of question types (including multiple choice, fill-in, and hotspot)111
Can show a review of the questions after scoring111
Can format question pages as desired111
Can track assessments111
Can create randomized questions111
Can shuffle answers111
Can add media to questions111
Can randomize questions from banks/pools11(Needs to be customized)1

Branching and Navigation Features

Can add simple branching111
Can add custom navigation111
Can add complex branching111

Graphics and Animations Creation

Can make objects on the screen interactive111
Can animate onscreen elements111
Can edit images, basic111
Can insert HTML5animations111
Can choose from multiple transitions111
Can insert Flash animations111
Can add text animations111
Can use built-in characters111
Can edit images, advanced222

Support for Videos

Can embed video files111
Can embed videos in interactions111
Can link to external or web video files111
Can record screens111
Can export recorded videos111
Can pan and zoom111
Can store videos in a library211
Can perform basic video editing111

Format Templates, Themes, Skins, and Text Features

Can use numerous text formatting options (styles, bullets, justification, etc.)111
Can customize how interactions look and feel111
Can create custom themes111
Can create custom templates111
Can customize built-in Player skins11(Only a few features)2
Can choose from built-in Player skins111
Can choose from built-in themes111

Games, Scenarios, and Simulations

Can add interactive scenarios111
Can create simple software simulations111
Can create complex software simulations111
Can add simple game elements111

Support and User-community

Has easy user support111
Free intro training modules are available111
Has an active user community111

Progress-Tracking Features

Track in SCORM 1.2111
Track in SCORM 2004111
Track in xAPI111
Track in AICC111

Scripts and Variables Features

Can create user variables111
Can use system variables, such as current date and time111
Can use simple Java scripts111
Can use complex Java scripts111

User Accessibility Features

Can provide closed captioning for audio112
Can provide closed captioning for videos112
Can provide accessibility (Section 508, WCAG, etc.) features111
Can use text-to-speech (with included voices)212
Can work with JAWS and other screen readers111

Integration with Social Media

Integration with Twitter2(Needs to be programmed)11
Integration with Facebook2(Needs to be programmed)21
Integration with other social media2(Needs to be programmed)21

Publishing Options

Can publish to mobile web (ex: HTML5)111
Can provide responsive output211
Can publish to Flash112
Can publish to video2(Screen casts can be saved as videos)12
Can publish to PDF212
Can publish to Microsoft Word122
Can publish to a single execute file (.exe) for offline purposes1

Hope you find this post informative. Go through the table for a quick comparison of the features when you need to zero-in on a tool for your online courses. Please share your thoughts through your comments.

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