How to Choose an eLearning Authoring Tool: A Comprehensive Guide
Choosing a new software tool for your eLearning Course can be difficult. But an excellent eLearning Course always starts by investing in the best tools for your business. A robust Learning Management System is required for creating great content and improving your Training results. In the context of learning and development, the eLearning authoring tool lets you create stunning content and accelerate your training delivery. It can be challenging for Learning and Development Teams, HR heads to create high quality in-house training content. An eLearning authoring tool’s primary job is to help develop training content efficiently and effectively.
Let’s dive deep to help you understand eLearning authoring tools and how to use them to grow your team.
So, what are eLearning Authoring Tools?
An eLearning authoring tool is a software that allows you to create and develop your digital training content and arrange it into a standardized eLearning format. This content can then be distributed among your learners via the Learning Management System.
Sometimes mentioned as course authoring software, an authoring tool also offers niche-specific built-in content templates. Instead, authoring tools provide a pre-built and ready-to-use interface with a complete set of templates, interactions, and other media tools. Experts develop these content templates to improve the training content and learning experience. An authoring tool easily lets you manage different tasks under one roof regardless of your technical expertise.
SCORM format is one of the most common forms of eLearning. LMSs like KloudLearn are compatible with the SCORM formats. You can easily upload your training content to SCORM Compliant LMS with the help of LMS authoring tools.
How does the Course Authoring Software Works?
Most of the eLearning authoring tools work on slide-based content structure. You can create as many slides as you want and fill them with visual content like images, animations, videos, or text. You can easily add interactive and engaging content elements like quizzes, simulations, videos, etc. Once your content is ready, you can publish and upload it to your Learning Management System. The primary motive behind using eLearning authoring tools is to create professional eLearning content. Previously, creating eLearning courses was a very time consuming and tedious task. Since even the simplest blending of text, images or videos required the involvement of programmers. But today, with the eLearning authoring tools, you can create fantastic training content with just a few clicks without the need for programming skills.
Depending on your eLearning requirements, the authoring tools offer different program functions to cater to your needs. Some programs focus on rapid learning development, including quizzes or interactions. In contrast, some programs focus on adaptive learning experiences, including gamification or social learning. Despite the variations in the features and functionalities, the eLearning authoring tools execute the same function of creating eLearning content to provide a more structured and rich learning experience.
Classifications of eLearning Authoring Tools:
- Autonomous eLearning Authoring Tool
- Cloud-Based eLearning Authoring Tool
- Multimedia eLearning Authoring Tool
- Powerpoint-based eLearning Authoring Tool
An Autonomous eLearning Authoring Tool is specially designed for the development of eLearning content. Autonomous authoring tools are the best fit for eLearning professionals who work with numerous customers and need to make different eLearning content types. Autonomous authoring tools are somewhat complicated, usually requiring preliminary training or some programming skills to get started.
Examples: Adobe Captivate, Articulate 360
The Cloud-Based eLearning Authoring Tool helps you create fundamentally web-based content by providing you better flexibility for course authoring and eLearning content creation. Cloud-based authoring tools don’t require any particular hardware configuration for content creation. Here, you can easily create professional eLearning content like videos, simulations, quizzes, etc. Cloud-Based authoring tools are best for the teams that work with multiple authors and require flexibility and collaboration functionalities.
Examples: Articulate Rise, KloudLearn, Elucidat.
Multimedia eLearning authoring tools are hybrid tools that can be either cloud-based or locally hosted. The primary focus of multimedia authoring tools is on animating eLearning course content. This provides you an additional level of design options, interactivity, and creative freedom. You can easily combine text, graphics, videos, and animations into an interactive presentation. This course authoring software provides you an embedded environment for integrating the content and functions of the tool. With this tool, you can easily create engaging content and import the content into LMS.
Examples: Elucidat, Articulate Rise
Features & Capabilities of an eLearning Authoring Tool
- Content Authoring
- Content Management
- SCORM Compliance
- Mobile Learning Support
- Support & Training
Let’s take a look at the essential features and capabilities of an eLearning authoring tool that you will need to create content.
- Import & Edit images
- Import & Export audio files
- Record audio for storytelling
- Webcam recording
- Screen recording
- Insert animations
- Editing text & slides
- Importing PowerPoint content.
The fundamental feature of any eLearning authoring tool is the ability to create content. This includes adding and editing elements like images, text, videos, slides. With the content authoring feature, you can easily make your learner understand what he will be learning throughout the course. The core content authoring features include:
Content management is essential to organize your eLearning assets, media, and other content. Content management easily lets you organize and manage your content by saving time. The content management features enable you to oversee all the tools and resources needed to curate the eLearning content. Here are some of the vital content management features:
One of the essential features of an eLearning authoring tool is the accessibility of the eLearning content. Accessibility is vital for eLearning as it creates a better and rich experience for all the learners by providing anytime and anywhere access. For effective training and compliance programs, ensure your eLearning content is accessible via LMS. The accessibility features can change according to your learner’s needs.
Let’s look into a list of features to look into an authoring tool to make your eLearning content accessible.
- Custom activities or games for learners
- Built-in-activities like drag and drop, sliders, or triggers
- Create interactive scenarios by including slide layers, buttons, or popups.
eLearning professionals always strive hard to present eLearning content in more fun and engaging ways. An excellent eLearning content is the one that engages a learner by having them actively participate in the course. Interactivity in eLearning improves attention, promotes motivation, and increases learning retention and engagement. The eLearning interactions can include quizzes, simple multiple-choice questions, simulations, real-life scenarios to expand the learner’s understanding of the course content. Let’s look at some of the features that improve interactivity in eLearning content:
SCORM is the most common standard used in eLearning today. SCORM refers to the standard set with which you can easily create content and share across multiple platforms. Your eLearning content needs to be published on some platform so that your learners can easily access it. Today, eLearning content is published via Learning Management System. A SCORM Compliant LMS refers to the technical standards of creating an eLearning content that can run on multiple platforms and lets you efficiently track the course performance and automate your tasks without any interruption. However, your eLearning content should comply with specific standards if you want your LMS to be able to do so. The critical eLearning standards are as follows:
The SCORM standard creates a robust framework for your eLearning content, where you can easily create the training content and effectively measure its performance. It makes it easier for your eLearning professionals to utilize the authoring tools efficiently to curate engaging content. With SCORM compliant LMS, you can also use the existing training content while adding new content in just a few clicks.
- Improved Learning Retention
- Anytime and anywhere content access.
- Higher Engagement Rates
- Faster Learning
Mobile Learning is an integral part of the learning strategy for most businesses today. Microlearning has become a popular choice for both formal and informal learning. With the evolution of technology, mobile learning has become an essential part of our lives. However, not all eLearning authoring tools facilitate mobile learning. Your eLearning content should be in HTML5 format to work from your mobile, and at the same time, it should be responsive. Mobile learning has several benefits like:
Kloudlearn easily lets you create an adaptive course that automatically fits your digital devices. It does not require any manual tweaking to make the eLearning courses.
Assessments are a must-have feature in an authoring tool. The eLearning assessments are one of the essential components of ensuring whether the learner has absorbed all the required information or not. It also plays a vital role in determining your course content’s effectiveness, quality, and development. It enables you to track learner’s performance and achievement and assess the effectiveness of the course.
- Quizzes (form-based questions, open questions, and feedbacks)
- Course Assessments (Question bank, random questions)
- Scoring (Badges, points)
- Analytics (Tracking and Reporting)
You can implement the following features to assess the learner:
For any eLearning content to be uploaded and accessible to your learners, it needs to be published. Every organization has its own specific content publishing requirements. It’s always important to first figure out your requirements and then choose an authoring tool accordingly that is compatible with your company’s Learning Management System. Let’s look into some of the vital publishing formats:
How much does an eLearning Authoring Tool cost?
Most of the authoring tools offer support and help in live chat support, training courses, or guides on specific topics to troubleshoot help developers. Let’s uncover some of the support and training features available in authoring tools:
Have you ever been to a mobile showroom? Although you can choose any mobile over there, the price enormously depends on the memory storage, technical capabilities, operating system, brand reputation, and much more. Similarly, the cost of an eLearning authoring tool depends on factors including its features and technical capabilities. Let’s have a look.
You need to figure out what functionality you need specifically to develop and manage content. Focus on the key features of the authoring tool. There is no sense in paying a hefty amount for the additional capabilities and nice to have add-ons that won’t help you create engaging training content. It’s always better to start by creating a list of requirements for achieving the project goals and specifications.
Nowadays, software vendors provide the software and provide the resources to use your software more efficiently. Today, you quickly get the knowledge base like tutorials, videos, guides, and articles along with your training resources.
Also, some of the eLearning authoring tools come up with the learning curve. In simple terms, you need preliminary training before you start creating your content. You can always ask vendors what volume of training you will get, how long it will take, and how much it would cost.
Again the level of technical support depends on your needs and plan. Although the technical support is not included in the eLearning authoring tool’s price, you can always clarify this before you purchase the software. Additionally, you should figure out various formats of the technical support available. Is it email, live chat, phone, or webinars? The more options you have, the better it will be.
Updates mostly are required to that eLearning authoring software that is installed on your computer. Most software companies install new updates free of charge, but some companies charge for that. Make sure you clarify how often the software updates are released and included in the price before you purchase the software.
Why choose Kloudlearn?
Kloudlearn helps you deliver engaging and interactive training with a robust Learning Management System. You can easily create interactive eLearning content with Kloudlearn’s built-in eLearning authoring tool. Increase your learner’s learning retention and engagement with gamification, social learning, and mobile learning. Also, you can track your training course performance and learner’s progress using pre-built reports and analytics. Host your online training through Kloudlearn’s Zoom Integration. To know more about Kloudlearn, Schedule a Demo today.